In this third edition of the classic Verdi, renowned authority Julian Budden offers a comprehensive overview of Verdi the man and the artist, tracing his ascent from humble beginnings to the status of a cultural patriarch of the new Italy, whose cause he had done much to promote, and demonstrating the gradual enlargement over the years of his artistic vision. This concise study is an accessible, insightful, and engaging summation of Verdi scholarship, acquainting the non-specialist with the personal details Verdi's life, with the operatic world in which he worked, and with his political ideas, his intellectual vision, and his powerful means of communicating them through his music. In his survey of the music itself, Budden emphasizes the unique character of each work as well as the developing sophistication of Verdi's style. He covers all of the operas, the late religious works, the songs, and the string quartet. A glossary explains even the most obscure operatic terms current in Verdi's time.
In Performing Opera: A Practical Guide for Singers and Directors Michael Ewans provides a detailed and practical workbook to performing many of the most commonly produced operas. Drawing on examples from twenty-four operas ranging in period from Gluck and Mozart to Britten and Tippett, it illustrates exactly how opera functions as dramatic form. Grounded in close analyses of performances of thirty scenes and five whole operas by first-rate singers and celebrated directors, Performing Opera provides readers with an appreciation of the unique challenges and skills required by performers and directors. It will assist them in their own performance and equip them with detailed knowledge of works most commonly featured in the repertoire. In the first part of the book the analysis progresses from scenes in which the singers are silent, via arias and monologues, duets and confrontations, up to ensembles. Wider issues are subsequently addressed: encounters with offstage events, encounters with the numinous, characterization, and the sense of inevitability in tragic opera.
Discoveries from the Fortepiano meets the demand for a manual on authentic Classical piano performance practice that is at once accessible to the performer and accurate to the scholarship. Uncovering a wide range of eighteenth-century primary sources, noted keyboard pedagogue Donna Gunn examines contemporary philosophical beliefs and principles surrounding Classical Era performance practices.
Gunn introduces the reader to the Viennese fortepiano and compares its sonic and technical capabilities to the modern piano. In doing so, she demonstrates how understanding Classical fortepiano performance aesthetics can influence contemporary pianists, paying particular focus to technique, dynamics, articulation, rhythm, ornamentation, and pedaling.
The book is complete with over 100 music examples that illustrate concepts, as well as sample model lessons that demonstrate the application of Gunn's historically informed style on the modern piano. Each example is available on the book's companion website and is given three recordings: the first, a modern interpretation of the passage on a modern piano; the second, a fortepiano interpretation; and the third, a historically informed performance on a modern piano.
With its in-depth yet succinct explanations and examples of the Viennese five-octave fortepiano and the nuances of Classical interpretation and ornamentation, Discoveries from the Fortepiano is an indispensable educational aid to any pianist who seeks an academically and artistically sound approach to the performance of Classical works.
Billy Bragg is one of Britain's most distinctive and accomplished songwriters, whose work has articulated the passions, both personal and political, of Britain during the past five decades. A Lover Sings contains over seventy of his best-known lyrics, selected and annotated by the author. 'Sexuality', 'A New England', 'Levi Stubbs' Tears' - these are unadorned, poetic songs that skilfully interweave everyday observation with much broader concerns: of fairness and outrage, of generosity and love. A Lover Sings reveals a unique sensibility: principled and proudly of the Left, funny, forthright and tender. It is a remarkable collection.
Liverpool's The Cavern Club is the most famous club in the world: it gave rise to The Beatles and the Merseybeat explosion, but it is far more than that. Respected music writer and Merseybeat historian Spencer Leigh tells the Cavern's history with the help of the owners, hundreds of musicians, backroom staff and fans. From its days as a jazz club, through the Beatles years, the dramatic openings and closures, the appearance of Paul McCartney in 1999, every page abounds with wit and insight. Foreword by Sir Paul McCartney.
Sinatra is a visual tribute to Frank Sinatra's film career. His musical legacy is renowned and made him a household name, but he has received less acclaim for his extraordinary contribution to motion pictures. Frank Sinatra "the actor" deserves to be rediscovered and reassessed.
