chapter
36 Pages

3 The Instrumental Theatre

Mauricio Kagel's path led him to explore music theatre, which was already implicit in Anagrama and Transicion IL it is in the domain of music theatre that Kagel left his mark most unmistakably and that his influence is felt most clearly. The ghostliness of performances of electronic music has been an important catalyst in re-evaluating the physicality of performance, elevating it from a barely tolerated irritation to an indispensable element of the work itself. The significance of this can hardly be overemphasized as it demonstrates how Kagel reacts to both the musicalization of experimental theatre and the dramatization of musical performance in the tradition of music theatre. The music becomes a dumb show, but sounds can be imagined, and from time to time snatches may be heard as players accidentally touch the instruments. The importance of the theatrical frame lies in altering the perception of the music: it appears to be part of a surreal drama, rather than straightforward performance.