Lotfi Mansouri: An Operatic Journey

Lotfi Mansouri: An Operatic Journey

by Lotfi Mansouri

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A lively and engaging memoir of one of opera’s driving forcesSee more details below


A lively and engaging memoir of one of opera’s driving forces

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Opera director and company manager Mansouri, though perhaps not known by most music lovers, has been a driving force in the world of opera for nearly 40 years. He has had a distinguished international career as a guest director, but it was his lengthy association with the San Francisco Opera, including a 13-year reign as general director, that brought him the most renown. A fearless innovator, he introduced supertitles and championed accessible contemporary opera and inventive productions. Mansouri is a larger-than-life character, and his memoir overflows with colorful anecdotes and strong opinions. His personal story is also compelling—a bizarre childhood in Iran, his flight to America, an apprenticeship at the University of California-L.A., and gradual toeholds in the opera world, first as a performer then as director and impresario. He tells his story sequentially and peppers each chapter with trenchant observations about operatic luminaries he has encountered along the way. VERDICT Compared with Joshua Jampol's recent Living Opera, Mansouri's memoir presents a more warts-and-all view of the world of opera. It will be highly valued by opera lovers.—Larry A. Lipkis, Moravian Coll., Bethlehem, PA
From the Publisher
“In this fitfully compelling account of Mansouri’s long professional life (co-authored by Donald Arthur) many of the most interesting passages relate to the particulars of his background, his eventual near-complete assimilation to Western life, and such reconciliation with his family and past as the changes in Iranian history afforded him. His relationship with his father makes a particularly telling thread.”—Opera

“Lotfi Mansouri’s new memoir is a must-read on several levels. His career as a director/administrator (and sometime tenor) spans five decades of opera-world change. He brought important new works, techniques, and artists to the stage. He is an immigrant who recalls the pain and triumph that journey engendered. And, oh, yes, the dish! Mansouri puts on what he calls ‘my best Persian smile’ as he candidly settles scores and names the (big) names he tussled with over the years.”—Wagner Notes

“One of the most fascinating books on opera for a general reader in recent years.”—Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

“Easy, breezy, boastful and bitchy. That’s Lotfi Mansouri: An Operatic Journey (Northeastern University Press), the memoir by the man who dragged the Canadian Opera Company into the modern era during his tenure as general manager from 1976 to 1988. . . The personal adventures are as gripping as the larger-than-life personalities of the opera world. . . Most endearingly, the book also celebrates the pleasures of working hard to break down the stereotype of opera as an elitist art form.” —The Toronto Star

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Product Details

Northeastern University Press
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.96(w) x 11.28(h) x 1.16(d)

Meet the Author

LOTFOLLAH “LOTFI” MANSOURI is an Iranian-born opera director and manager. He was the general director of the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto from 1976 to 1988 and of the San Francisco Opera from 1988 through 2001. In addition, he is credited with the revolutionary introduction of the running translation strip or “supertitles” to the world of opera in 1983. In 2009 he received the Opera Honors award of the National Endowment for the Arts.

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