This slightly irreverent guide to opera summarizes the plots of 17 of the world's great operas, including Aida, La Boheme, and Carmen, and describes their characters, artists, and composers.
As a nuts-and-bolts operagoer's guide, Denis Forman's book is richly incisive. It's equally satisfying as a tart, effervescent take on the solemn world of opera.
The author--a British television executive and former deputy chairman of the Royal Opera House--covers most of the likely offerings of your local repertory company, with a few questionable omissions (Peter Grimes) and inclusions (The Threepenny Opera). For each he provides a synopsis, musical highlights, critical remarks, and historical information (the premiere of Il Trovatore: "stupendous"; that of Norma: "a flop"). Another section offers comments on everything from the craze for authenticity to the practice of booing.
Forman's opinions sometimes run athwart of convention. Falstaff "has no sex appeal and no heart, and opera demands both these qualities"; Tristan und Isolde is the creation of "the Wagner that liked to spend time stroking velvet." His tone, especially in the synopses, is often evocative of Anna Russell's opera parodies: "It really is too bad of you Tristan to die on me like this. She passes out."
The prose can be cute, but that fits Forman's approach of puncturing the inflated atmosphere of opera while glorying in it. Though he is most entertaining when he's daring to shout in church, his enthusiasms are as illuminating as his barbs. "Traviata is the first grown-up opera about contemporary life," he says, adroitly locating that work in operatic history. In Don Giovanni, "Mozart brought terror to the opera stage for the first time." It's the book's greatest pleasure that Forman's passion is matched by his knowledge. --David OlivenbaumAbout the Author:
Sir Denis Forman was for nine years the deputy chairman of the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden in London. He was a founding member of the Granada television franchise in the United Kingdom and became its chairman and chief executive, responsible for its acclaimed drama program, which included The Jewel in the Crown. Sir Denis lives near London.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Descrizione libro Random House, 1995. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Condizione sovraccoperta: New. 12876 Language: eng. Codice libro della libreria BU662A
Descrizione libro Random House, 1995. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria 0679445536
Descrizione libro Random House, 1995. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria P110679445536
Descrizione libro Random House, 1995. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria DADAX0679445536
Descrizione libro Random House. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. 0679445536 New Condition. Codice libro della libreria NEW6.0338708