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    Fifty Shades of Bluebeard? Dukas’s Ariane et Barbe-Bleue in the Twenty-First Century

    Watson, Laura (2018) Fifty Shades of Bluebeard? Dukas’s Ariane et Barbe-Bleue in the Twenty-First Century. Twentieth-Century Music, 15 (3). pp. 399-438. ISSN 1478-5730

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    With the appearance of opera videos in 2013 (DVD) and 2015 (YouTube), Paul Dukas’s Ariane et Barbe-Bleue (1907) has been revived for twenty-first-century audiences. Not only has this formerly obscure work migrated to a mass-media landscape of personalized digital consumption, but its cultural recontextualization has also been extended to the interpretations staged in those opera videos. Both challenge historical, feminist readings of Ariane. Updating the action to modern scenes of abduction and captivity, these productions recast Ariane as victim and reframe the opera as part of the present discourse on sexual violence. As these recent productions of Ariane resonate with broader aesthetic tendencies in current popular culture, I trace parallels between the opera and three such examples from 2015. Selecting works that exemplify the trend of repackaging the Bluebeard tale as contemporary drama, I cite the films Fifty Shades of Grey and Room, and the Netflix series The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: opera videos; DVD; YouTube; Paul Dukas; Ariane et Barbe-Bleue; popular culture;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > Music
    Item ID: 13463
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Dr Laura Watson
    Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2020 16:00
    Journal or Publication Title: Twentieth-Century Music
    Publisher: Cambridge University Press
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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