Synopses & Reviews
is a fascinating collection of 20 wide-ranging interviews with the preeminent opera professionals working on and behind the stage today.
Joshua Jampol invites opera-lovers to listen in as performers such as Renee Fleming, Natalie Dessay, Rolando Villazon and Placido Domingo speak in exceptionally frank terms about their strengths and weaknesses, and address such hard-hitting, enduring topics as how they deal with critics, vocal troubles, and balancing their career and family lives. We hear conductors such as James Conlon, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Kent Nagano discuss their likes and dislikes about the state of contemporary opera, their own inspirations, and whom they themselves hope to inspire. World-class directors such as Robert Carsen and Patrice Chéreau discuss the complexities involved in staging a successful opera, and how opera can remain relevant today. Jampol has unprecedented access to these major singers, conductors, and directors, and the table of contents reads like a "who's who" of the global opera world. Each interview highlights a distinctive voice, and Jampol brings immense knowledge and a wonderful flair to these conversations. He allows his subjects to follow their thoughts wherever they lead, and reveals in the process a more intimate, reflective side of the emotional and extravagant world of the lyric arts.
For anyone wanting to know more about the people behind the performances--what they think, how they feel, and who they really are--Living Opera is full of delights and surprises.
About the Author
is a freelance journalist and regular contributor to the "Ear for Opera" series in the International Herald Tribune
. Jampol has also routinely written for publications such as Time Magazine
and The Hollywood Reporter
in the US, and The Guardian
and The Times
(London) in the UK. He lives in Paris, France.
Table of Contents
Pierre Boulez, or "The Incorruptible"
Robert Carsen, or building the bridge between head and heart
Patrice Chéreau, or truth, opera and the director: in Wagner's footsteps
William Christie, or going for baroque
James Conlon, or surrendering your soul
Natalie Dessay, or healing the sick voice
Joyce DiDonato, or the wider connection
Plácido Domingo, or Olympics for the voice
Renée Fleming, or balancing on the high wire
Ferruccio Furlanetto, or functioning as a filter
Kasper Bech Holten, or the emotional fitness center
Simon Keenlyside, or a workingman talks about traffic control
Waltraud Meier, or the sweatshirt must fit
Heidi Grant Murphy, or sopranoed - with children
Kent Nagano, or remaining relevant
Seiji Ozawa, or the art of managing the orchestra
Samuel Ramey, or the lion at twilight
Esa-Pekka Salonen, or new opera and festival opera
Jose Van Dam, or humility, the elite and the caddies
Rolando Villazón, or the paradox of the performer