Winner of the 2007 Otto Kinkeldey Award from the American Musicological Society and the 2007 Deems Taylor Award from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers. Divas and Scholars is a dazzling and beguiling account of how opera comes to the stage, filled with Philip Gossett’s personal experiences of triumphant—and even failed—performances and suffused with his towering and tonic passion for music. Writing as a fan, a musician, and a scholar, Gossett, the world's leading authority on the performance of Italian opera, brings colorfully to life the problems, and occasionally the scandals, that attend the production of some of our most favorite operas. Gossett begins by tracing the social history of nineteenth-century Italian theaters in order to explain the nature of the musical scores from which performers have long worked. He then illuminates the often hidden but crucial negotiations opera scholars and opera conductors and performers: What does it mean to talk about performing from a critical edition? How does one determine what music to perform when multiple versions of an opera exist? What are the implications of omitting passages from an opera in a performance? In addition to vexing questions such as these, Gossett also tackles issues of ornamentation and transposition in vocal style, the matters of translation and adaptation, and even aspects of stage direction and set design. Throughout this extensive and passionate work, Gossett enlivens his history with reports from his own experiences with major opera companies at venues ranging from the Metropolitan and Santa Fe operas to the Rossini Opera Festival at Pesaro. The result is a book that will enthrall both aficionados of Italian opera and newcomers seeking a reliable introduction to it—in all its incomparable grandeur and timeless allure.
"Divas and Scholars" is a dazzling and beguiling account of how opera comes to the stage, filled with Philip Gossett's personal experiences of triumphant - and even failed - performances and suffused with his towering passion for music. Gossett, the world's leading authority on the performance of Italian opera, brings to life the problems, and occasionally the scandals, that attend the production of some of our favorite operas.Gossett begins by tracing the social history of nineteenth-century Italian theaters in order to explain the nature of the musical scores from which performers have long worked. He then illuminates the often hidden but crucial negotiations between what is written and how it is interpreted by opera conductors and performers.
'Divas and Scholars' is an account of how opera comes to the stage, filled with Philip Gossett's personal experiences of triumphant - and even failed - performances and suffused with his towering and tonic passion for music. Writing as a fan, a musician, and a scholar, Gossett, the world's leading authority on the performance of Italian opera, brings colourfully to life the problems, and occasionally the scandals, that attend the production of some of the world's most favourite operas.
David Kimbell traces the history of Italian opera from the Renaissance to the early twentieth century.
William C. Holmes provides a rare look behind the scenes into the world of early eighteenth-century Italian opera. Based on a rich store of newly recovered documents, mainly the personal papers of Luca Casimiro degli Albizzi, this social history illuminates the complexities of staging opera in the 1720s and '30s: the role of the impresario in planning an operatic season, financial and artistic difficulties, the importance of patronage, the power of individual singers and composers, considerations of set design, and the practice of altering librettos. A member of an illustrious Florentine family, Albizzi (1664-1745) served as one of the principal impresarios of the Pergola, Florence's earliest and greatest opera theater. He also carried on an active correspondence with impresarios in other cities, freely giving his advice on various economic and artistic concerns. Holmes uses the Albizzi family archives—the most abundant and varied material yet available about an eighteenth-century impresario and his theater—to deepen our knowledge of an extraordinary but little understood period in Italian opera. This book will appeal to anyone curious about operatic history.
"That Ellen Rosand's understanding of seventeenth-century Venetian opera is encyclopedic has long been recognized. By focusing her attention now on all three of the last operas of Claudio Monteverdi, however, she has met a formidable challenge: this book demonstrates how to put philology at the service of interpretation and interpretation at the service of philology. All those who care about these operas, fundamental to the development of the genre itself, and about scholarship in the Humanities, will profit from her masterful achievement."--Philip Gossett, the Robert W. Reneker Distinguished Service Professor at The University of Chicago and author of Divas and Scholars: Performing Italian Opera "Ellen Rosand's monumental study is so much more than a meticulous exploration and explanation of all the surviving material and its many literary and musical sources. She presents ingenious, utterly convincing solutions to the problems posed by this material, offering therefore countless new insights into Monteverdi's last two surviving operas, the great Poppea and Ulisse, while also reeling in to this forensic examination the tantalisingly lost score of Le nozze de Enea. Her feel for the music is inspiring, and her theatrical instinct exemplary. This is a book of phenomenal clarity and great passion, and an indispensable addition to our understanding of this great composer."--Jane Glover, Conductor and Music Director for Chicago's Music of the Baroque.
