This book mounts a searching enquiry into the elusive character of opera. Arguing that any art-work can be grasped primarily through its constellation of Platonic ideas, or 'categories', Christopher Wintle explores several of these in light of his novel definition of the art-form. Each category is elaborated with case-studies rooted in the time, place and circumstance of an opera's origin. Most of these adapt previously-published essays, though some draw on talks for universities, opera houses and the BBC. Although they look back to the infancy of opera (c.1600), they concentrate on the relative moderns - principally Wagner, Verdi, Strauss and Britten. As the first of a two-volume project, What Opera Means deals with categories accessible to all: of fifty entries, only two require basic musical knowledge (the second volume will be for specialists). The book is suitable for the general reader, as well as for college courses.
CHRISTOPHER WINTLE is Emeritus Senior Lecturer in Music at King's College London and General Editor of the series Defining Opera (Plumbago Books). He has published extensively on nineteenth- and twentieth-century music, and for twenty years was an opera critic for the Times Literary Supplement.
KATE HOPKINS (Editor) is Content Producer for Opera at the Royal Opera House and Senior Assistant Editor of Plumbago Books. She has written on opera and literature for ENO, WNO and ROH.
Author: Christopher Wintle
Editor: Kate Hopkins
Page extent: 271 pages
Size: 15.5 x 23.5 x 2 cm