Opera's First Master: Unlocking the Masters, No. 8

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(Unlocking the Masters). Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643) was the first great opera composer and is often hailed as the creator of modern music. His genius was often likened to that of Mozart, Wagner, and Verdi, but in many of the world's opera houses his operas often receive an almost chilly respect, far removed from the nearly universal love aroused by those later masters. This book, the first layperson's guide to Monteverdi, seeks to stimulate appreciation for his operas by examining them not as musicological relics but as the vital theatrical experiences they are. Ringer places Monteverdi's operatic works within the musical and theatrical framework of his era, offering a brief sketch of the composer's early years and detailing the complex forces that led to the emergence of opera in late sixteenth-century Florence. Opera's First Master enables opera lovers to see and hear Monteverdi's masterpieces anew, while opening new channels of inquiry into how Monteverdean opera "works" in the theater.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781574671100
  • Publisher: Amadeus Press, LLC
  • Publication date: 2/27/2006
  • Series: AMADEUS
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction : living with Monteverdi's operas
1 Monteverdi and the path to L'Orfeo : polyphony, madrigal, and Monteverdi's early years 1
2 "Lend me a castrato" : opera comes to Mantua 29
3 "So that memory of his glory may live" : L'Orfeo 43
4 The first lost opera and other works for Mantua 91
5 "Contraries to move the mind" : Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda and the journey toward the Venetian operas 115
6 "Tempests are kind, and salt waves fresh in love" : Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria 137
7 "Nothing human is alien to me" : L'incoronazione di Poppea 213
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  • Posted January 22, 2009

    knowledgeable, encompassing introduction to the works of this composer

    The author who is an Associate Professor of Theater at Marymount College supports his belief that 'Claudio Moneteverdi (1567-1643) was the first great opera composer' by commentaries on his operas scene by scene. Ringer follows the narrative line (such as it is in opera) and profiles the characters while explaining the role and effects of the music and words on these. Introductory parts give a biography of Monteverdi focusing on his distinctive creative genius and viewing him in the context of the development of opera in Florence in late Renaissance Italy. The CD contains 13 selections from Monteverdi operas which are annotated in back matter. Ringer's accessible treatment of this outstanding and influential composer is an ideal introduction and companion to Monteverdi's operas.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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