Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)
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On January 18, 2010, Gil Shohat's operatic adaptation of Hanoch Levin's 1993 play, The Child Dreams, had its world premiere at the Israeli Opera. The opera was commissioned for the opening of that company's twenty-fifth season. Levin's play holds a central place in Israeli culture; given the play's stature, Shohat's musical work raises a number of essential questions about adaptations and their consequent reception. This document will examine the critical perception of the effort: did the critics reviewing the production understand Shohat's intentions and did they "read" the work in the same way that he did?
We possess a wealth of information linked to the critical reception of the premiere of The Child Dreams—much more than can be found around similar occasions. Papers and magazines published a robust collection of reviews, in addition to many written and filmed documentations of the production process. Shohat has participated in interviews and has written about the opera and the considerations he had in adapting the play. My research will focus on the reception of Shohat's The Child Dreams, narrowing on the composer's handling of Levin's text. Reviews will serve as the central source in establishing my thesis. An examination of these reviews following the premiere reveals the (maybe unconscious) bias that Israeli critics, and perhaps even the public, had in their reception of the opera. Levin and Shohat embody starkly different sensibilities, and neither the historical reception of the play nor the critical reaction to the recent operatic treatment can be separated from these men themselves.
Critical Reception; Gil Shohat; Hanoch Levin; Operatic Adaptation; The Child Dreams; The Israeli Opera
Music | Theatre and Performance Studies
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Hochman, Karin, "The Child Dreams: An Examination of Gil Shohat’s Adaptation of Hanoch Levin’s Play" (2020). UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones. 3901.
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