Conjoint Professor Michael Ewans

Conjoint Professor

School of Humanities and Social Science (Drama)

Career Summary

Biography

Michael Ewans (MA Oxford, PhD Cambridge) was originally appointed to a Lectureship in Classics at the University of Newcastle, Australia in 1973. On the foundation of the Department of Drama in 1974 he was invited to lecture in that discipline both on the Greek theatre and on modern drama and opera since Ibsen and Wagner. He transferred full-time to become Associate Professor and Head of Drama in 1981, and began his series of three three-year cycles of productions of Greek tragedy and comedy, in his own new translations and in a half-size replica of the original performance space, in 1983 with Aeschylus’ Libation Bearers. Subsequently he was a Visiting Professor in the interdisciplinary University Professors’ Program at Boston University in 1986-7, Warden – the first administrator and academic program developer – of the Central Coast (now Ourimbah) Campus 1989-1993, and Assistant Dean (Research) in charge of developing postgraduate research programs in Music 1995-2009. Between 1998 and 2004 he directed a series of chamber operas for the then Faculty of Music, before returning to the Greek theatre and directing three comedies by Aristophanes in 2005-9. His last project before retirement was a production in 2011 of his own translation of Georg Büchner’s Woyzeck (this translation was also used by Omnibus Theatre in London for their centenary production of the play in 2013).

Michael Ewans is now a Conjoint Professor in the School of Humanities and Social Science at the University of Newcastle, Australia. Before retiring from the Chair of Drama in 2011 he specialized in directing plays and chamber operas, translating Greek tragedy and comedy, and writing books and articles which explore how operas and dramas work in the theatre. He is the author of Janá?ek’s Tragic Operas (1977), Wagner and Aeschylus: the ‘Ring’ and the ‘Oresteia’ (1982), Georg Büchner’s Woyzeck (1989), and Opera from the Greek: Studies in the Poetics of Appropriation (2007). He has also published a complete set of accurate and actable translations of Aeschylus and Sophocles in four volumes with theatrical commentaries (1995-2001), followed by two volumes of comedies by Aristophanes, also in his own new translations with theatrical commentaries (2011-12). He has written chapters on the reception of classical drama into opera for the forthcoming Wiley-Blackwell Handbook to the Reception of Greek Drama and Brill Companion to the Reception of Aeschylus, and he is currently guest editor for two issues of the International Journal of the Classical Tradition, which are devoted to receptions of the ancient world into opera. His new book Performing Opera: a practical guide for singers and directors will be published by Bloomsbury Methuen Drama in early 2016.

Michael Ewans is currently principal supervisor for two Classics higher degree students working on Greek tragedy. He was elected in 2005 to a Fellowship of the Australian Academy of the Humanities.

Research Expertise
I am an expert on the ancient Greek theatre (both tragedy and comedy, with a special interest in translation and staging); opera; and the expressionist drama, especially the plays of Georg Büchner, Ernst Toller and Georg Kaiser.

Teaching Expertise
I teach part-time in Classics. Recent courses are Greek Tragedy and Myth and Fairy Tale.

Administrative Expertise
I have served as head of my main discipline of drama, as Assistant Dean (research) in the former Faculty of Music, and as Drama Performance Co-ordinator. My principal committee work has been in the area of research and research training.

Collaborations
I research in three areas; the translation and staging of Greek tragedy and comedy; the expressionist theatre of the period 1905-25 in Europe; and opera, with particular reference to operas based on Greek epic and tragedy, and to the staging of operas from Gluck and Mozart to Britten and Tippett. I am currently preparing a study of Thomas Adès opera The Tempest.

Qualifications

  • PhD, University of Cambridge - UK
  • Master of Arts, University of Oxford - UK

Keywords

  • Expressionist Theatre
  • Greek Drama
  • Opera

Languages

  • French (Fluent)
  • Greek (Fluent)
  • Latin (Fluent)

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
190404 Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies 70
190409 Musicology and Ethnomusicology 30

Professional Experience

Academic appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
1/07/2009 - 1/06/2011 Professor

Drama

University of Newcastle
School of Drama, Fine Art and Music
Australia
1/01/2005 - 31/12/2005 Fellowship Australian Academy of the Humanities
1/01/1996 - 1/01/2009 Associate Professor of Music and Drama

Faculty of Music

University of Newcastle
School of Drama, Fine Art and Music
Australia
1/09/1986 - 1/06/1987 Visiting full Professo, rUniversity Professors Program Boston University
United States
1/01/1981 - 1/12/1995 Associate Professor of Drama

Drama Department

University of Newcastle
School of Drama, Fine Art and Music
Australia

Membership

Dates Title Organisation / Department
1/01/2005 -  Membership - Australian Academy of the Humanities Australian Academy of the Humanities

Invitations

Participant

Year Title / Rationale
2006 Biennial conference on Greek Drama
Organisation: International Theatre Institute, Cyprus Branch Description: invited lecture
2004 Biennial Conference on Greek Drama
Organisation: International Theatre Institute, Cyprus Branch Description: invited lecture
1996 Prof Geoff Borny
Organisation: ANU Description: Australasian Drama Studies Association
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Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.