In an acting career that spanned four decades, from the classic 40s to the permissive 70s and beyond, he combined the traditional "star quality" of Humphrey Bogart and James Cagney with the avant-garde of the new generation's Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift and Steve McQueen. His cool, edgy film persona was often laced with hints of menace, danger and sex appeal, and he carved an unparalleled legacy in cutting edge thrillers like The Manchurian Candidate, drug addiction watershed films like The Man With the Golden Arm, and his Oscar-winning performance in From Here to Eternity.
Today, his influence on young Hollywood is unrivaled. Ultimately, had Frank Sinatra never sung one note of music on radio, stage or screen, he would still stand alone as one of history's most popular, talented and diverse actors.
The stage designer's role is both within and without a performance company, a unique observer of the work in creation and a welcome problem solver, multi-tasker, the possessor of the 'design solution' when things don't go as planned, writes Stephen Curtis. The designer's collaborative role could be a model to others. He chooses three stage productions to give a picture of his work methods including the much acclaimed The Secret River (play by Andrew Bovell based on the novel by Kate Grenville), and concludes that today's designers are redefining their role and reshaping their careers through specialisation and focus on form over content as a way of exploring and understanding the work they interpret.
In this engaging and readable book, Peter Decherney tells the story of Hollywood, from its nineteenth-century origins to the emergence of internet media empires. He recounts how the studio system rose out of the ashes of Thomas Edison's trust to create the handful of companies that have dominated global screens and imaginations for more than 100 years. Throughout, he reveals that the elements we take to be a natural part of the Hollywood experience-stars, genre-driven storytelling, blockbuster franchises, etc.-are really the product of cultural, political, and commercial forces.
In many ways, Hollywood has remained the same for over a century. It has always been a global industry based in the U.S., and its storytelling has always unfolded across media, adapting plays, book, and comics and spinning off product tie-ins, television series, and social media campaigns. But major events have also continually remade Hollywood. The studios have weathered wars, disruptive new technologies, and competition by adopting a strategy of risk management and assimilation. This book explores the challenges of new technologies, including sound, home video, and computer graphics. And it examines Hollywood's responses to World War II, independent film movements, and regulations imposed by Washington.
Hollywood: A Very Short Introduction is filled with discussions of well-known movies, stars, and directors, encapsulating the past century of research on Hollywood while adding many original insights and stories. It is the perfect introduction for readers who want to better understand the history and functioning of our screen-saturated world.
The story of modern drama is a tale of extremes, testing both audiences and actors to their limits through hostility and contrarianism. Spanning 1880 to the present, Kirsten E. Shepherd-Barr shows how truly international a phenomenon modern drama has become, and how vibrant and diverse in both text and performance. This Very Short Introduction explores the major developments of modern drama, covering two decades per chapter, from early modernist theatre through post-war developments to more recent and contemporary theatre. Shepherd-Barr tracks the emergence of new theories from the likes of Brecht and Beckett alongside groundbreaking productions to illuminate the fascinating evolution of modern drama.
Actor-musicianship is a permanent feature of the musical theatre landscape. Actor-musician shows can be seen from Bradford to Broadway, from village halls to international arena tours. However, with the exception of a couple of academic papers, there has been nothing written about this fascinating area of theatre practice.
Jeremy Harrison's book addresses this deficit, operating as both a record of the development of the actor-musician movement and as a practical guide for students, educators, performers and practitioners. It explores the history of actor-musicianship, examining its origins, as well as investigating - and offering guidance on - how this specialist form of music theatre is created. It, in turn, acts as a means of defining an art form that has to date been left to lurk in the shadows of musical theatre; a subset with its own distinctive culture of performer, maker and audience, but as yet no formal recognition as a specialism in its own right. The actor-musician show is multifarious and as such this book targets those interested in mainstream commercial work, as well as alternative and avant-garde theatre practice.
The book draws together expertise from a range of disciplines with contributions from many of the leading figures in this field, including performers, directors, teachers, MDs, producers and writers. It also features a foreword by theatre director John Doyle.