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Grand Opera: The Story of the Met [Format Kindle]

Charles Affron , Mirella Jona Affron

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  • Longueur : 472 pages
  • Langue : Anglais
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The Metropolitan has stood among the grandest of opera companies since its birth in 1883. Tracing the offstage/onstage workings of this famed New York institution, Charles Affron and Mirella Jona Affron tell how the Met became and remains a powerful actor on the global cultural scene. In this first new history of the company in thirty years, each of the chronologically sequenced chapters surveys a composer or a slice of the repertoire and brings to life dominant personalities and memorable performances of the time. From the opening night Faust to the recent controversial production of Wagner’s "Ring," Grand Opera is a remarkable account of management and audience response to the push and pull of tradition and reinvention. Spanning the decades between the Gilded Age and the age of new media, this story of the Met concludes by tipping its hat to the hugely successful "Live in HD" simulcasts and other twenty-first-century innovations. Grand Opera’s appeal extends far beyond the large circle of opera enthusiasts. Drawing on unpublished documents from the Metropolitan Opera Archives, reviews, recordings, and much more, this richly detailed book looks at the Met in the broad context of national and international issues and events.

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Amazon.com: 4.2 étoiles sur 5  9 commentaires
11 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Grand Opera thrives! 29 septembre 2014
Par Curie - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
This is a brilliant book, an extraordinary achievement. The authors are obviously passionate about their subject: they also have the intellects to compress the event-packed story of the Met into eleven chapters, a compression that nevertheless lets the vastness of the book's topic breathe and come to life. It is impossible to read this book without being impressed with the sweep of the book's scope and depth. The book covers the story of the Met from 1883 to 2013, 130 years of the opera company from its extraordinary beginnings to its current status as one of the crowning cultural achievements of western culture. Every opera in the Met's repertoire is dealt with and the authors' passion for their subject matter is evident on every page. The first night's production of Gounod's Faust on October 22, 1883 is so vividly rendered one feels transported, as if one could view the arrival of the carriages, the scalpers peddling of their price-inflated tickets, celebrity and money well represented in the raucous audience (The Vanderbilts, the Lord Chief Justice of England) not to mention of course the five hours of the opera itself. From that historic first night to the present (2013) this book covers an immense amount of history and music: bel canto, French opera, Puccini, Wagner, Verdi, American opera, twentieth-century opera, Baroque and Slavic opera are all represented with care, reverence and a most infectious brio. Oscar Hammerstein's response to the question "How's business?" is part of operatic lore. "Opera's no business" he quipped. "It's a disease!" This most readable, informative, scholarly yet fun book makes it clear that the "disease" is alive and well and looking forward to its most assured robust and healthy future.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 An absorbing cultural history and a great read! 30 septembre 2014
Par Arun S Nevader - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
What thrills us about reading the story of the Met is what moves all opera lovers about the art form—the sublimity in the performance experience gathered from all its intersecting levels of theatrical revelation. Here in GRAND OPERA The Story of the Met we witness its history of stagings within its history as a single opera house beginning with its inaugural season 1883-84 and ending with now. In this regard, this wonderfully comprehensive story resembles the authors’ equally important earlier 1995 study of art direction in film, Sets in Motion—a study of how art directors in film have brilliantly used the cultural pressures on décor as a fundamental design principle shaping the film set to heighten viewer experience across multiple film genres. GRAND OPERA The Story of the Met shows its reader that the historical continuity to all of the Met stagings in response to so many influences upon the company is the sine qua non to an opera house history shaped by decades of its own cultural appeal to its audience.

The Affrons bring to life the Met opera uniquely born from the pressures that historical circumstances have imposed upon it. The book itself is organized around these pressures—among them, late 19C culture wars, production venue and company competitions, world wars, mid-century existential European cultural anxieties, world financial crises, patronage and non-profit corporate structures, and finally the transformative if not challenging pressure on all art prior to the 21C—the new media and the democratization of art reception. The authors manage all this remarkably by simply telling the Met story to its most logical level of detail and granularity, with the Met’s staging history as the constant reminder that the art form survives today in renewable and new formats, albeit even if the digital experience is removed from actually being at the opera.

The story is in this meticulous historical account of pressures; the beauty is in how the authors present the Met’s opera canon almost as cultural artifacts transcending those pressures. This is a life history for a single opera house shaped by a three-century span of events and countless players, where worlds are turned upside down, as stagings continue no matter what.

At a higher level, the Affrons demonstrate—especially in the last chapter—that art, in this case the most complex form of performance art, survives by adapting to how its audience receives it. Grand Opera: The Story of the Met shows us that the cultural relevance of art itself always depends on how it manages to reinvent and sustain itself. The authors show us how beautifully if not painfully complex that process has unfolded for the Met. This book is not just for opera lovers. It’s for everyone interested in the history of opera as an enduring modern artform.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Disappointing, Promises much, Delivers Little 21 décembre 2014
Par Gary Reese - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
Promises much, delivers little. Most interesting stuff was the history of the Met from 1882 up to about 1910 or 1920. After that, it is just filler. And badly written, grammatical errors, mangled syntax. (Who edited this?) A shame because the Met Opera needs an updated book on its history. But this ain't it. This writing duo is scholarly, they will quote from ledger sheets, box office receipts by productions, minutes of the Met Opera board, etc. You will drown in the boring details. They attempt to construct a chronology of the Met by chapters, but they jump all over the place between seasons, productions, years, decades, etc. You get lost in the dates, the singers, who did what and when and where? Look at the cover of the book that's the Met debut of Joan Sutherland in Lucia. Do they tell you about this debut? No they don't. Do they tell you about Maria Callas' debut in Norma in 1955? No they don't, although they include a photo outside the Old Met. Do they tell you about Birgit Nilsson's debut in Tristan, that was reviewed on the front page of the NY Times? No. Or Sills? Barely. Often when they do offer some details on the inside drama of the Met, they are either repetitious (I would read it and think but I know this already) or too critical -- we don't want a criticism of all of the Met performances over the ages. That does not constitute a history of the Performance of the Metropolitan Opera. Sadly, although it is a cliche, the authors have missed the forest for the trees.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 For Opera lovers 30 septembre 2014
Par Maria Diaz - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
If you like Opera and in are curious about how the Met has remained as important and relevant over the years, here you have a very detailed account of it. It has great reserch and anecdotes about: singers, composers, managers and also the politics that have been part of it's life.I loved the references in which one can look for historic clips or even full performances of many of the productions mentioned in the book. The New York musical scene is also clearly portrayed. In general a complete account that narrates it's beginnings and up to the present with the innovations in technology that have allowed people all over the world to see these performances and become familiar with this beautfiful and sophisticated musical genre. It all has happened around the Met
3 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Terrific! 29 septembre 2014
Par Ralph Tarica - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
Opera fans will love this book. The scope of "Grand Opera" is truly amazing. It is bound to become THE authoritative book and reference work on the subject of the Metropolitan Opera, with numerous valuable insights into operatic companies and performances in Europe and this country as well as the cultural history of New York. While scholarly, it is also highly readable, with frequent entertaining anecdotes that will keep the reader coming back for more.
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