Challenging Notions of Tessitura: Its Identification and Redefinition
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University of California
Music has become JanClaire’s passion now that her sons are raised, the youngest having flown from the nest about ten years ago. Able to return to school to begin a doctoral program, she enrolled in Systematic Musicology at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). Her dissertation, “Amneris and Aida: Their Vocal and Rhetorial Portaits Configured by Tessiturs” was completed in 2000. JanClaire’s most immediate interests are women’s roles in opera, tracking the pitches of their vocal lines to see how related their voices may or may not be to each other. Their distance or proximity may make them more related than what is gleaned from the libretto text or any key area(s).
Born in Aurora, Illinois, her training originally was to have been in nursing. Several colleges later, she was awarded a B.A. (Liberal Arts) degree from the University of Montana (1977), with study in the physical and social sciences, English literature, and political history. She earned an M.A. (Historical Musicology) degree from the University of California Santa Barbara (1983). Currently, she is teaching part-time in San Diego within two community college systems and is looking for full-time work in the US and/or Canada. Next fall she has two articles appearing in opera-related journals. This summer she is drafting the first chapter of a book concerning the tessituale of five women, drawing from Verdi, Bellini, Donizetti, and Meyerbeer opera.