Opera : Passion, Power and Politics

Passion, Power and Politics

Kate Bailey

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Opera is traditionally regarded as an elitist art form far removed from reality by its fantastical pots and melodramatic divas. This book shows that beneath the opulent sets and sumptuous costumes, opera is very much a product of its time. Like all the great narrative arts, it draws on essential human experiences to create a form that can be endlessly reinvented to reflect a changing society. Focusing on seven opera premieres in seven distinct cultural landscapes, with additional essays by contemporary practitioners including Placido Domingo, Antonio Pappano and Simone Young, the book culminates in the international explosion of opera in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The seven operas and premieres are: Venice (Monteverdi's L'Incoranazione di Poppea, 1642); London (Handel's Rinaldo, 1711); Vienna (Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro, 1786); Milan (Verdi's Nabucco, 1842); Paris (Wagner's Tannhauser, 1861); Dresden (Strauss' Salome, 1905) and St Petersburg (Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, 1934) "Even though Opera: Passion, Power and Poli­tics, the work of more than two dozen contributing authors, does not present this story as a cohesive narrative, it still offers a vivid sense of how opera, over the past four centuries, has survived amid perpetual financial stress and cultural upheaval. Based on a recent exhibition at London's Victoria and Albert Museum, presented in collabora­tion with the Royal Opera House, the book gathers essays, testimonies and many lavish illustrations to let readers construct their own sense of how the art form has weathered history." Opera News

Kate Bailey is Senior Curator of Design and Scenography in the Theatre and Performance department of London's Victoria and Albert Museum. Kasper Holten is Director of Opera, Royal Opera House, London

Publisher
V&A
ISBN
9781851779284
Binding
Hardback
Page Extent
304
Weight (kg)
1.5
Height (in)
12.64
Width (in)
9.72
Subject
Performing Arts
Published Date
02 / 10 / 2017

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