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Divas and Scholars: Performing Italian Opera

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Divas and Scholars: Performing Italian Opera Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Winner of the 2007 Otto Kinkeldey Award from the American Musicological Society and the 2007 Deems Taylor Award from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers.

 

Divas and Scholars is a dazzling and beguiling account of how opera comes to the stage, filled with Philip Gossett’s personal experiences of triumphant—and even failed—performances and suffused with his towering and tonic passion for music. Writing as a fan, a musician, and a scholar, Gossett, the world's leading authority on the performance of Italian opera, brings colorfully to life the problems, and occasionally the scandals, that attend the production of some of our most favorite operas. 

Gossett begins by tracing the social history of nineteenth-century Italian theaters in order to explain the nature of the musical scores from which performers have long worked. He then illuminates the often hidden but crucial negotiations opera scholars and opera conductors and performers: What does it mean to talk about performing from a critical edition? How does one determine what music to perform when multiple versions of an opera exist? What are the implications of omitting passages from an opera in a performance? In addition to vexing questions such as these, Gossett also tackles issues of ornamentation and transposition in vocal style, the matters of translation and adaptation, and even aspects of stage direction and set design. 

Throughout this extensive and passionate work, Gossett enlivens his history with reports from his own experiences with major opera companies at venues ranging from the Metropolitan and Santa Fe operas to the Rossini Opera Festival at Pesaro. The result is a book that will enthrall both aficionados of Italian opera and newcomers seeking a reliable introduction to it—in all its incomparable grandeur and timeless allure.

 

About the Author

Philip Gossett is the Robert W. Reneker Distinguished Service Professor in Music and the College at the University of Chicago. He is the general editor of The Works of Giuseppe Verdi, published by the University of Chicago Press and Casa Ricordi, and The Works of Gioachino Rossini. In 2004 he received one of four lifetime achievement awards given by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and in 1998 he received the Cavaliere di Gran Croce, the highest civilian award given by the Italian government. 

Table of Contents

Preface 

PROLOGUE

1. Mare o monti: Two Summer Festivals

PART I - KNOWING THE SCORE

2. Setting the Stage

3. Transmission versus Tradition

4. Scandal and Scholarship

5. The Romance of the Critical Edition

INTERMEZZO

6. Scholars and Performers: The Case of Semiramide

PART II - PERFORMING THE OPERA

7. Choosing a Version

8. Serafins Scissors

9. Ornamenting Rossini

10. Higher and Lower: Transposing Bellini and Donizetti

11. Words and Music: Texts and Translations

12. Instruments Old and New

13. From the Score to the Stage

CODA

14. Two Kings Head North: Italian Opera in Scandinavia

Notes

Glossary

Bibliography

Index to Operas and Performances

General Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780226304878
Author:
Gossett, Philip
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Subject:
Opera
Subject:
Genres & Styles - Opera
Subject:
History & Criticism - General
Subject:
Music | Opera
Edition Description:
Paperback
Publication Date:
20080531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
83 musical examples
Pages:
704
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Music » General
Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Opera
Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Opera » General
Arts and Entertainment » Music » History and Criticism
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

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