Leonora's Last Act

Leonora's Last Act

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In these essays, Roger Parker brings a series of valuable insights to bear on Verdian analysis and criticism, and does so in a way that responds both to an opera-goer's love of musical drama and to a scholar's concern for recent critical trends. As he writes at one point: qopera challenges us by means of its brash impurity, its loose ends and excess of meaning, its superfluity of narrative secrets.q Verdi's works, many of which underwent drastic revisions over the years and which sometimes bore marks of an unusual collaboration between composer and librettist, illustrate in particular why it can sometimes be misleading to assign fixed meanings to an opera. Parker instead explores works like Rigoletto, Il trovatore, La forza del destino, and Falstaff from a variety of angles, and addresses such contentious topics as the composer's involvement with Italian politics, the possibilities of an qauthenticq staging of his work, and the advantages and pitfalls of analyzing his operas according to terms that his contemporaries might have understood. Parker takes into account many of the interdisciplinary influences currently engaging musicologists, in particular narrative and feminist theory. But he also demonstrates that close attention to the documentary evidence--especially that offered by autograph scores--can stimulate equal interpretive activity. This book serves as a model of research and critical thinking about opera, while nevertheless retaining a deep respect for opera's continuing power to touch generations of listeners.Essays in Verdian Discourse Roger Parker. much general interest: in the month before writing this, I have seen two extremely good performances of the opera, one in French, one in ... resonances with subsequent material in the opera, most obviously with the opening of Philippea#39;s great Act IV monologue (example 1.1b).

Title:Leonora's Last Act
Author: Roger Parker
Publisher:Princeton University Press - 2014-12-25

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