Faber Book of Opera by Tom Sutcliffe
A wide-ranging anthology covering the written record of opera -- from Tchaikovsky on Wagner's Ring to Cecil Beaton on Turandot at the Met. Opera. Opera has always generated strong, uncompromising views and opinions. For example, what did Berlioz write about Weber's "Der Freischutz" in 1841? What was the idea behind Gluck's Reform operas? How did Mozart himself view his collaboration with the librettist Lorenzo da Ponte? What is the legacy of Maria Callas? These are among the myriad questions that are addressed in "The Faber Book of Opera," an exceptional collection of writings about opera--in theory, in practice, in review and in fiction--all drawn from prime sources by acclaimed music critic Tom Sutcliffe. From Gustave Flaubert's description of a performance of "Lucia di Lammermoor" in "Madame Bovary" to Voltaire's exploration of the difficulties of conveying true tragedy within the operatic form to Virginia Woolf's views on Wagner's "Parsifal," which seemed to her to have been "poured out in a smooth stream at white heat," this is a collection that covers, in over 75 short, carefully chosen excerpts, just what it is that makes opera so extraordinary. After all, the history of opera is not just the musical masterpieces that have been written during the last 400 years; it is also the record of what people--ranging from Goethe to Rousseau to Verdi and Stravinsky--thought about the process and about what composers through the centuries have tried to do through this unique form.