February 22, 2017

100 Great Operas And Their Stories: Act-By-Act Synopses by Henry W. Simon

By Henry W. Simon

A useful consultant for either informal opera enthusiasts and afficionados, this quantity includes act-by-act descriptions of operatic works starting from the early 17th century masterworks of Monteverdi and Purcell to the trendy classics of Menotti and Britten. Written in a full of life anecdotal kind, entries contain personality descriptions, old historical past, and masses extra.

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100 Great Operas And Their Stories: Act-By-Act Synopses

A useful consultant for either informal opera lovers and afficionados, this quantity includes act-by-act descriptions of operatic works starting from the early 17th century masterworks of Monteverdi and Purcell to the fashionable classics of Menotti and Britten. Written in a full of life anecdotal kind, entries comprise personality descriptions, old history, and lots more and plenty extra.

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For Paris, ten years later, Gluck made a drastically different version, one which stuck closer to his announced principles and which is the one always given today. It was a failure. Gluck took it philosophically and wrote: “Alceste can only displease when it is new. It has not yet had time. I say that it will please in two hundred years …” For once, an artist was right when he made such a prediction. At least, I hope that he was right. The prediction has less than twenty years to run. ACT I In the first act the people of the city-state of Thessaly are already mourning their good King, Admetus, who is on the point of death.

As a young man, he led a rather wild life in France, took early to writing verse, at one time began, in poetry, a whole encyclopedia of universal knowledge, had a brief career as a diplomat in England, espoused the ideals of the French Revolution, but became revolted at its excesses. He wrote bitter satires on the subject, but was quite safe till one evening, when visiting an aristocratic friend in the country, he was picked up by the police, who were looking for someone else. It was not a case of mistaken identity: they just didn’t want to go back empty-handed.

Dominic, patron saint of sailors. Nelusko has been taken along on this trip in the role of pilot: it was he who stole Vasco da Gama’s maps and presented them to Don Pedro. Don Alvar warns Pedro that the Indian is apparently not to be trusted, reminding him that two ships have already been lost; but the blustering captain insists on permitting Nelusko to change the course. It was Adamastor, the god of storms, who destroyed those two ships, explains the Indian, and he describes the doings of this dread deity in a ballad sung for the benefit of the crew (Adamastor, roi des vagues profondes–“Adamastor, king of the depthless waves”).

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