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Opera and Politics: From Monteverdi to Henze Hardcover – August 25, 1997


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; First Edition edition (August 25, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300069359
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300069358
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,284,287 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Christopher A. Fulkerson on December 19, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a truly superb book, arguably the best of its kind. If you want to get in on the argument, you simply have to read it. Some of the most important observations I have ever read on opera are in this book. If you are at all interested in the "real deal" about what needs to be said on this topic, get this book and don't wait as long as I did to read it, this is a major essay. It's only a couple of hundred of very well-written pages.

Bokina is a political science professor in Texas. I heard him speak at the Wagner Society in San Francisco in 2002. At the Wagner Society we are grateful any time a speaker doesn't flagellate us over Wagner's anti-Semitism, but Professor Bokina's is a far more in-depth political view than that. He is no less a reliable thinker about opera for being first a political scientist and then a music critic, since he has if anything overcompensated with quite wide reading and detailed footnotes. He supports things many music critics would take for granted.

Regarding the present state of the art, Bokina does more than merely disparage the deadly dull seasons we are being offered all over the country, always the same warhorses, and the insane imbalance created by the decades-long hegemony of the directors over the composers or even over the impresarios. On the subject of the minimalists, he is certainly the boy who calls the Emperor's tailor's bluff: he states succinctly in the introduction "The political subjects of postmodern operas provide these works with a false aura of seriousness and significance, and that is all." So watch out, those of you in the Postmodern bubble. In the Postscript he gets down and dirty, deploring Glass's "ultimately pointless melange of pop icons...
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