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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: 1st September 2006
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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.

'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 '... 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

List of illustrationsp. viii
Prefacep. ix
Introductionp. 1
Sirens and songbirdsp. 27
Superdivas and superwomenp. 58
Tutors and tuitionp. 90
The supporting castp. 120
Professional lifep. 161
Vocal and theatrical landscapesp. 205
The singing actressp. 231
Postscriptp. 275
Notesp. 277
Bibliographyp. 340
Indexp. 365
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521851671
ISBN-10: 052185167X
Series: Cambridge Studies in Opera
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 394
Published: 1st September 2006
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.88  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.77