Book (6 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2012 Ewans MC, Aristophanes: Acharnians, Knights, and Peace, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, 304 (2012) [A1]
2010 Ewans MC, Aristophanes: Lysistrata, The women's festival, and Frogs. Translated and with theatrical commentaries by Michael Ewans, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, USA, 324 (2010) [A2]
2007 Ewans MC, Opera from the Greek: Studies in the Poetics of Appropriation, Ashgate Publishing, Surrey, 213 (2007) [A1]
2004 Ewans MC, Halton R, Phillips JA, Music Research: New Directions for a New Century, Cambridge Scholars Press, Amersham, 451 (2004) [A3]
Co-authors R Halton
2000 Ewans MC, Ley G, McCart G, Sophocles; Three Dramas of old Age, J M Dent, London and Vermont, 381 (2000) [A3]
1999 Ewans MC, Ley GH, McCart G, Sophocles: four dramas of maturity, Everyman Classics (J M Dent London/Charles E Tuttle Vermont), London and Vermont (1999) [A1]
Show 3 more books

Chapter (5 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2013 Ewans MC, 'Wagnerism in Moravia: Janácek's first opera, 'Sárka'', Wagner in Russia, Poland and the Czech Lands, Ashgate, Farnham 119-135 (2013) [B1]
2010 Belina A, Ewans MC, 'Taneyev's Oresteia', Ancient Drama in Music for the Modern Stage, Oxford University Press, Oxford 258-284 (2010) [B1]
2008 Ewans MC, 'Iphigenie en Tauride and Elektra: 'Apolline' and 'Dionysiac' Receptions of Greek Tragedy into Opera', A Companion to Classical Receptions, Blackwell Publishing, Malden 231-246 (2008) [B1]
2005 Ewans MC, 'Agamemnon's influence in Germany: Goethe, Schiller and Wagner', Agamemnon in Performance 458 BC-AD 2004, Oxford University Press, Oxford 107-118 (2005) [B1]
2002 Ewans MC, 'Performance-based Research into Greek Drama', Greek and Roman Drama; Translation and Performance (Beitrage zum antiken Drama und seiner Rezeption Band 12), J B Metzler, Stuttgart, Weimar 58-78 (2002) [B1]
Show 2 more chapters

Journal article (13 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2014 Ewans M, 'Ancient comedy and reception: essays in honor of Jeffrey Henderson, edited by S. Douglas', Comedy Studies, 5 216-221 (2014) [C3]
DOI 10.1080/2040610X.2014.979054
2014 Ewans M, 'The resolution of Joe Orton's What the Butler Saw', Comedy Studies, 5 148-154 (2014) [C1]
DOI 10.1080/2040610X.2014.967019
2013 Ewans M, 'J. Leonhardt, S. Leopold, M. Meier Wege, Umwege und Abwege. Antike und Oper in der 1. Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts. Pp. 127. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 2011. Paper, ¿32. ISBN: 978-3-515-09928-8', The Classical Review (New Series), 63 284-286 (2013) [C3]
DOI 10.1017/S0009840X12003411
2012 Ewans MC, Phiddian R, 'Risk-taking and transgression: Aristophanes' Lysistrata today', Didaskalia, 9 1 (2012) [C1]
2011 Ewans MC, 'Theorising Performance. Greek Drama, Cultural History and Critical Practice', Classical Review, 61 377-379 (2011) [C3]
2009 Ewans MC, 'Brecht at the opera', Comparative Drama, 43 116-118 (2009) [C3]
2009 Ewans MC, 'Ancient Rome in early opera', Comparative Drama, 43 282-284 (2009) [C3]
2008 Ewans MC, 'Comic business: Theatricality, dramatic technique, and performance contexts of Aristophanic comedy', Classical Review, 58 363-364 (2008) [C3]
DOI 10.1017/s0009840x0800019x
2008 Ewans MC, 'Mask and performance in Greek tragedy: From ancient festival to modern experimentation', Journal of Hellenic Studies, 128 191 (2008) [C3]
2007 Ewans MC, 'Iphigenie's power in Goethe's Iphigenie auf Tauris', Text and Presentation, 2006 35-42 (2007) [C1]
2007 Ewans MC, 'Found in translation: Greek drama in English (Book review)', New Theatre Quarterly, 23 427 (2007) [C3]
DOI 10.1017/s0266464x07000334
2003 Ewans MC, 'Michael Tippett: Music and Literature', A Journal of Music Research, 81 (2003) [C3]
2000 Ewans MC, 'Dominance and Submission, Rhetoric and Sincerity; Insights from a Production of Sophocles' 'Electra'', Helios, 27 123-136 (2000) [C1]
Show 10 more journal articles

