Daniel and Genre Confusion: The Strange Case of The Burning Fiery Furnace

Simon Peter McGrail

Abstract


This article explores an opera by Benjamin Britten, designed especially for a church setting. It does so through the lens of musicology and of ritual. It argues that there is here a blurring of the border between ritual more generally, especially the Noh form, and Christian liturgical drama. The presentation of a specific setting of biblical material through the medium of musical performance focuses interpretation of text on the impact of sound and sight on an audience whose perspective is already shaped by encountering the performance within a church building. The paper concludes that watching and believing are not necessarily separate actions.

Keywords


Britten, Benjamin; Burning Fiery Furnace

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11157/rsrr3-1-586