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The Angel's Cry
Author: Michel Poizat

ISBN: 9780801423888
Format: Hardcover
Number Of Pages: 240
Published: 17 May 1992
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.84 x 14.76 x 2.31
Is "passion" too strong a word to describe what drives people to stand outdoors for a dozen hours or more, regardless of the weather, to purchase fold-out seats behind the upper-tier boxes for a performance of Tristan und Isolde? Not at all, says Michel Poizat, who here guides his readers on a voyage to discover why opera rewards its devotees with such profound pleasure, mingled with equally powerful feelings of horror and loss. His fascinating book, first published in French in 1986, is now available in Arthur Denner's fluid and sensitive English translation.
Predictably, Poizat's route is not at all a conventional one. Rather than taking as his point of departure the intentions of composers and librettists, he is primarily concerned with the expectations and desires of the audience. He reports on an informal group interview with overnight standees on the Paris Opera House steps as they compare notes on how opera became an addiction. They are there for a "fix," they agree. How, Poizat asks, does this "monstrous phenomenon," which stretches its interpreters to their absolute limits, captivate its audience, making them oblivious of hard seat...

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