Debussy's Melisande: The Lives of Georgette Leblanc, Mary Garden and Maggie Teyte (Hardback)Gillian Opstad (author)
Hardback 392 Pages / Published: 21/05/2009
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Debussy's Melisande examines the colourful lives of Georgette Leblanc, Mary Garden and Maggie Teyte, and their involvement with Debussy's Pelleas et Melisande, illustrating the prejudices and difficulties women singers of their era faced. The three women presented here were not only remarkable for the resilience and initiative they had to develop, but also for their willingness to adapt themselves to the opportunities offered by the emerging technologies of recording, radio and film. It is also the story of the background to the opera's creation, and the frequently stormy relationships between the author of the original play (Maeterlinck), the composer, director, conductor and performers. This book will be of great interest to scholars and students of Debussy, opera, French music and theatre, Maeterlinck, and those interested in women's studies and biography. Gillian Opstad read Modern Languages at Somerville College, Oxford after which she taught for a number of years in Buckinghamshire and Bristol. She has been actively involved with music both at university and since. This, her first book, is a result of her particular interest in French music, especially that of Debussy.
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer Ltd
Number of pages: 392
Weight: 816 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 36 mm
Georgette Leblanc, Mary Garden, and Maggie Teyte...brought to life Melisande, the mysterious princess, and lived full lives themselves. And, thanks to Opstad's work, they come to life for readers in the book Debussy's Melisande. FRENCH REVIEW Opstad succeeds [...] in conveying the tumult of theatrical life in the first half of the twentieth century, on both sides of the Atlantic, and we hear clearly the babble of competing egos, the insidious murmur of gossip, and the familiar strains of prejudice. MUSIC & LETTERS Debussy's Melisande provides a well-researched presentation of the lives of Georgette Leblanc, Mary Garden and Maggie Teyte [...] the personalities [...] seem to come to life and there is a real link between the three singers because of the circumstances surrounding the role of Melisande. THE OSCHOLARS This eloquent book.intelligently organised.[and] full of fascinating incidents. TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT [Robert Orledge] Engaging and wonderfully written. [...] Gives the reader insights into not only the evolution of the opera and the important figures involved in its production but also the intrigue with developing technology of the day, such as radio, film, and audio recordings. Recommended. CHOICE The interweaving of each singer's story makes for a fascinating read...Opstad manages the complex weave with ease...There are plenty of insights into what each singer brought to this famous role in terms of vocal, dramatic and visual qualities...there is an excellent selection of photographs. CLASSICAL MUSIC [Editor's Choice] As someone who has been puzzling over what this work "means" for some 50 years, I learnt a lot from this book and shall be returning to it regularly. BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE [Roger Nichols] Opstad's book will be fascinating for anyone interested in early twentieth century opera or the life and music of Debussy...[she] has uncovered many little-known facts about all the personalities involved. LITERARY REVIEW A brilliant success...Opstad's research is wide-ranging and exemplary. She tells a fascinating, moving and complex story superbly. Not least, her footnotes, handily on each relevant page, are models of clarity and concision. And her text is refreshingly free of the sort of musicological mumbo-jumbo that disfigures so many new books on interesting musical matters. WWW.OPERA-BRITANNIA.COM
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