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The Prima Donna and Opera, 1815-1930 : Cambridge Studies in Opera - Susan Rutherford

The Prima Donna and Opera, 1815-1930

Cambridge Studies in Opera


Published: 17th September 2009
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This book is concerned not so much with the 'prima donna' as with prime donne: a group of working artists (sometimes famous but more often relatively unknown and now long forgotten) and the circumstances of their professional lives. It attempts to locate these singers within a broader history, including not only the specificities of operatic stage practice but the life beyond the opera house - the social, cultural and political framing that shaped individual experience, artistic endeavour and audience reception. Rutherford addresses questions such as the multiple discourses on the image of the singer and their impact on the changing profile of the professional artist from figlia dell'arte at the beginning of the era to middle-class woman at the end; the aspect of the 'stage mother' and patronage; issues of vocal training and tuition; professional life in the operatic market-place; and performance (both vocal and dramatic) conventions and practices.

Review of the hardback: 'This is a comprehensive and articulate study, intelligently constructed and stylishly written. It's also a valuable corrective to those endlessly gushing descriptions of bouquets, champagne and jewels, many of them the work of the prima donnas themselves. BBC Music Magazine Review of the hardback: '... this book is a joy. ... The names of many about whom she writes may not be widely known today but thanks to her enthusiastic and vivid style of writing, they leap from the pages of a book I cannot recommend too highly.' Classical Music Review of the hardback: 'Rutherford's interaction with their histories offers a delightful reading of these individuals as both themselves and prima donnas.' Patricia Puckett Sasser, Nineteenth-Century Music Review

Sirens and songbirds
Superdivas and superwomen
Tutors and tuition
The supporting cast
Professional life
The vocal and theatrical landscape
The singing actress
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521121095
ISBN-10: 0521121094
Series: Cambridge Studies in Opera
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 396
Published: 17th September 2009
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2  x 2.2
Weight (kg): 0.58