An analysis of opera covers the sources of its myths, current controversies, and opera's place in history, and covers major singers and composers
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A Song of Love and Death: The Meaning of Opera
Graywolf's updated edition of this classic book on opera includes a new afterword by author Peter Conrad.
"This is an astonishing book. I know of no other opera survey in English (or any other language) tossed off with such exuberant verbal virtuosity."--The New York Times Book Review
"Perhaps the most intellectually stimulating book on the subject in the past thirty years."--Publishers Weekly
Arguing that opera's deepest roots lie in our most fundamental human rituals, Peter Conrad shows us the faces of the gods that still hover over the pageant--gods of music, abandon, evil, love. then, with the dizzying skill of a practiced literary and cultural critic, the author takes us on a ride through the repertoire of operas past and present. Finally, he brings us to the climactic moment of the form: the performance. We meet the great personalities--from Puccini to Bernstein to Domingo--in their element, and see anew how their celebrity and their artistry affect us all.
"A Song of Love and Death will give pleasure to people who are learning to love opera as well as those who already know what they love."--Richard SennettAbout the Author:
Peter Conrad was born in Australia and since 1973 has taught English literature at Christ Church, Oxford. He has been visiting professor at Princeton University and Williams College and has contributed essays and reviews to leading periodicals on both sides of the Atlantic. Among his books are Romantic Opera and Literary Form, Television: the Medium and Its Manners, and The Everyman History of English Literature. He divides his time between Oxford, London, and New York.
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Book Description Sep 01, 1988, 1988. Book Condition: New. Trade paperback 1st edition / 2nd printing. Square uncreased spine. No marks. Cover as shown. New. Bookseller Inventory # 05071521
Book Description Poseidon Pr, 1988. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110671672630
Book Description Poseidon Press, 1987. Soft cover. Book Condition: New. From Library Journal: The premise of this intelligent, self-indulgent, idiosyncratic discussion of the meaning of opera is buried in a brilliant maze of discursive analysis. As he follows the musical treatment of five prototypical characters who appear continually throughout opera, Conrad bogs down in endless explication of plots. Far too many operas, as well as performances of directors, singer/actors, and conductors, are analyzed in merciless, often psychological detail. When Conrad turns to the opera houses themselves, discussing audiences and recent house design, he is both more interesting and bitingly funny. Tightly and colorfully written by a literary scholar, this book will appeal to fanatical opera buffs only. Philippa Kiraly, Cleveland, Ohio Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. Ingram A Song of Love and Death examines the art of opera with the same creative insight that Susan Sontag's On Photography brought to its medium. It is an eloquent inquiry into the meaning of our boldest art, its expression of human irrationality and its power to disturb and excite us. --This text refers to the Paperback edition. Bookseller Inventory # 0516L369160