Composition groundwork

The Favourite. The opera.

(From the 2019 motion picture)
Images and characters as depicted by the music.

1.    Landscapes/ Moors/ Wildscapes/ Grass// Where Anne grew up.
2.    Her hair as a child (floating in the wind, endearing, blonde…)
3.    Her character as a child (Rebellious, spoilt/ only child/ generous/ gifted/ ambitious/ stubborn)
4.    Her “coming of age”, and “leaving innocence”, cuteness, blonde hair behind.
5.    Her discomfort within her adult body… (Thighs rubbing, arms hanging…)
6.    The castles, the vastness, her counting of the space (& time) between the walls… Her moments alone within those walls… The cold, green (mouldy, impersonal) stones. Translate into silences and notes, piano-style percussion…. (?)
7.    Aria/ Monologue: Femininity and loneliness/ Hair/ Prettiness// Introduction of Self (Younger self)…. Positive, if ever so slightly plaintive…
8.    Declaiming/ Discourse/ Public address Aria as Queen; more mature. Sung in lower key… More stern and mature, somewhat more reserved…
9.    Monologue as a Queen; aria.
10.    Chorus: Coronation as a Queen. Brilliant, brassy (slightly tacky, gold, metallic, cold) . Acclamations, and a bit of a Fall/ Lament (minor keys?…) (drop?…). Cf McBeth Irony/ Witches chorus)
11.    “Enemies” (specifically lady rivals) small (in size) Chorus= Semi-leitmotif in shape and textures, in theme. (2 of those songs)
12.    Love triangle “songs”= 2+1= 1#1 (pitted against)………..
13.    Love duet songs (3 of those?…): one, then the other lover….
14.    Lover’s description/ Monologues (one, then the other; each one of them). Hair in the wind, lover as blonde as her own childhood innocence. Tender “winner” aria.
15.    Regrets Monologue: sour, sombre love song for the Queen.
16.    Authority figures/ Priests/ Officials (government)/ Advisers; Basses… 1) SATB mixed crowd; duelling and layering Anne with one masculine character “in charge” (Cf Aida structures). 2) Large “Judging” Greek chorus.

© 2010-2019 All text by Sandrine Anterrion, London writer.

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"The general plea, in my opinion, is the universally-urgent need for a deeper examination of an increasingly-ailing, and increasingly-estranged Self."

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