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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »
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    Juliet's Nurse

    Lois Leveen 9781476757445

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Opera anecdotes

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Opera anecdotes Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From backstage squabbles and box-office chicanery to the gallantry and glory of creation, this book unveils a delightful panorama of opera lore, alternately hilarious, poignant, and wise. Ethan Mordden has mined the literature for "the best stories" and retells them in the fresh and witty style that prompted Publishers Weekly to hail him as "one of the most entertaining and provocative writers around."

Here are anecdotes both classic and arcane: Giuseppe Verdi's discourse on How to Write an Opera, Enrico Caruso's adventures in the San Francisco earthquake, Arturo Toscanini's reunion dinner with his former lover Geraldine Farrar, and Beverly Sills' ad libbing from the Met balcony during a Lily Pons Lakme. There are sad stories, as when Hans von Bulow confronts his wife Cosima after she has left him for Wagner. And there are nutty stories, as when Colonel Henry Mapleson attempts to stage Il Trovatore while missing one of the four principals, Azucena. We see history being made, when Gluck's "psychological" orchestration of Iphigenie en Tauride so startles the Paris Opera orchestra that the players trail off in astonishment. And we see history nearly unmade, when Luciano Pavarotti's plane crashes en route to Milan.

"There is history here," Mordden notes, "for if many of the tales are silly, many others are telling. They bring us close to a moment in which art is invented, revised, elaborated. The characters of opera's adventures are so vital and stimulating that almost anything they do enlightens us."

About the Author -

Ethan Mordden's many books include The American theatre, The Splendid Art of Opera, A Guide to Orchestral Music, Opera in the Twentieth Century, Movie Star, Broadway Babies, and Demented: the World of the Opera Diva. Most recently he brought out his first collection of short fiction, I've a Feeling We're Not in Kansas Anymore: Tales from Manhattan.

About the Author

Ethan Mordden has taught at Yale University and is the author of numerous books, including The American Theatre, A Guide to Orchestral Music, Broadway Babies, Opera in the Twentieth Century, and A Guide to Opera Recordings.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780195036008
Author:
Mordden, Ethan
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Subject:
Music | Opera
Subject:
Opera
Series Volume:
No. 657
Publication Date:
19851003
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Illustrations:
49 figs.
Pages:
270
Dimensions:
9.44 x 6.44 x 1 in 1.28 lb

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Opera » General

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Product details 270 pages Oxford University Press,1985. - English 9780195036008 Reviews:
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