Opera Companies of the World: Selected Profiles

Opera Companies of the World: Selected Profiles

Opera Companies of the World: Selected Profiles

Opera Companies of the World: Selected Profiles

Synopsis

Here for the first time are in-depth profiles of 139 major opera companies from around the globe, representing 35 countries and including little-known information on opera in the People's Republic of China, Israel, Japan, the Republic of South Africa, and Turkey. Briefly noted in an appendix are an additional 24 companies from ten countries. The profiles provide directory and access information, a survey of the company's history, and, wherever possible, a chronological listing of directors and managers, and a concise bibliography for further reference. An annotated research bibliography and a chronology of the foundings of the opera companies and an index complete the volume.

Excerpt

Given the social, aesthetic, and financial politics of the operatic world, I simply could not resist the opportunity to edit a volume that would assemble profiles of the world's major opera companies. As a former opera singer and stage director myself, I was curious about the response I might receive as well as the tone and validity of the information. Opera, is, after all, a wonderful, magical world in which appearances sometimes mask a more intriguing story behind the scenes. My intent was to avoid compiling a series of statistical overviews. This meant that the challenge was to provide interesting and insightful historical précis without revealing house secrets or indulging some positive or negative prejudice vis-à-vis administrations or policies; this proved to be a fine line indeed, and I leave it to the discerning reader to decide whether my contributors have succeeded in their delicate task. From my perspective, suffice it to say that this has been a marvelous journey, coming as it did during a seminal period in Western history when the cold war was ending, when Eastern Europe was tasting the first morsels of freedom, when the Soviet Union itself was looking inward to its own multicultural ethnic fabric, and when more opera companies than ever before were experimenting with the ancient Dramma per musica which was invented almost four hundred years ago by the Italian Camerata and realized by the first genius of the new genre, Claudio Monteverdi. Caught up in the changing drama of our times, this project was also influenced weekly by the major alterations in opera company administrations and addresses, which seemed to shift with alarming frequency. The question often had to be asked, "Who is in charge of what, and how can they be contacted?" Had I known several years ago just what sort of a journey I was undertaking, I might well have graciously turned down Marilyn Brownstein's offer. However, then I would not have established such productive correspondence with opera aficionados all over the world.

Nothing remotely like this volume has ever existed in the world of opera, and, although most of the people whom I initially contacted were most enthusiastic . . .

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