Opera History and Reference
Dramma Per Musica
Italian Opera Seria of the Eighteenth Century
Hardcover ISBN: 0300064543
Dramma per musica?the most usual term for Italian serious opera from the seventeenth to the early nineteenth century?was a modern, enlightened form of theater that presented a unified, artistically designed, dramatic enactment of human stories, expressed by the voice and underscored by the orchestra. This book by one of the world’s most eminent musicologists illustrates the diversity of this baroque art form and explains how it has given us opera as we know it. Reinhard Strohm introduces the concept and history of dramma per musica and then examines the contemporary reception and environment of this operatic tradition, analyzing its social and repertorial patterns and comparing it to theories on the roles of French spoken drama and Italian libretto reform. In describing the principles observed by poets, composers, and performers, Strohm discusses such central concepts of theory and practice as verisimilitude, decorum, gesture, and rhetoric. He also decodes various works, including Handel’s Ariodante, operas by Hasse, and stage works featuring the Earl of Essex. Throughout the book, Strohm surveys the traditions of the spoken theater and pays special attention to the subject matter of the librettos, as well as to drama theory, stage action, patronage, political history, and ideology. His account covers opera houses in Rome, Naples, Venice, Hamburg, Dresden, Vienna, Madrid, London, and Warsaw, as he follows one character of the dramatic tradition across the European stages for more than two centuries. Authoritative and enlightening, this book reveals how dramma per musica forms a vital part of our theatrical and musical heritage.
From Flower Maiden to Marschallin
Hardcover ISBN: 1574671758
Tells the story of this beautiful soprano who has been deemed one of the greatest singers of the last century through a review of her career on the opera stage and the noted roles she played, enhanced with more than 170 photos of the singer, her costumes, and private estate.
Hardcover ISBN: 1501102311
The author shares how, as a promising soprano studying at a celebrated academy, she was diagnosed with a dire pulmonary condition and had to undergo two double-lung transplants, and how she later reclaimed her life and rebuilt her career.
My Father and My Family
Paperback ISBN: 1574670220
Drawing on the personal recollections of the Caruso brothers, archival material preserved by the family, and extensive research, this book is a rare tribute to to the man and his vocal legacy. This abridged edition includes the full original text covering Caruso's life and death, plus a current discography.
Finding An Ending
Reflections On Wagner's Ring
Paperback ISBN: 0195183606
Few musical works loom as large in Western culture as Richard Wagner's four-part Ring of the Nibelung. In Finding an Ending, two eminent philosophers, Philip Kitcher and Richard Schacht, offer an illuminating look at this greatest of Wagner's achievements, focusing on its far-reaching and subtle exploration of problems of meanings and endings in this life and world. Kitcher and Schacht plunge the reader into the heart of Wagner's Ring, drawing out the philosophical and human significance of the text and the music. They show how different forms of love, freedom, heroism, authority, and judgment are explored and tested as it unfolds. As they journey across its sweeping musical-dramatic landscape, Kitcher and Schacht lead us to the central concern of the Ring--the problem of endowing life with genuine significance that can be enhanced rather than negated by its ending, if the right sort of ending can be found. The drama originates in Wotan's quest for a transformation of the primordial state of things into a world in which life can be lived more meaningfully. The authors trace the evolution of Wotan's efforts, the intricate problems he confronts, and his failures and defeats. But while the problem Wotan poses for himself proves to be insoluble as he conceives of it, they suggest that his very efforts and failures set the stage for the transformation of his problem, and for the only sort of resolution of it that may be humanly possible--to which it is not Siegfried but rather Brï¿½nnhilde who shows the way. The Ring's ending, with its passing of the gods above and destruction of the world below, might seem to be devastating; but Kitcher and Schacht see a kind of meaning in and through the ending revealed to us that is profoundly affirmative, and that has perhaps never been so powerfully and so beautifully expressed.
Commentaries from the Met Revised and Enlarged Edition
Paperback ISBN: 087910970x
For well over twenty years, M. Owen Lee has been offering intermission talks during the Saturday afternoon Texaco Metropolitan Opera broadcasts, which now reach countries on six continents. In this book, Father Lee covers various operas of Mozart, Verdi, Wagner, Puccini and Richard Strauss, as well as a selection of French operas, including Faust, Carmen and Les Contes d'Hoffman. In all, his repertory contains 23 operatic masterworks, to all of which he brings insight, learning and the most infectious enthusiasm. "One just cannot get enough of [Father Lee's] brilliant, stimulating, thought-provoking insights...I feel there is no one more knowledgeable or qualified in the entire field of opera commentary. No one." - The Opera Quarterly
His Life & Music
Hardcover ISBN: 0879100796
"Jordan paints a rich portrait of Halevy at the height of his powers in the mid-1850s. A prolific output included at least one new opera a year, occasionally three...he was renowned as a productive public speaker, author of learned papers...a supporter of young artists, much loved professor of composition to Saint-Saens, Gounod and Bizet, a husband and father of two daughters."