Materiality, Culture, and the Body
Author: Donatella Barbieri
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
This beautifully illustrated book conveys the centrality of costume to live performance. Finding associations between contemporary practices and historical manifestations, costume is explored in six thematic chapters, examining the transformative ritual of costuming; choruses as reflective of society; the grotesque, transgressive costume; the female sublime as emancipation; costume as sculptural art in motion; and the here-and-now as history. Viewing the material costume as a crucial aspect in the preparation, presentation and reception of live performance, the book brings together costumed performances through history. These range from ancient Greece to modern experimental productions, from medieval theatre to modernist dance, from the 'fashion plays' to contemporary Shakespeare, marking developments in both culture and performance. Revealing the relationship between dress, the body and human existence, and acknowledging a global as well as an Anglo and Eurocentric perspective, this book shows costume's ability to cross both geographical and disciplinary borders. Through it, we come to question the extent to which the material costume actually co-authors the performance itself, speaking of embodied histories, states of being and never-before imagined futures, which come to life in the temporary space of the performance. With a contribution by Melissa Trimingham, University of Kent, UK
Passion and Politics Behind the Great Operas
Author: Milton E. Brener
Publisher: Franz Steiner Verlag
Who inspired Carmen's fiery heroine? Was there a plot behind the hostile reception to the premiere of Madame Butterly? What compromises did Richard Strauss make with the Nazi government to get his Die Schweigsame Frau produced? Opera Offstage brings to light the intriguing tales behind 27 of the greatest operas of all time. Milton Brener ignites new appreciation for these classics and their composers by revealing the histories and human circumstances surrounding their creation.
A History from Monteverdi to Mozart
Author: Mitchell Cohen
Publisher: Princeton University Press
A wide-ranging look at the interplay of opera and political ideas through the centuries The Politics of Opera takes readers on a fascinating journey into the entwined development of opera and politics, from the Renaissance through the turn of the nineteenth century. What political backdrops have shaped opera? How has opera conveyed the political ideas of its times? Delving into European history and thought and an array of music by such greats as Lully, Rameau, and Mozart, Mitchell Cohen reveals how politics—through story lines, symbols, harmonies, and musical motifs—has played an operatic role both robust and sotto voce. Cohen begins with opera's emergence under Medici absolutism in Florence during the late Renaissance—where debates by humanists, including Galileo's father, led to the first operas in the late sixteenth century. Taking readers to Mantua and Venice, where composer Claudio Monteverdi flourished, Cohen examines how early operatic works like Orfeo used mythology to reflect on governance and policy issues of the day, such as state jurisdictions and immigration. Cohen explores France in the ages of Louis XIV and the Enlightenment and Vienna before and during the French Revolution, where the deceptive lightness of Mozart's masterpieces touched on the havoc of misrule and hidden abuses of power. Cohen also looks at smaller works, including a one-act opera written and composed by philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Essential characters, ancient and modern, make appearances throughout: Nero, Seneca, Machiavelli, Mazarin, Fenelon, Metastasio, Beaumarchais, Da Ponte, and many more. An engrossing book that will interest all who love opera and are intrigued by politics, The Politics of Opera offers a compelling investigation into the intersections of music and the state.
Modern Theatre in 100 Plays
Author: Kate Dorney,Frances Gray
Publisher: A&C Black
Published in collaboration with the Victoria & Albert Musuem, Played in Britain: Modern Theatre in 100 Plays explores the best and most influential plays from 1945 to date. Fully illustrated with photos from the V&A's collections and featuring a foreword by Richard Griffiths O.B.E., the book provides a sumptuous treat for theatre-lovers. It was awarded the 2014 David Bradby Award for research by the Theatre and Performance Research Association. Opening with J. B. Priestley's classic play from 1946, An Inspector Calls, and ending with Laura Wade's examination of class privilege and moral turpitude in Posh over sixty years later, Played in Britain offers a visual history of post-war theatre on the British stage. Arranged chronologically the featured plays illustrate and respond to a number of themes that animate post-war society: censorship and controversy; race and immigration; gender and sexuality; money and politics. An essay on each period first sets the context and explores trends, while the commentary accompanying each play illuminates the plot and themes, considers its original reception and subsequent afterlife, and finishes by suggesting other plays to explore. Photographs from the V&A's extensive collection illustrate each play, providing further insight into stage and costume designs, and include iconic images from the premieres of major plays such as Waiting for Godot and Look Back in Anger. Illustrated throughout with stage production photography, Played in Britain: Modern Theatre in 100 Plays presents a unique and visually stunning panorama of key dramatic works produced in Britain over the past seventy years. From An Inspector Calls to The Rocky Horror Show, or Abigail's Party to Waiting for Godot, fresh light is thrown on the impact, aesthetics and essence of these key plays.
