Great, Grand & Famous Opera Houses
…where art and drama meet
With a Foreword by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa
Great, Grand & Famous Opera Houses takes its readers on a tour of the world’s most beautiful opera venues, from exquisite gems of early theatre design, such as the Opéra Royal in Versailles to extravagant Belle Époque halls, such as the Palais Garnier in Paris, and modern masterpieces, including the iconic Sydney Opera House and Valencia’s spectacular Palau de les Artes Reina Sofia.
Sumptuous, entertaining and inspiring, Great, Grand and Famous Opera Houses will delight not only opera lovers and connoisseurs of architecture, but all those intrigued by the history of music, art and culture.
Did You Know?
• After failing to prosper in his native Salzburg, in 1781 Mozart took up an invitation to work for Archbishop Colloredo in Vienna, where he subsequently established himself as an independent composer in the city.
• Taking the tenor part in L’Elisir d’amore at San Carlo in 1901, Naples-born Enrico Caruso was booed and hissed by a section of the audience. Appalled, he announced, ‘I shall not sing in Naples again’—and he kept his word.
• The Teatro di San Carlo is not only one of the most beautiful opera houses in the world, it is Italy’s oldest and largest opera house and the oldest working opera house in Europe.
People are drawn to opera by the glory of its music and voices, and the magic and poignancy of its stories.
Great, Grand & Famous Opera Houses takes its readers on a tour of the world’s most beautiful opera venues, from exquisite gems of early theatre design, such as the Opéra Royal in Versailles and the Slottsteater at Drottingholm, Sweden, to extravagant Belle Époque halls, such as the Palais Garnier in Paris and Vienna’s Staatsoper, and modern masterpieces, including the iconic Sydney Opera House and Valencia’s spectacular Palau de les Artes Reina Sofia.
Graced by stunning photography, each opera house profile provides an engaging guided tour of the building’s architectural features and interior design, and goes behind the scenes to reveal colourful stories of the patrons, impresarios and stars, whose larger-than-life personalities, tempestuous relationships and outrageous behaviour at times surpassed the melodrama on stage.
Chapter introductions trace the broad history of opera in different parts of the world, and fascinating feature spreads turn the spotlight on key figures and aspects of production, ranging from singers, composers and conductors to stage machinery and costume design.
About Moffatt Oxenbould AM
Moffatt Oxenbould’s contribution to the development of Opera in Australia spans a period of more than 45 years.
From 1984 to 1999, Oxenbould held the position of Artistic Director of Opera Australia, directing a number of works for the Company, including Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia (1971), Puccini’s Trittico (1973), Rossini’s Semiramide (1983), Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito based on the production of the late Göran Järvefelt (1991) and a new production of Idomeneo (1994). His iconic production of Madama Butterfly was first seen in 1997 and has been performed by the Company in Sydney and Melbourne in successive years and also in Adelaide, Brisbane, Pittsburgh and Montreal.
In 1985 Moffatt Oxenbould was awarded an AM for his services to opera. In 1986 he was awarded the inaugural Dame Joan Hammond Award in recognition of his important contribution to opera. To honour his dedication to developing the talents of young Australian artists, Opera Australia named its Young Artists Development Program – The Moffatt Oxenbould Young Artist Program.
300 mm x 230 mm
500 + images throughout
Hardcover, jacket with French-folds plus place-marker ribbon