Performing Premodernity on Stage: Rousseau’s Theatre
During the past five years, the research project Performing Premodernity has executed academic and artistic research concerning theatre and opera ideals, practices and discourses in the later half of the eighteenth century. Through historiographical praxeology and historically informed workshops the research group of six persons has, on the one hand, developed a new methodology for research on historical stage art (see the coming publication Performing Premodernity: Practical approaches to eighteenth century theatre), and has on the other hand produced new knowledge about various works, authors and stages from the era of Enlightenment (see for example Rousseau on Stage: Playwright, Musician, Spectator, eds. Maria Gullstam and Michael O’Dea (Oxford, 2017), and The Theatre of Drottningholm – Then and Now, by Willmar Sauter and David Wiles (Stockholm, 2015) etc.) During the project, the members have also developed research-based performances, which have gotten a lot of positive feedback from the research world, as well as the public. The research group would now like to spread and demonstrate the obtained results to a wider audience, by means of a lecture series by the project members, in combination with a series of performances of Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s melodrama Pygmalion (1762/1770) together with his opera Le Devin du Village (1752), which both have been central study objects during the research project.