'Impressive volume... as a Professor of music history, I would require graduate students, both performers and incipient musicologists, to read extensively from this volume, with full confidence that it would open their minds to the myriad problems inherent in editing and performing music and engender lively, thoughtful discussion.' -The Opera Quarterly'Much of the material is clearly applicable to modern performance of a wide range of music... Verdi in Performance provides state-of-the-art discussion not only of Verdi scholarship as related to performance, but stimulating presentation of universal music performance concerns by some of the leading scholars, directors, and conductors currently active. The discussions present a myriad of viewpoints and considerations, and both the format of the volume (statement and responses) and the contents encourage further open-ended discussion.' -The Opera Quarterly'A book short in length but rich in intellectual stimulation.' -BBC Music Magazine'Anyone who minds about Verdi will find much here of interest.' -OperaThis anthology of essays by leading Verdi scholars and practitioners, which grew out of an international conference, is essential reading for anyone interested in the way Verdi's operas are performed. It is a lively debate on 'authentic' staging, performance practice, Verdi's ballet scores, and critical editions.
For Nietzsche, music gave access to a realm of wisdom that transcended thought. Music was Nietzsche's great solace; in his last years, it was his refuge from madness."--BOOK JACKET.
These five biographies provide the first complete survey of Italian opera from the early buffo operas of Rossini to Verdi's great masterpieces, Otello and Falstaff, and the verismo operas of Puccini. Andrew Porter has been highly praised for his original and enlightening account of Verdi, and Philip Gossett has received similar acclaim for his treatment of Rossini. Porter, Gossett, William Ashbrooke, Julian Budden, Mosco Carner, and Friedrich Lippmann, all acknowledged experts in the field of Italian opera, combine to offer insight into the traditions and workings of one of the most fascinating periods in the history of opera. Book jacket.
In this innovative study, Gilles de Van focuses on an often neglected aspect of Verdi's operas: their effectiveness as theater. De Van argues that two main aesthetic conceptions underlie all of Verdi's works: that of the "melodrama" and the "musical drama." In the melodrama the composer relies mainly on dramatic intensity and the rhythm linking various stages of the plot, using exemplary characters and situations. But in the musical drama reality begins to blur, the musical forms lose their excessively neat patterns, and doubt and ambiguity undermine characters and situations, reflecting the crisis of character typical of modernity. Although melodrama tends to dominate Verdi's early work and musical drama his later, both aesthetics are woven into all his operas: musical drama is already present in Ernani (1844), and melodrama is still present in Otello (1887). Indeed, much of the interest and originality of Verdi's operas lies in his adherence to both these contradictory systems, allowing the composer/dramatist to be simultaneously classical and modern, traditionalist and innovator.
Provocative and timely, Disciplining Music confronts a topic that has sparked considerable debate in recent years: how do musicians and music scholars "discipline" music in their efforts to confer order and meaning on it? This collection of essays addresses this issue by formulating questions about music's canons—rules that measure and order, negotiate cultural constraints, reconstruct the past, and shape the future. Written by scholars representing the fields of historical musicology, ethnomusicology, and music theory, many of the essays tug and push at the very boundaries of these traditional division within the study of music. "Fortunately, in a blaze of good-humored . . . scholarship, [this] book helps brains unaccustomed to thinking about the future without jeopardizing the past imagine the wonder classical-music life might become if it embraced all people and all musics."—Laurence Vittes, Los Angeles Reader "These essays will force us to rethink our position on many issues. . . [and] advance musicology into the twenty-first century."—Giulio Ongaro, American Music Teacher With essays by Katherine Bergeron, Philip V. Bohlman, Richard Cohn and Douglas Dempster, Philip Gossett, Robert P. Morgan, Bruno Nettl, Don Michael Randel, Ruth A. Solie, and Gary Tomlinson.
