Saints in the Limelight: Representations of the Religious Quest on the Post-1945 Operatic Stage

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Pendragon Press, 2003 - Music - 635 pages
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In the small list of scholarly works on music after World War II, there are few studies of the operatic repertory and none at all on the surprisingly large number of operas on religious themes. In this interdisciplinary study of thirty-eight music dramatic works on saintly subjects, Siglind Bruhn, distinguished author of such seminal studies as The Temptation of Paul Hindemith and Musical Ekphrasis, asks why this phenomenon occurred in the last half of the previous century and investigates how contemporary composers express spiritual mysteries. The works examined include celebrated masterpieces, lesser works by renowned composers, and gems by composers who were highly esteemed in their own country and time. Although all the works she discusses have been publicly performed and almost half of them commercially recorded, many have never been discussed in print outside their country of origin and none of them has been examined to ask how the musical language and the dramatic elements convey the religous quest in all its complexity. The range of works under scrutiny range from Messiaien's St. Fran ois d'Assise to Philipp Glass's Satyagraha; from Poulenc's Dialogues of the Carmelites to Menotti's Saint of Bleecker Street; from Tavener's Mary of Egypt to Tomasi's Miguel de Manana.
 

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Contents

Christian Souls in Battles Between Good and Evil
3
Gods CountryGods Victories?
53
Tough Politician or Good Shepherd7
87
Two Dreamers of Nordic Nations Pious and Just
117
God s Unlikely Torchbearers
143
The Strength of Conquered Fear
159
A Saint in Manhattan
175
Miguel Manara
185
Liberation Through Selfcontrol The Buddha and the Mahatma
391
Gods Intimates
435
The Lonely Voices of Hadewijch and Maria Maddalena
469
Gods Witnesses unto Death
491
Magnus of Orkney
533
Dietrich Bonhoeffer
547
Representations of the Numinous and Exemplary
573
Appendices
589

Mary of Egypt and the Wisdom of Nonjudgment
195
God s Heralds
225
Two Early Christian Missionaries
267
Two Conflicted Reformers
285
Gods CreaturesOur Suffering Siblings
329
Scores
599
Index of Names
623
About the Author
635
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