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date: 25 March 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The advent of high-definition broadcast of opera has transformed the ways in which we attend to opera as film. It establishes a narrative angle through filmic devices that shape the viewer’s multimodal experience in an entirely different way from viewing opera live in a theater. Building on recent studies on embodied cognition of film and multimedia, this chapter examines audio-visual congruence as a key to understanding the viewer’s experience of opera in its remediated form as film. To this end, it refers to the concept of multimodality, Anabel Cohen’s hierarchical model of narrative construction, and Mark Johnson’s conceptual metaphor theory. Case studies include recent productions of Richard Wagner’s Die Walküre, John Adams’s Doctor Atomic, and Kaija Saariaho’s Adriana Mater. This study examines the distinctive types of audio-visual congruence established in these works and discusses further avenues for exploring opera and film through the lens of hermeneutical and cognitive research.

Keywords: multimodality, high-definition broadcast, multimedia, conceptual metaphor, audio-visual congruence, Richard Wagner, John Adams, Kaija Saariaho

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