Opera and its Symbols: The Unity of Words, Music and Staging

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In this book the late musicologist, performer, and writer Robert Donington discusses the workings of symbolism in opera and the importance of staging an opera in keeping with the composer's intentions. His analysis includes scenes and characters from operas by Monteverdi, Mozart, Verdi, Wagner, Bizet, Puccini, Debussy, Strauss, Stravinsky, Berg, Britten, Tippett, and other composers

Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (September 10, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300056613
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300056617
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces

Customer Reviews

A glorious tour de force!

9 people found this helpful.
 on December 18, 2004
By Hiram Gòmez Pardo Venezuela
The musicologist, thinker, performer and writer Robert Donington deciphers the hidden codes and discusses the different facets in opera according the composer’s intentions . He makes an impressive journey .

The three-fold challenge of opera

9 people found this helpful.
 on February 28, 2004
By ealovitt
If an operatic producer unravels a single thread of the original composer’s unity of words, music, and staging (almost always it is the staging that is tugged and twisted), then the opera’s symbolic center will not hold.

A new perspective on familiar operas

11 people found this helpful.
 on July 19, 2000
I have enjoyed this book very much. It offers a very interesting psychological perspective on opera whose stories one may just take for granted. The analyses include selected operas from Monteverdi up to the twentieth century composers. Particular emphasis is placed upon Wagner’s work, and most of all on “Der Ring des Nibelungen”, with the list of the most important leitmotives and the concepts they allegedly represent added in an Appendix to the book. So, if you think you may be interested in a short analysis of “Lohengrin” from Elsa’s perspective, or Don Giovanni as suffering from Oedipus complex, this book may be for you. You may not agree with everything, but it will definitely give you new insights on some of the familiar works.

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