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Opera houses--temples to the art of Mozart, Verdi, Tchaikovsky, and more--have been created by some of the most talented architects and designers of their generations, inspiring centuries of veneration from audiences, filled with royalty and commoners alike. In this sumptuous book, photographer Guillaume de Laubier and journalist Antoine Pecqueur explore more than 25 of the world’s most beautiful opera houses, from Tokyo to Covent Garden, from Oslo to Chicago, from Milan to New York. The buildings are described in their historical contexts, while stunning photography reveals the theaters’ most captivating spaces. In addition to offering sweeping views of ornate auditoriums and facades, the book opens doors normally closed to the public, entering the artists’ dressing rooms, rehearsal halls, scenery workshops, and more, presenting a wide-ranging and compelling look into a spectacular world. Praise for The Most Beautiful Opera Houses in the World: "Performance spaces take the spotlight in The Most Beautiful Opera Houses in the World and you don’t need to be a music buff to appreciate their range. The photographs by Guillaume de Laubier capture 32 theaters across the globe in rich detail . . . Who knew empty stages made for such good theater?” --Wall Street Journal "With the growing popularity of massive arenas, it is often difficult to think back to a time when going out for a night of music was synonymous with elegance. But a new book has rediscovered the high art of these exquisite theater spaces. The Most Beautiful Opera Houses in the World contains hundreds of photographs showing the exteriors and auditoriums of these cultural treasures--and is a reminder why these architectural wonders are worth a visit.” --FOXNews.com
Author: Armando Iannucci
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
A celebration of music from the creator of Alan Partridge, The Thick of It, Veep and The Death of Stalin. All my days, I've felt pressurized by the anonymous Keepers of the Cool who tell us what we should be wearing this year, what digital boxsets we should bunker ourselves in to enjoy, what amazing app is the only one we should be shrieking emotions at our recently acquired friends with. Thankfully, I have the one consolation that if I don't quite fit into all of this, everyone else probably feels the same way. So, I say defiantly, I get more moved and excited by classical music than by any other musical genre. I believe that it is there for us all, inviting us to reach out and touch it. In Hear Me Out Armando Iannucci brilliantly conveys the joy of his musical exploration, each discovery suggesting a fresh direction of travel, another piece, another composer, another time.
From Monteverdi to Henze
Author: John Bokina
Publisher: Yale University Press
To what extent do operas express the political and cultural ideas of their age? How do they reflect the composer's view of the changing relations among art, politics, and society? In this book John Bokina focuses on political aspects and meanings of operas from the baroque to postmodern period, showing the varied ways that operas become sensuous vehicles for the articulation of political ideas. Bokina begins with an analysis of Monteverdi's three extant operas, which address in an oblique way the political and ideological dualities of aristocratic rule in the seventeenth-century Italy. He then moves to Mozart's "Don Giovanni", which he views as a celebration of the demise of a predatory aristocracy. He presents Beethoven's "Fidelio" as an example of the political spirit of a revolution based on republican virtue, and Wagner's "Parsifal" as a utopian music drama that projects romantic anticapitalist ideals onto an imagined past. He shows that Strauss's "Elektra" and Schoenberg's "Erwartung" transform the traditional operatic depiction of madness by reflecting the emerging Freudian psychoanalysis of that era. And he argues that operas by Pfitzner, Hindemith, and Schoenberg explore the political roles of art and the artists, each couching contemporary conditions in an allegory about the fate of art in a historical period of transition. Finally, Bokina offers a reappraisal of Henze's "The Bassarids" as a political opera that confronts the promise and limits of the sensual-sexual revolt of the twentieth-century.
