Opera History and Reference
The History of Opera for Beginners
Paperback ISBN: 193438979x
Opera For Beginners is a humorous, little book that starts with the radical assumption that Opera is just plain old music, rather than the highbrow, inaccessible music that everyone assumes it to be. The reader will learn the difference between Italian and German Opera and why you don't have to study a new language to enjoy Opera. Opera For Beginners is an ideal introduction for people who are convinced that opera is solely for those refined few who were born listening to arias.
The Rake's Progress
Paperback ISBN: 0521281997
The Rake's Progress is Stravinsky's biggest work and one of the few great operas written since the 1920s, rare too for the unusual quality of its libretto, by Auden and Kallman. Its importance is undisputed, but so too are the problems it raises: problems of both performance and understanding, caused by the irony with which it is so thoroughly permeated. In aspects of style and operatic convention it looks back to the eighteenth century, and in particular to the operas of Mozart and da Ponte, while making references also to other periods, to operas from Monteverdi to Verdi. Yet at the same time it is wholly a work of the twentieth century, and indeed it is centrally concerned with the impossibility of return, artistic, psychological or actual, as well as with the nature and limitiation of human free will. The Rake's Progress is not one of unbridled dissipation but rather, more interestingly, one of attachment to naive notions of freedom and choice, and his tragedy is that he can never go back.
Hardcover ISBN: 1574674536
(Amadeus). In Character: Opera Portraiture memorably captures operatic performers away from the audience but fully inhabiting their roles. It showcases the work of John F. Martin, who for years set up a portable studio in the basement of the San Francisco Opera and photographed the players in costume and full makeup right before or after they took the stage. The subjects range from nonsinging supernumeraries through chorus members and comprimarii to opera's greatest stars, such as Anna Netrebko, Natalie Dessay, Deborah Voigt, Juan Diego Florez, and Dmitri Hvorostovsky. Their roles run the gamut of opera personalities: heroes and heroines, villains and outcasts, royalty and common folk, Biblical figures and creatures of myth. Facing Martin's camera, each artist projects the essence of his or her character, however great or small the part. The book also features a foreword by author Amy Tan; a preface by David Gockley, general director of the San Francisco Opera; essays on opera behind the scenes, the vital role of costumes, and the transformation of singers into characters; and an interview with world-renowned soprano Danielle de Niese. A collection unlike any other, In Character will have broad appeal-to opera and theater buffs, costume and fashion aficionados, and anyone who appreciates fine art photography.
In My Own Voice
Hardcover ISBN: 0879102810
One of the greatest mezzo-sopranos of postwar opera, Christa Ludwig recalls her long and lustrous career singing for two generations of adoring audiences, under the batons of such conductors as Klemperer, Karajan, Solti, and Bernstein, in the great opera houses of the world. Her memoirs make clear why Bernstein said of her, "She is simply the best, and the best of all possible human beings."
Indivisible by Four
A String Quartet in Pursuit of Harmony
Paperback ISBN: 0374527008
The Guarneri Quartet is fabled for its unique longevity and high-spirited virtuosity. Here is its story from the inside--a story filled with drama, humor, danger, compassion, and, of course, glorious music. A player who studies and performs the exalted string-quartet repertoire has opted for a very special life. Arnold Steinhardt, tracing his own development as a student, orchestra player, and budding young soloist, gives a touching account of how he and his intrepid colleagues were converted to chamber music despite the daunting odds against success. And he reveals, as no one has before, the intensely difficult process by which--on the battlefield of daily three-hour rehearsals--four individualists master and then overcome the confining demands of ensemble playing.
The Inner Voice
The Making of a Singer
Paperback ISBN: 0143035940
A Grammy Award-winning soprano whose achievements earned her an honorary doctor of music from the Juilliard School describes her struggles to launch her career, the individuals who influenced her life, the challenges she faces with the business side of the music industry, and her philosophies about the heart-throat-mind connection. Reprint.
The Inner Voice
The Making of a Singer
Hardcover ISBN: 0670033510
A Grammy Award-winning soprano whose achievements earned her an honorary doctor of music from the Juilliard School describes her struggles to launch her career, the individuals who influenced her life, the challenges she faces with the business side of the music industry, and her philosophies about the heart-throat-mind connection. 75,000 first printing.
Paperback ISBN: 0521466431
Italy was the birthplace of opera. In this authoritative and accessible account of Italian opera, David Kimbell introduces those who, over three hundred years, created not only a national tradition but the central tradition from which others have drawn their inspiration. He traces the history of Italian opera from its origins in the humanism of the Renaissance to Puccini in the early twentieth century, drawing attention not only to musical issues but also to the social, literary, and philosophical ideas that have shaped modern Italian civilization.
Jesus of Nazareth and Other Writings
Paperback ISBN: 0803297807
Near the end of his life, Richard Wagner supervised the publication of his collected writings, providing an extensive view of his thoughts about art and politics from his youth to his final period of triumph. After his death, there was still more to be told: his admirers discovered a large number of writings he had forgotten, misplaced, never published, or had chosen to omit from his collected works. This volume, the last of eight volumes now reprinted by the University of Nebraska Press, collects the most illuminating of those works. The title work, “Jesus of Nazareth,” was written in 1848 or 1849; its composition coincided with the most widespread revolutionary ferment seen in Europe. It expresses Wagner’s own revolutionary ideals, thoroughly justified (or so he thought) by Jesus and the early Church. At the time Wagner considered Jesus as a revolutionary leader whose struggles with authority and traditions were much like his own.<br><br>The opening work is “Siegfried’s Death,” a poem written in 1848 that set the tone for his most famous operatic work, the tetralogy Der Ring des Nibelungen. Whole sections of the poem were later incorporated into the fourth Ring opera, Gotterdammerung, but the differences are as revealing as the carryover. The essays that Wagner published in journals but saw fit to exclude from his Gesammelte Schriften might have embarrassed the elderly sage but are key documents to Wagner’s activities in his revolutionary period. For example, his ardently prorevolutionary essay, “The Revolution,” would have displeased the wealthy patrons of his later years. This edition includes the full text of volume 8 of the translation of Wagner’s works published in 1899 for the London Wagner Society.