Review (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2005 Ewans MC, ''Janacek and his World' ed. Michael Beckermann', Context : a journal of music research (2005) [D2]

Conference (5 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2012 Ewans MC, Gibb D, 'Aristophanic elements in 'South Park'', The 18th AHSN Annual Colloquium on "Varieties of Humour and Laughter", Canberra, ACT (2012) [E3]
2011 Ewans MC, 'Aristophanic elements in Monty Python's Life of Brian', 17th Australiasian Humour Studies Network (AHSN) Colloquium on 'Time, Place and Humour' Abstracts, Hobart, Tas (2011) [E3]
2009 Ewans MC, 'Opera: The bridge between music and drama', Proceedings of the 32nd National Conference of the Musicological Society of Australia: BRIDGES, Newcastle, NSW (2009) [E3]
2006 Ewans MC, 'Aristophanes and History: the Politics of Lysistrata, Thesmophoriazousai (The Women's Festival) and Frogs', Proceedings of the Ninth International Symposium on Ancient Greek Drama, Droushia-Paphos, Cyprus (2006) [E1]
2005 Ewans MC, 'Conquering Destiny in Enescu's Oedipe', 8th International Symposium on Ancient Greek Drama, Cyprus (2005) [E2]
Show 2 more conferences

Creative Work (3 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2006 Ewans MC, The Women's Festival by Aristophanes, Drama Studio, Callaghan, University of Newcastle (2006) [J1]
2005 Ewans MC, Aristrophanes, Lysistrata, Drama Studio (2005) [J1]
1998 Ewans MC, "Elektra" by Sophokles, Performing Art Newcastle (PAN), Newcastle (1998) [J2]
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants 17
Total funding $48,869

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.


20111 grants / $1,494

Music in Greek Drama; History, Theory and Practice, University of California Santa Cruz, 27 - 29 May 2011$1,494

Funding body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Education and Arts

Funding body University of Newcastle - Faculty of Education and Arts
Project Team Conjoint Professor Michael Ewans
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2011
Funding Finish 2011
GNo G1100552
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20071 grants / $4,079

The acting style for principal roles in modern professional productions of aristophanes$4,079

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Conjoint Professor Michael Ewans
Scheme Pilot Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2007
Funding Finish 2007
GNo G0187778
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20061 grants / $2,074

Comparative Drama 30 March 10 1 April 2006$2,074

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Conjoint Professor Michael Ewans
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2006
Funding Finish 2006
GNo G0186145
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20042 grants / $9,330

Creating experimental operas$9,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Conjoint Professor Michael Ewans
Scheme Project Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2004
Funding Finish 2004
GNo G0183369
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

SIMS (Symposium of the International Musicological Society) 2004, 11-16 July 2004, Melbourne$330

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Conjoint Professor Michael Ewans
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2004
Funding Finish 2004
GNo G0184115
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20031 grants / $430

Defining the Doctorate 2 to 4 October 2003$430

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Conjoint Professor Michael Ewans
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2003
Funding Finish 2003
GNo G0183606
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20011 grants / $3,000

Musicological Society of Australia Annual Conference from 2 October 2002 to 6 October 2002$3,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Conjoint Professor Michael Ewans
Scheme Conference Establishment Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2001
Funding Finish 2001
GNo G0181677
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

20001 grants / $890

Greek and Roman Drama Conference, University of Otago, Dunedin, NZ.$890

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Conjoint Professor Michael Ewans
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2000
Funding Finish 2000
GNo G0180419
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

19991 grants / $2,400

Annual Meeting of the American Philological Association Dallas Texas, USA$2,400

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Conjoint Professor Michael Ewans
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 1999
Funding Finish 1999
GNo G0179082
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

19982 grants / $8,225

Greek Tragedy Staging Project.$6,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Conjoint Professor Michael Ewans
Scheme Project Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 1998
Funding Finish 1998
GNo G0177330
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

International Society for the Classical Tradition 4th Meeting, Germany 29 July - 2 August 1998$2,225

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Conjoint Professor Michael Ewans
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 1998
Funding Finish 1998
GNo G0179789
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

19973 grants / $9,512

Janacek piano music project.$4,500

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Catherine Davis, Conjoint Professor Michael Ewans
Scheme Project Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 1997
Funding Finish 1997
GNo G0176667
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

Greek tragedy staging project$2,700

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Conjoint Professor Michael Ewans
Scheme Project Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 1997
Funding Finish 1997
GNo G0176621
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

