By M. Owen Lee
Father Owen Lee is the world over identified for his intermission commentaries featured in the course of the Saturday afternoon pronounces from the Metropolitan Opera apartment in big apple. A Season of Opera: From Orpheus to Ariadne gathers jointly for the 1st time Father Lee's top broadcast and cassette commentaries, public lectures, and articles on twenty-three works for the musical level. The essays diversity from the pioneering Orpheus of Monteverdi to the forward-looking Ariadne of Richard Strauss. incorporated are Father Lee's well-known discussions of Mozart's Magic Flute and Beethoven's Fidelio , Verdi's l. a. Traviata and Falstaff , Wagner's Tristan und Isolde , and Poulenc's Dialogues of the Carmelites . The concluding bankruptcy, initially released because the lead article within the Opera Quarterly 's distinct factor at the finish of the 20 th century, is a thought-provoking forecast of opera's destiny. options for extra analyzing, CD recordings, and video clips also are incorporated. Opera Canada has applauded Father Lee's 'extraordinary skill to interact, problem, and enlighten an enormous and various audience' and referred to as his learning-worn-lightly commentaries 'a targeted mixture of religious empathy, classical scholarship, and mental insight.' Opera fans, or someone attracted to psychology and mythology, humanities and comparative literature, or the artwork of the essay will welcome this publication.
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Extra resources for A Season of Opera: From Orpheus to Ariadne
On the other hand, Sarastro is not a personification of good. He is that bright consciousness which is the beginning of reason, which builds cities and civilizations, and is associated archetypally with the father. He too is ambivalent, however, abducting those he would purify, subjecting them to cruel and horrendous ordeals, yet behind the frightening exterior benevolent and ultimately just. He is served by an ambivalent villain, symbolically dark-skinned because he is a shadow figure who, like the satans of literature (Lucifer in Paradise Lost, Caliban in The Tempest, Mephistopheles in Faust) is not so much evil as the unwitting instrument of good.
After Mozart other versions of the Don Juan myth continued to pour forth, from the likes of Byron and Baudelaire, de Musset and Merimee, Pushkin and Tolstoy. But there was never any question that the great treatment of the subject was Mozart's opera. There is scarcely a number in the score that is not referred to in the art, music, and literature that followed upon it. The first music we hear after the overture, Leporello's 'Notte e giorno faticar' ('Night and day I'm worked to death') was used by Beethoven in his Diabelli Variations as a jibe at the publishers who never allowed him to rest, and by Offenbach at the start of The Tales of Hoffmann, to indicate that the whole of that work is, on one level, an exegesis of Mozart's opera.
And we today want it too, for we have come to see this mercurial drama, with its vivid yet elusive characters, as something more than the story of Don Giovanni alone, and perhaps as something more than its creators, its performers, its past admirers, and its few present detractors have been able singly to say. Because its roots are in the puppet theatre, the opera's characters are to some extent puppets, yet Mozart makes the puppets sing music to break the heart. Because it is part morality play, it is clearly about sin, yet there is a strange innocence and an even stranger intimation of wisdom about it.
A Season of Opera: From Orpheus to Ariadne by M. Owen Lee