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Here Comes Nobody: A Dramaturgical Exploration of Luciano Berio's "Outis"

David Osmond-Smith
Cambridge Opera Journal
Vol. 12, No. 2 (Jul., 2000), pp. 163-178
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3250711
Page Count: 16
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Here Comes Nobody: A Dramaturgical Exploration of Luciano Berio's "Outis"
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Abstract

This study, intended as a seventy-fifth birthday tribute for Luciano Berio, examines the dramaturgy of his most radical theatrical work, "Outis" (1995-6). To a greater extent than any of his previous operatic works, "Outis" dispenses with linear narrative. Instead, it constructs an associative network of images - visual, verbal and musical - upon a cyclic frame. A recurrent source for these images is the story of Odysseus/Ulysses, the wanderer, and the many different texts that stem from that tradition. These include "Ulysses" by James Joyce - whose work has long been a source of inspiration for Berio. This essay suggests, however, that it is rather the techniques and aspirations of Joyce's "Finnegan's Wake" that provide the most telling analogue for what Berio here seeks to achieve.

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