Crossing the Stages: the Production, Performance and Reception of Ancient Theatre, Saskatoon, Canada, 23-26 October 1997$2,312

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Conjoint Professor Michael Ewans
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 1997
Funding Finish 1997
GNo G0179458
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

19963 grants / $7,435

Antigone video Production Loan$3,000

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Conjoint Professor Michael Ewans
Scheme Special Project Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 1996
Funding Finish 1996
GNo G0176314
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

Greek Tragedy staging project$2,500

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Conjoint Professor Michael Ewans
Scheme Project Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 1996
Funding Finish 1996
GNo G0175706
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y

Intern. Symposium on Ancient Greek Drama, Cyprus, 7-10 September, 1996$1,935

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Conjoint Professor Michael Ewans
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 1996
Funding Finish 1996
GNo G0176475
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE
UON Y
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Research Supervision

Number of supervisions

Completed22
Current3

Total current UON EFTSL

Masters0.55
PhD0.5

Current Supervision

Commenced Level of Study Research Title / Program / Supervisor Type
2014 Masters Workshopped Translations of Euripides' Helen and Iphigenia Amongst the Taurians
Studies In Human Society, Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle
Principal Supervisor
2011 Masters Rhetorical Concepts and Mozart : Elements of Classical Oratory in his drammi per musica
Music, Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle
Co-Supervisor
2010 PhD Aeschylus as Oral Performance : Rhythm Structure and Meaning in the Persians
Studies In Human Society, Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle
Principal Supervisor

Past Supervision

Year Level of Study Research Title / Program / Supervisor Type
2011 PhD A Study of Vocal Technique and its Practical Application to Repertoire that Demonstrates the Development of Music Theatre in the Western World
Music, Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle
Sole Supervisor
2010 Masters Love and Death in Art Song and Opera from 1810 to 1947
Music, Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle
Sole Supervisor
2008 PhD Contemporary Guitar Repertoire: A Performer's Examination of Preparation and Performance
Music, Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle
Sole Supervisor
2008 PhD Tempo Indications of Mozart: An Analytical Study of Performance Practice in the Twentieth Century as it Relates to The Magic Flute and The Marriage of Figaro
Music, Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle
Sole Supervisor
2007 Masters Spinto Repertoire and the Development of the Spinto Voice Towards the Spinto Voice - A Musical and Personal Journey
Music, Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle
Principal Supervisor
2007 Masters Russian Vocal Repertoire and Parallels in the International Literature
Music, Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle
Principal Supervisor
2007 PhD The role of the Violin in Expressing the Musical Ideas of the Romantic Period and the Development of Violin Techniques in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries
Music, Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle
Principal Supervisor
2007 PhD A Composer's Journey
Music, Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle
Principal Supervisor
2006 Masters Gerald English
Music, Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle
Sole Supervisor
2006 PhD The opera performer as actor: An Australian perspective
Music, Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle
Sole Supervisor
2006 Masters Ripple and its Relation to Current Postcolonial Playwriting
Drama & Theatre Studies, Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle
Sole Supervisor
2006 Masters Didjeridu Journey
Music, Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle
Sole Supervisor
2006 PhD The Music of Nigel Butterley 1950-2001
Music, Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle
Sole Supervisor
2006 PhD Viola Vives
Music, Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle
Sole Supervisor
2005 Masters 88 Keys...No Doors. Beginner to intermediate level jazz piano education: the Australian perspective
Music, Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle
Sole Supervisor
2005 PhD Renewing the Musical Tradition in an Australian Cathedral - Developments in Liturgical Music at Christ Church Cathedral, Newcastle
Music, Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle
Sole Supervisor
2004 PhD Performance Practices in Italian Music for Female Voice 1800-1850
Music, Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle
Sole Supervisor
2004 Masters Developing Stage Craft and Vocal Technique
Music, Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle
Sole Supervisor
2004 Masters Beyond A Beautiful Voice
Music, Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle
Principal Supervisor
2003 PhD Beyond Sacred and Maninya - Developments in the Music of Ross Edwards Between 1991-2001
Music, Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle
Sole Supervisor
2003 PhD An examination of Max Brod's German performing versions of the works of Leos Jan¿cek
Music, Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle
Sole Supervisor
2002 Masters The Sacred Road to Mozart. A Study of Early Music Techniques from East and West and the Transition to Baroque and Classical Period Repertoire
Music, Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle
Principal Supervisor
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Conjoint Professor Michael Ewans

Position

Conjoint Professor
School of Humanities and Social Science
Faculty of Education and Arts

Focus area

Drama

Contact Details

Email michael.ewans@newcastle.edu.au
Mobile 0434902350

Office

Room MCLG 27
Building McMullin
Location Callaghan
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308
Australia
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