Bringing Salieri, his operas, and eighteenth-century Viennese theater vividly to life, Rice places Salieri where he belongs: no longer lurking in Mozart's shadow, but standing proudly among the leading opera composers of his age. Rice's research in the archives of Vienna and Budapest and close study of the scores reveal Salieri to have been a prolific, versatile, and adventurous composer for the stage. Countering the old view of Salieri as Mozart's mortal enemy with musical evidence suggesting that Mozart and Salieri learned from and respected one another, Rice argues that Salieri's operatic innovations paved the way for some of Mozart's most remarkable achievements. A generous selection of excerpts from Salieri's works, most previously unpublished, will give readers a fuller appreciation for his musical style than was previously possible.
An oversized celebration of the signature performances of the American Ballet Theater features lavish photographs of such dancers as Angel Corella, Alessandra Ferri, and Ethan Stiefal in a range of productions, from Othello and The Sleeping Beauty to Swan Lake and Giselle.
Leonard Meyer proposes a theory of style and style change that relates the choices made by composers to the constraints of psychology, cultural context, and musical traditions. He explores why, out of the abundance of compositional possibilities, composers choose to replicate some patterns and neglect others. Meyer devotes the latter part of his book to a sketch-history of nineteenth-century music. He shows explicitly how the beliefs and attitudes of Romanticism influenced the choices of composers from Beethoven to Mahler and into our own time. "A monumental work. . . . Most authors concede the relation of music to its cultural milieu, but few have probed so deeply in demonstrating this interaction."—Choice "Probes the foundations of musical research precisely at the joints where theory and history fold into one another."—Kevin Korsyn, Journal of American Musicological Society "A remarkably rich and multifaceted, yet unified argument. . . . No one else could have brought off this immense project with anything like Meyer's command."—Robert P. Morgan, Music Perception "Anyone who attempts to deal with Romanticism in scholarly depth must bring to the task not only musical and historical expertise but unquenchable optimism. Because Leonard B. Meyer has those qualities in abundance, he has been able to offer fresh insight into the Romantic concept."—Donal Henahan, New York Times
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.
In nineteenth-century Europe the ruling elites viewed the theater as a form of communication which had enormous importance. The theater provided the most significant form of mass entertainment and was the only arena aside from the church in which regular mass gatherings were possible. Therefore, drama censorship occupied a great deal of the ruling class’s time and energy, with a particularly focus on proposed scripts that potentially threatened the existing political, legal, and social order. This volume provides the first comprehensive examination of nineteenth-century political theater censorship at a time, in the aftermath of the French Revolution, when the European population was becoming increasingly politically active.
Leading scholars investigate the ways in which operas by nineteenth-century Italian composers have been reshaped and revived over time.
'The Oxford Handbook of Opera' captures the highly charged dynamic between opera and its audience, bringing the complexities of scholarship and the excitement of performance into the mainstream conversation. Fifty essays address an extensive range of topics.
"In clear, witty prose, Evan Baker covers all the major players and pieces involved in getting an opera onto the stage, from the stage director who creates the artistic concept for the production and guides the singers' interpretation of their roles to the blocking of singers and placement of scenery. He concentrates on the people--composers, librettists, designers, and technicians--as well as the theaters and events that generated developments in opera production. Additional topics include the many difficulties in performing an opera, the functions of impresarios, and the business of music publishing. Delving into the absorbing and often neglected history of stage directing, theater architecture and technology, and scenic and lighting design, Baker nimbly links these technical aspects of opera to actual performances and performers, and the social context in which they appeared. Out of these details arise illuminating discussions of individual productions that cast new light on the operas of Wagner, Verdi, and others." -- Publisher's website.

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