Calder Opera Guides

Showing 1–12 of 49 results

    Der Rosenkavalier (The Knight of the Rose)

    By Richard Strauss

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    Der Rosenkavalier has one of the longest and most exquisitely crafted texts of all opera. The depth and subtlety of the characterization can only be appreciated by those who have read it. Derrick Puffett notes that the sentimentality and parody of the subject perfectly matched Strauss’s genius. Mich…

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    La Cenerentola (Cinderella)

    By Gioachino Rossini

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    These Opera Guides are ideal companions to the opera. They provide stimulating introductory articles together with the complete text of each opera in English and the original. Among the features of this Guide to La Cenerentola, Philip Gossett throws new light on the remarkable story of the opera’s c…

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    Siegfried

    By Richard Wagner

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    “A Turandot filtered through a modern brain,” wrote Puccini, describing his plans to rework the eighteenth-century fable by Carlo Gozzi. According to Mosco Carner, Puccini’s last and supreme work is an advanced score which, with an orchestration that reflects contemporaries such as Richard Strauss a…

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    Die Walküre (The Valkyrie)

    By Richard Wagner

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    “Things like this are written only for people who have good powers of endurance (so really for nobody!),” wrote Wagner about Die Walküre. Yet, as Geoffrey Skelton points out, the opera has enjoyed a separate popularity and existence from the Ring cycle. George Gillespie shows just how the string of…

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    La forza del destino (The Force of Destiny)

    By Giuseppe Verdi

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    Verdi’s War and Peace, writes Peter Conrad of this epic opera composed in 1862. It encompasses the extremes of a religious and secular existence – the worlds of the lovers pursued by an uncompromising fate and of the people in the scenes at the inn and on the battlefield. Despite its beautiful score…

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    Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute)

    By Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

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    With his last opera Mozart created a piece of theatre which defies categorization. In theory it is a Singspiel, a mixture of songs and dialogue, in which the spectacular effects and comedy fit naturally: they appeal today as much as they did when it first opened in popular Viennese theatre two hundr…

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    Tannhäuser

    By Richard Wagner

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    What can explain Wagner’s obsession with Tannhäuser, which he first conceived in 1845 and still considered unfinished at his death in 1883? Describing of the struggle of a man torn between erotic love and spiritual fulfilment, the opera contains the kernels of all his later works: man’s need for lov…

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    Don Carlos

    By Giuseppe Verdi

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    It used to be thought that Verdi miscalculated with this attempt at a “grand opera” in the French style. This guide demonstrates that Don Carlos was – and remains – an extraordinary achievement in melding two opposing visions of opera: the spectacular public aspect of the French tradition with the d…

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    Lohengrin

    By Richard Wagner

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    The legend of the Swan Knight who rescues a princess from the forces of pagan evil is one Christian Europe’s foundation myths. Lohengrin transformed Wagner into an international figure almost overnight, and it remained his most popular work throughout the nineteenth century. Thomas Grey proposes tha…

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    The Operas of Michael Tippett

    By Michael Tippett

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    Although it is impossible to trace any one particular theme running through the operas of Michael Tippett, the libretti of his four operas are fascinating to compare. The dense allusions of The Midsummer Marriage (1955), here annotated, gave way to the classical formality of King Priam (1962); the p…

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    Falstaff

    By Giuseppe Verdi

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    ‘A lyric comedy unlike any other,’ wrote Verdi about his last opera. That the last work of a composer who was almost notorious for his preference for tragic and gloomy subjects should be a brilliant human comedy was and remains one of the wonders of music. Michael Rose considers its status in Italia…

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    Macbeth

    By Giuseppe Verdi

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    Verdi came to Shakespeare through Italian translation and had never seen Macbeth on stage when he wrote his first version of the opera in 1847. Giorgio Melchiori draws a parallel between the conditions in which the playwright and the composer were working and compares their achievements. The superna…

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