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The Modern Castrato: Gaetano Guadagni and the Coming of a New Operatic Age [Englisch] [Gebundene Ausgabe]

Patricia Howard

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17. Juli 2014
The Modern Castrato: Gaetano Guadagni and the Coming of a New Operatic Age chronicles the career of the most significant castrato of the second half of the eighteenth-century. Through a coincidence of time and place, Gaetano Guadagni was on the forefront of the heroic opera reform, and many forward-thinking composers of the age created roles for him. Author Patricia Howard reveals that Guadagni may have been the only singer of the time fully able to understand the demands and opportunities of this reform, as well to possess the intelligence and self-knowledge to realize that it suited his skills, limitations and temperament perfectly-making him the first castrato to embrace the concepts of modern singing. The first full-length biography of this outstanding singer, The Modern Castrato illuminates the everyday lives of eighteenth-century singers while spotlighting the historic high points of the century. Most famous for his creation of the role of Orpheus in Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice, his career ranged widely and brought him into contact with many progressives theorists and composers such as Traetta, Jommelli, and Bertoni. Howard's focus on the development of Guadagni's career pauses on essential, related topics along the way, such as the castrato in society, the eighteenth-century revolution in acting, and the remarkable evidence for Guadagni's marionette theater. Howard also assesses Guadagni's surviving compositions, which give new insight into the quality and character of his voice as well as his technical and expressive abilities. The Modern Castrato is an engaging narrative that will prove essential reading for opera lovers and scholars of eighteenth-century music.



Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

After studying music at Oxford and Surrey Universities, Patricia Howard joined the Music Department at the Open University, where she worked as a Course Tutor and a Course Team member. In addition, she has written and broadcast extensively as a free-lance, contributing in particular to the BBC's 'Music Magazine' and 'Music Matters', and writing regularly for the Musical Times, Early Music, Music and Letters, and Il saggiatore musicale. She has worked with the singers Emma Dogliani and Iestyn Davies, researching repertory, writing concert and disc notes and presenting pre-concert talks.

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4.0 von 5 Sternen Fascinating window into another world with an uncanny connection into ours. 8. Juni 2014
Von M. Parker - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
Guadagni is the castrato singer who created the title role in Gluck's opera ORFEO and his place in operatic history is thus assured. But there is so much more to know as the author reveals to us. The influence of Handel on his musical style; the influence of Garrick on his stage deportment and acting (and subsequent operatic acting); Guadagni's continuing association with the role of ORFEO and not only in Gluck's version; his contribution to the operatic reforms of Gluck; and the entire world of 18th century Italian opera and the castrati singers. After reading this book, I have a much richer understanding of all these subjects. With all the interest in recent years in 18th century opera, there should be a large audience for this book. My one reservation is the implication at various points that countertenors are a substitute for castrati singers. This is a widely held view, but it is not vocally defensible. Female singers are a better substitute for operatic castrato roles from the vocal point of view. Handel never used countertenors on the operatic stage though they certainly had a place in his church music and a few oratorios (as soloists). Still, this is an important book for lovers of 18th century opera.
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