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Opera : Passion, Power, Politics - Kate Bailey


Passion, Power, Politics

Hardcover Published: 1st November 2017
ISBN: 9781851779284
Number Of Pages: 304

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Opera is traditionally regarded as an elitist art form far removed from reality by its fantastical plots and melodramatic divas. This book shows that beneath the opulent sets and sumptuous costumes, opera is very much a product of its time. Like all the great narrative arts, it draws on essential human experiences to create a form that can be endlessly reinvented to reflect a changing society.

Focusing on seven opera premieres in seven distinct cultural landscapes, with additional essays by contemporary practitioners including Antonio Pappano and Placido Domingo, the book culminates in the international explosion of opera in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

The seven cities and premieres are:

  • Venice (Monteverdi's L'Incoronazione di Poppea, 1642)
  • London (Handel's Rinaldo, 1711)
  • Milan (Verdi's Nabucco, 1842)
  • Paris (Wagner's Tannhauser, 1861)
  • Dresden (Strauss' Salome, 1905)
  • St Petersburg (Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, 1934)

About the Author

Kate Bailey is the Senior Curator of Design and Scenography in the Theatre and Performance department at the V&A.

Industry Reviews

'lavish' Financial Times, Books of the Year 2017: Music; '...a gem. Not only does it have essays by performers - e.g. Danielle De Niese on singing Poppea; Antonio Pappano on conducting Mozart's Figaro; and Placido Domingo on becoming a baritone Nabucco; but also the subject essays are written by genuine experts, e.g., Shostakovich is by Elizabeth Wilson.' Paul Levy, Arts Journal Blog, 21st October 2017; `a handsome, beautifully illustrated tome' **** BBC Music Magazine, 1st November 2017

Introduction, Kasper Holton;

1. Venice - introduced by Danielle de Niese, The Triumph of Poppea; Virtue, Vice, and Song in the Venetian Republic, Wendy Heller;
2. London - introduced by Robert Carsen, London: World City - Handel and Rinaldo, Daniel Snowman;
3. Vienna - introduced by Sir Antonio Pappano, Vienna and the Enlightenment, Nicholas Till;
4. Milan - introduced by Placido Domingo, Verdi and Milan: From Nabucco to Nabucco, Roger Parker;
5. Paris - introduced by Michael Levine, Wagner among the boulevards, Tannhauser in Paris, Flora Wilson;
6. Dresden, introduced by Simone Young, Visions of Women, Kate Bailey;
7. Leningrad - introduced by Graham Vick, Heroine, Victim or Criminal? Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, Elizabeth Wilson

ISBN: 9781851779284
ISBN-10: 1851779280
Audience: BAG
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 304
Published: 1st November 2017
Publisher: V & A Publishing
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 31.9 x 24.9  x 3.0
Weight (kg): 1.97

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