Arrow “Madness at the Opera” by Marcin Bogucki published by słowo/obraz terytoria

11 Jun, 2024
“Madness at the Opera” by Marcin Bogucki published by słowo/obraz terytoria
© słowo/obraz terytoria

Słowo/obraz terytoria publishing house has recently launched „Szaleństwo w operze” (Madness at the Opera) by Marcin Bogucki. The author looks at the opera from an interdisciplinary perspective to show its multidimensional aspects.

“The theater is a madhouse, but the opera – that’s a terminal ward!” The words, allegedly written by Hugo von Hofmannsthal, became an inspiration for Marcin Bogucki to author the book about the theme of madness in opera from the 17th until the beginning of the 20th century. The body of the publication consists of historical studies, in which the writer focuses on how the theme of madness has been musically developed throughout centuries.

To emphasize a modern perspective, Bogucki begins each chapter with an analysis of a contemporary work by making reference to a work from a past era. His study is complemented by theoretical issues: In what way is madness a modern disease? How does opera relate to modern aesthetic? How has the madness motif in opera been described historically? The interdisciplinary perspective allows for a multidimensional presentation of the theme. The opera is shown as an “anatomical theater of the soul,” an important artistic and social medium of ancient times. (publisher’s note)

The book (in Polish) is available on the website of the publishing house.

Marcin Bogucki (Ph.D.) is a graduate of cultural studies, art history and musicology. He is currently assistant professor with the Institute of Polish Culture at the University of Warsaw. In his Ph.D. thesis, Bogucki explored the relations between opera and madness in the modern era. His research focuses on the cultural history of music and opera directing. He authored the book „Teatr operowy Petera Sellarsa. Inscenizacje Händla i Mozarta z lat 80. XX w.” (The Opera Theater of Peter Sellars. Productions of Handel and Mozart from the 1980s, Poznań 2012). He has collaborated, among others, with “Didaskala”, “Widok”, “Opcje”, “Dialog”, „mała kultura współczesna” and “”