Author: Catherine Clément
Category: Feminism and music
A penetrating and poetic insight into the tragic fate of women in opera, Clement looks at over thirty major operatic works and reveals both her love for opera and her sense, as a woman, of betrayal by it.
Soap Opera and the Female Subject
Author: Martha Nochimson
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Category: Performing Arts
"Combines an array of critical methodologies to come to terms with a culturally persuasive but vastly undervalued media form.The scholarship is quite extraordinary. . . . It is the author's working knowledge of the circumstances under which television soap opera is actually written and produced that makes her theoretical arguments so convincing. She does a fine job of interfusing philosophy with praxis."—David A. Cook, author of History of Narrative Film "The scholarship is quite extraordinary. . . . It deals with . . . its subject with both elegance and passion. . . . It illuminates a great deal about the way in which television soap opera is both produced and consumed . . . could be used quite handily as a text . . . in the same way Tania Modeleski's The Women Who Knew Too Much is used."—David Cook, Emory University
Aristocracy, Fortune and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush
Author: Kevin Phillips
Publisher: Penguin UK
Category: Political Science
An acerbic, withering account of the ascent of the Bush family to the pinnacle of the American political and social elite and the implications of the dynasty's hold on power for democracy in America. With an unerring instinct for fakery and humbug,Phillips traces the convoluted trail of Bush mendacity through three generations. The picture he paints of a family willing to do ANYTHING to hold power and a country so craven as to vote for it is both very funny and completely dismaying in equal measure.
Re-imagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy
Author: Stephen Duncombe
Category: Political Science
What practical lessons can we learn from corporate theme parks, ad campaigns, video games, celebrity culture and Las Vegas? Can such examples of popular fantasy help us define and make possible a new political future? This is the case for a progressive political strategy that embraces a new set of tools. Although fantasy and spectacle have become the lingua franca of our time, Duncombe points out that liberals continue to depend upon sober reason to guide them. Instead, they need to learn how to communicate in today's spectacular vernacular.
A History in Documents
Author: Piero Weiss
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
In Opera: A History in Documents, Piero Weiss presents a wide-ranging, vivid, and carefully researched tour of operatic history. A unique anthology of primary source material, this survey includes 115 chronologically organized selections--passages from private letters, public decrees, descriptions of first performances, portions of libretti, literary criticism and satire, newspaper reviews and articles, and poetry and fiction--from opera's late Renaissance infancy through modern times. This first-hand testimony allows students to experience the history of opera as eyewitnesses, offering an immediacy and validity unmatched by standard histories. Readers are transported to a Medici wedding in sixteenth-century Florence, to the Haymarket Theatre for a performance of Handel's Rinaldo, to Mozart at work on Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail, and to Bertolt Brecht's writing desk, among many other landmarks in opera's history. Weiss expertly guides students, providing highly accessible headnotes to each selection that both contextualize the excerpts and position them within the broader historical narrative. In addition, he offers original translations of more than half of the selections in the book, many of which appear here in English for the first time. Stage settings, costumes, portraits, contemporary playbills, and other illustrations enliven the text and help to recreate the feel of the era under discussion. Opera: A History in Documents is an intrinsically lively text that will enrich college courses on opera and delight any music-loving reader."
Johannes Kepler's Fight for His Mother
Author: Ulinka Rublack
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) was one of the most admired astronomers who ever lived and a key figure in the scientific revolution. Perhaps less well known is that in 1615, when Kepler was at the height of his career, his widowed mother Katharina was accused of witchcraft. The proceedings led to a criminal trial that lasted six years, with Kepler conducting his mother's defence. The Astronomer and the Witch pieces together the tale of this extraordinaryepisode in Kepler's life. First and foremost an intense family drama, the story brings to life the world of a small Lutheran community in the heart of Europe at a time of deep religious and political turmoil. Italso offers us a fascinating glimpse into the great astronomer's world view. While advancing rational explanations for the phenomena which his mother's accusers attributed to witchcraft, Kepler nevertheless did not call into question the existence of magic and witches. On the contrary, he clearly believed in them. And, as the story unfolds, it appears that there were moments when even Katharina's children struggled to understand what their mother had done...
