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Father Owen Lee is internationally known for his intermission commentaries featured during the Saturday afternoon broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. A Season of Opera: From Orpheus to Ariadne gathers together for the first time Father Lee's best broadcast and cassette commentaries, public lectures, and articles on twenty-three works for the musical stage. The essays range from the pioneering Orpheus of Monteverdi to the forward-looking Ariadne of Richard Strauss.
Included are Father Lee's famous discussions of Mozart's Magic Flute and Beethoven's Fidelio, Verdi's La Traviata and Falstaff, Wagner's Tristan und Isolde, and Poulenc's Dialogues of the Carmelites. The concluding chapter, originally published as the lead article in The Opera Quarterly's special issue on the end of the twentieth century, is a thought-provoking forecast of opera's future. Recommendations for further reading, CD recordings, and videos are also included.
Opera Canada has applauded Father Lee's 'extraordinary ability to engage, challenge, and enlighten a vast and diverse audience' and called his learning-worn-lightly commentaries 'a unique mix of spiritual empathy, classical scholarship, and psychological insight.' Opera lovers, or anyone interested in psychology and mythology, humanities and comparative literature, or the art of the essay will welcome this book.
'[Lee describes the music so vividly that you want to rush right over and hear it ... The best thing about this book is that it does what all good books about music should do - send the reader back to the music with fresh ears and an open mind.'
'The breadth and depth of [Lee's] scholarship preclude [the chapters'] being an easy or quick read. They are, however, uniformly entertaining and deeply rewarding.'
'[Lee's] passion for opera and his sensitivity to what the works say about the human spirit make his essays a great pleasure to read.'
'[Lee] describes the music so vividly that you want to rush right over and hear it ... The best thing about this book is that it does what all good books about music should do - send the reader back to the music with fresh ears and an open mind.'
|1||The Birth of Opera from the Spirit of Orpheus||3|
|2||Du Musst dein Leben Andern: Orfeo ed Euridice||13|
|3||The Opera of All Operas: Don Giovanni||19|
|4||The Music of Intuitive Angels: The Magic Flute||27|
|5||Music to Set the Spirit Free: Fidelio||41|
|6||Show Business Sense: L'Elisir d'Amore||54|
|7||Oh, Sweet Music of Donizetti! Lucia di Lammermoor||60|
|8||Elemental, Furious, Wholly True: Il Trovatore||67|
|9||The Requisite Miracle: La Traviata||78|
|10||The Whole Checkered Play of Life: La Forza del Destino||84|
|11||Melt Egypt into Nile: Aida||90|
|12||A Figure as Old as Comedy: Falstaff||97|
|13||The Exasperated Eagle and the Stoic Saint: Les Troyens||101|
|14||The Sins of Wagner's Youth: Rienzi||111|
|15||Long Day's Journey into Night: Tristan und Isolde||118|
|16||The Making of a Musical Legend: Palestrina||139|
|17||The Moon Is Like the Moon: Salome||147|
|18||Genius and Morbidezza: Manon Lescaut||153|
|19||Mists, Sails, Sounds, and Impressions: Pelleas et Melisande||158|
|20||It Is Your Turn to Speak: Dialogues des Carmelites||170|
|21||An Opera Made of Songs: Porgy and Bess||182|
|22||The Music Wrote Itself: Oklahoma!||191|
|23||Hurry up Please its Time||197|
|Recordings and Videos||221|