Blackness in Opera by Naomi André; Karen M. Bryan (Editor); Eric Saylor (Editor); Guthrie P. Ramsey (Foreword by)Blackness in Opera critically examines the intersections of race and music in the multifaceted genre of opera. A diverse cross-section of scholars places well-known operas (Porgy and Bess, Aida, Treemonisha) alongside lesser-known works such as Frederick Delius's Koanga, William Grant Still's Blue Steel, and Clarence Cameron White's Ouanga! to reveal a new historical context for re-imagining race and blackness in opera. The volume brings a wide-ranging, theoretically informed, interdisciplinary approach to questions about how blackness has been represented in these operas, issues surrounding characterization of blacks, interpretation of racialized roles by blacks and whites, controversies over race in the theatre and the use of blackface, and extensions of blackness along the spectrum from grand opera to musical theatre and film. In addition to essays by scholars, the book also features reflections by renowned American tenor George Shirley. Contributors are Naomi André, Melinda Boyd, Gwynne Kuhner Brown, Karen M. Bryan, Melissa J. de Graaf, Christopher R. Gauthier, Jennifer McFarlane-Harris, Gayle Murchison, Guthrie P. Ramsey Jr., Eric Saylor, Sarah Schmalenberger, Ann Sears, George Shirley, and Jonathan O. Wipplinger.
Publication Date: 2012-02-23
The Cambridge Companion to Opera Studies by Nicholas Till (Editor)With its powerful combination of music and theatre, opera is one of the most complex and yet immediate of all art forms. Once opera was studied only as 'a stepchild of musicology', but in the past two decades opera studies have experienced an explosion of energy with the introduction of new approaches drawn from disciplines such as social anthropology and performance studies to media theory, genre theory, gender studies and reception history. Written by leading scholars in opera studies today, this Companion offers a wide-ranging guide to a rapidly expanding field of study and new ways of thinking about a rich and intriguing art form, placing opera back at the centre of our understanding of Western culture over the past 400 years. This book gives lovers of opera as well as those studying the subject a comprehensive approach to the many facets of opera in the past and today.
Publication Date: 2012-12-05
German Opera by John Warrack; Tim Carter (Contribution by); John Deathridge (Contribution by); Arthur Groos (Contribution by); James Hepokoski (Contribution by); Paul Robinson (Contribution by); Ellen Rosand (Contribution by)German opera from its primitive origins up to Wagner is the subject of this wide-ranging history. It traces the growth of the humble Singspiel into a vehicle for the genius of Mozart and Beethoven, together with the persistent attempts at German Grand Opera. Seventeenth-century Hamburg opera, the role of the travelling companies and Viennese Singspiel are all explored. Discussions that from early days absorbed Germans concerned for the development of a national art are followed, together with the influence of new critical thought at the start of the nineteenth century. The many operas studied are placed in their historical, social and theatrical context, and attention is paid to the literary, artistic and philosophical ideas that made them part of the country's intellectual history. Warrack assesses the contributions of Schubert, Mendelssohn and Schumann, as well as Weber and Hoffmann, among others.
Publication Date: 2001-04-26
Historical Dictionary of Opera by Scott L. BalthazarOpera has been around ever since the late 16th century, and it is still going strong in the sense that operas are performed around the world at present, and known by infinitely more persons than just those who attend performances. On the other hand, it has enjoyed periods in the past when more operas were produced to greater acclaim. Those periods inevitably have pride of place in this Historical Dictionary of Opera, as do exceptional singers, and others who combine to fashion the opera, whether or not they appear on stage. But this volume looks even further afield, considering the cities which were and still are opera centers, literary works which were turned into librettos, and types of pieces and genres. While some of the former can be found on the web or in other sources, most of the latter cannot and it is impossible to have the whole picture without them. Indeed, this book has an amazingly broad scope. The dictionary section, with about 340 entries, covers the topics mentioned above but obviously focuses most on composers, not just the likes of Mozart, Verdi and Wagner, but others who are scarcely remembered but made notable contributions. Of course, there are the divas, but others singers as well, and some of the most familiar operas, Don Giovanni, Tosca and more. Technical terms also abound, and reference to different genres, from antimasque to zarzuela. Since opera has been around so long, the chronology is rather lengthy, since it has a lot of ground to cover, and the introduction sets the scene for the rest. This book should not be an end but rather a beginning, so it has a substantial bibliography for readers seeking more specific or specialized works. It is an excellent access point for readers interested in opera.
Publication Date: 2013-07-05
Living Opera by Joshua JampolHere is a fascinating collection of 20 wide-ranging interviews with the preeminent opera singers, conductors, directors, and designers working on and behind the stage today.In Living Opera, Joshua Jampol invites opera-lovers to listen in as performers such as Renee Fleming, Natalie Dessay, Rolando Villazon and Placido Domingo speak in exceptionally frank terms about their strengths and weaknesses and address such hard-hitting topics as how they deal with critics, vocaltroubles, and balancing their career and family lives. We hear conductors such as James Conlon, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Kent Nagano discuss their likes and dislikes about the state of contemporary opera, their own inspirations, whom they hope to inspire, and how opera can remain relevant today.World-class directors such as Robert Carsen and Patrice Chereau discuss the complexities involved in staging a successful opera. Jampol has unprecedented access to all the major singers, conductors, and directors, and the table of contents reads like a "who's who" of the global opera world. Eachinterview highlights a distinctive voice speaking about his or her career path, first break, colleagues, major influences, audiences, critics and all the diverse professions making up the emotional and extravagant world of the lyric arts. Jampol brings immense knowledge and a wonderful flair tothese conversations, allowing his subjects to follow their thoughts wherever they lead and revealing in the process a more intimate, reflective side of such stars as Pierre Boulez, William Christie, Joyce DiDonato, Seiji Ozawa, Samuel Ramey, and many others.For anyone wanting to know more about the people behind the performances - what they think, how they feel, and who they really are - Living Opera is full of delights and surprises.
Publication Date: 2010-05-04
The Opera Manual by Nicholas Ivor MartinYou are getting ready for a performance of Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore and you have a few questions. How many clarinets are in the orchestra? How many orchestra members appear onstage? How many different sets are there? How long does the opera typically run? What are the key arias? Are any special effects or ballet choreography required? Who owns the rights? Where was it premiered? What are the leading and supporting roles? The Opera Manual is the only single source for the answers to these and other important questions. It is the ultimate companion for opera lovers, professionals, scholars, and teachers, featuring comprehensive information about, and plot summaries for, more than 550 operas--including every opera that is likely to be performed today, from standard to rediscovered contemporary works. The book is invaluable, especially for opera professionals, who will find everything they need for choosing and staging operas. But it is also a treasure for listeners. Similar reference books commonly skip over scenes and supporting characters in their plot summaries, lacking even the most basic facts about staging, orchestral, and vocal requirements. The Opera Manual, based on the actual scores of the works discussed, is the only exhaustive, up-to-date opera companion--a "recipe book" that will enable its readers to explore those operas they know and discover new ones to sample and enjoy.