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Opera Lively - The Interviews [Kindle Edition]

Luiz Gazzola
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

This book released by Opera Lively Press is a pleasure to read for everybody who cares about opera (beginners are also welcome). It contains the best of one year of journalism from Opera Lively. Singers, conductors, stage and video directors, scholars, educators, opera company managers, and composers describe in eloquent terms the entire gamut of the operatic experience. Profound insights about characters and works are side by side with discussions of controversial topics such as Regietheater, critical editions, the cult of image, and the future of the art form.

Singers include Anna Netrebko, Joyce DiDonato, Danielle de Niese, Deborah Voigt, Anna Caterina Antonacci, Piotr Beczala, Matthew Polenzani, Thomas Hampson, Luca Pisaroni, Erwin Schrott, Vivica Genaux, Saimir Pirgu, Leah Crocetto, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Bryan Hymel, Paulo Szot, Amanda Echalaz, Liam Bonner, and others.

Maestro Daniele Gatti, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Maestro Leon Botstein, Maestro Frédéric Chaslin, stage directors Thaddeus Strassberger and Yvonne Fontane, video director François Roussillon, musicologist Philip Gossett, veteran singer Sylvia Sass, contemporary composers Robert Ward, Marko Ivanovic, and Martin Smolka, educator Marilyn Taylor, opera company directors James Meena, James Allbritten, and Eric Mitchko, and other operatic professionals and thinkers complete the roster of 39 interviewees.

Opera journalist Luiz Gazzola, MD, PhD, the senior editor at Opera Lively, uses his three decades of experience as a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, and opera lover to engage with the artists in a pleasant and conversational manner, while asking musically well-informed and intellectually challenging questions, in unusually deep interviews.

From a reader: "I've read each and every one of the interviews, and I can say that, in my opinion, this is high-quality stuff. Of course, there are many interviews being offered, both online and in print, with opera singers, conductors, composers,... but these interviews are at the same time insightful, profound and entertaining, a rare combination."

Product Details

  • File Size: 1012 KB
  • Print Length: 508 pages
  • Publisher: Opera Lively Press; 1 edition (December 4, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #466,231 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Opera Comes Alive! December 18, 2012
Since appearing on the scene about a year ago, Opera Lively has quickly become one of the leading internet sources of informed opera journalism and discussion. This book represents the first year's worth of interviews conducted by the site's Senior Editor, Luiz Gazzola.

Even on a casual perusal of the book, one thing becomes immediately clear: Gazzola must not eat or sleep. In addition to overseeing the rapid development of the website into a highly respected opera resource, he has somehow found time to arrange for and conduct these interviews with various opera professionals, many of them the biggest names in the business, including Anna Netrebko, Joyce DiDonato, Danielle de Niese, Anna Caterina Antonacci, Deborah Voigt, Piotr Beczala, Matthew Polenzani, and Thomas Hampson. Traveling the world, he has managed to sit down for lengthy, in-depth conversations with thirty-eight of these figures--some of them more than once--to assemble a hefty collection totaling nearly five hundred pages. The project is clearly a labor of love, and it shows on every page.

Gazzola himself is one of the great strengths of the book. His passion for and extensive knowledge of opera comes through clearly, and that in turn seems to win the trust and elicit the unguarded response of his interviewees. They obviously relish conversing with such an informed, enthusiastic devotee. To cite just one example, when Gazzola identifies three of soprano Danielle de Niese's most successful productions on DVD and asks her to discuss each in turn, she is delighted by his astute choices. By the end of many of these interviews, the opera luminaries appear to feel as privileged to have sat down with Gazzola as he does with them.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I recommend it December 11, 2012
By Nina
I enjoyed reading this book. The interviews are extremely interesting. I particularly liked the ones with DiDonato, de Niese, Hampson, Beczala, Polenzani, Costanzo, Antonacci, Botstein, Gossett, Taylor, Strassberger, Fontane, Roussillon, Sass, and Ward - not that the others were not good, but these were especially rich in information that is not easy to find elsewhere. The artists are intelligent and reveal step-by-step how they conceptualize the roles that they sing and act, how opera is composed, produced, staged, filmed, and so on.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Behind the curtain with the reigning opera royalty January 14, 2014
An "inside baseball" look at the currently reigning stars of the world of opera. Thoroughly engaging, even for a novice, and hard to put down. The author captures the personalities of his interviewees, both in their own words, and by his descriptions. Worth the price of admission alone is the interview with rising star Danielle de Niese on the requirements of cardio fitness, the physical risks of performance from flying sea shells (!), and her avid use of social media to connect with her following.

Rarely does an author bring so much passion to his work (the author is a doctor by day, an opera fanatic by night and weekend). The dedication to the art form, and the excitement is on every page here. He himself offers the best explanation: "Opera touches the very core of the human condition. It has a force of truth, or "Satyagraha", a very appropriate name for a contemporary opera. Opera is sublime music that expresses and illustrates love, desire, duty, friendship, loyalty, jealousy, power, greed, death, murder, war, religion, mythology... what makes us human. And it does so by way of the ultimate art form that encompasses the musical, theatrical and visual arts, including instrumental playing, singing, acting, scenery, costumes, props, lighting, prose, poetry... "

Outstanding publication, not to be missed. Give a look to Dr. Gazzola's Opera Lively web site from whence it came as well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Lively Read! August 26, 2014
This book is clear and convincing evidence of the musical health of modern opera. It contains interviews with both well established singers, directors and conductors, in sum, except for stage hands, the essential persona of modern opera performance. It also contains interviews with emerging talent.

In the course of reviewing opera DVDs and CDs for Amazon customers, I have been ... "challenged" .. . frequently on my opinions on modern opera's artistic health, as well as the superb artistry of the modern singers. I have the benefit of having heard the singers of the last half of the 20th century whose absence is regretted by many who believe that today's singers do not measure up to those of bygone times. Recorded sound these days puts the quietus to that concept quite firmly, I believe.

What Dr. Gazzola presents here is proof of the comittment, hard work and intelligence of those interviewed. These are elements that, as one reads, come through quite clearly. Some of the singers are favorites here: Joyce DiDonato, Anna Netrebko, Matthew Polanzani and Piotr Beczala, just to name four. While I am presently unacquainted with the "new" talent interviewed, their remarks make me want to experience their work.

The author, a practicing shr ...I mean psychiatrist ... is as passionate about opera as I, and that's a LOT!.He interviews with a comprehensive knowledge of the subject matter, as well as an obvious love of it and respect for its practitioners. He writes well, too; his prose is crisp and clear.

In addition, Dr. Gazzola runs a fabulous website that has a huge amount of opera related information, including interviews to be published in a second volume (which I fervently wish he would get finished!).
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