The Politics of Power
Author: Joel Deane
Publisher: University of Queensland Press
Category: Political Science
Power is the only measure of a politician that matters: how they win power, how they use power, how they lose power. Catch and Kill is an inside account of the beguiling and nomadic nature of the unholy trinity of politics—the winning, the using, the losing. Joel Deane's gripping study of the politics of power takes us into the inner sanctum of state and national politics in Australia, investigating how four friends—Steve Bracks, John Brumby, John Thwaites, and Rob Hulls—beat the factions, won office in Victoria, then tried to hijack Canberra. It delivers a slice of political gothic, exploring the heart of the contemporary Labor Party in search of the nature of power.
A Complete Guide to Learning and Loving Opera
Author: Fred Plotkin
Publisher: Hachette Books
Opera is the fastest growing of all the performing arts, attracting audiences of all ages who are enthralled by the gorgeous music, vivid drama, and magnificent production values. If you've decided that the time has finally come to learn about opera and discover for yourself what it is about opera that sends your normally reserved friends into states of ecstatic abandon, this is the book for you. Opera 101 is recognized as the standard text in English for anyone who wants to become an opera lover--a clear, friendly, and truly complete handbook to learning how to listen to opera, whether on the radio, on recordings, or live at the opera house. Fred Plotkin, an internationally respected writer and teacher about opera who for many years was performance manager of the Metropolitan Opera, introduces the reader (whatever his or her level of musical knowledge) to all the elements that make up opera, including: A brief, entertaining history of opera; An explanation of key operatic concepts, from vocal types to musical conventions; Hints on the best way to approach the first opera you attend and how to best understand what is happening both offstage and on; Lists of recommended books and recordings, and the most complete traveler's guide to opera houses around the world. The major part of Opera 101 is devoted to an almost minute-by-minute analysis of eleven key operas, ranging from Verdi's thunderous masterpiece Rigoletto and Puccini's electrifying Tosca through works by Mozart, Donizetti, Rossini, Offenbach, Tchaikovsky, and Wagner, to the psychological complexities of Richard Strauss's Elektra. Once you have completed Opera 101, you will be prepared to see and hear any opera you encounter, thanks to this book's unprecedentedly detailed and enjoyable method of revealing the riches of opera.
Author: Martha C. Nussbaum
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Martha Nussbaum asks: How can we sustain a decent society that aspires to justice and inspires sacrifice for the common good? Amid negative emotions endemic even to good societies, public emotions rooted in love--intense attachments outside our control--can foster commitment to shared goals and keep at bay the forces of disgust and envy.
Author: Victoria Broackes,Anna Landreth Strong
Publisher: V & A Publishing
The first book ever produced with full access the Pink Floyd archive. Published to accompany the V&A's major summer exhibition, Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains, celebrates 50 years of one of the greatest bands of all time. Five essays tackle different aspects of their far-reaching legacy in music and the visual arts. Authors including Jon Savage, Howard Goodall and Rob Young examine what makes the band truly special, from the mythology underpinning their output, through to their experimentation with technology to create new sounds. their epic staging and performance impact will also be explored, along with the anti-authoritarianism that infuses their lyrics. 00The book is heavily illustrated throughout, emphasizing the essential role that visual material played in supporting the music and creating the lasting Pink Floyd phenomenon. 00Victoria Broackes is Senior Curator and Head of Exhibitions for the Department of Theatre and Performance at the V&A. She has produced a number of successful touring exhibitions, including You Say You Want a Revolution? and David Bowie Is. Anna Landreth Strong is Curator of Modern and Contemporary Performance at the V&A. 00Exhibition: Victoria and Albert Museum, London, United Kingdom (13.05-01.10.2017).