Tag Archives: Scholarship

Good One-Volume Biography from 1965

While visiting a used book store in Chapel Hill, NC, a while ago I came across a slim biography and musical introduction titled Wagner, by Robert L. Jacobs.  The copyright dates are 1935 and 1965, and it was published as part of a “Master Musicians” series by J.M. Dent in London and Farrar, Straus and […]

Critiquing a Critic

The worst thing a writer on the arts can do is to discuss a work he has not seen.  I once lambasted the excellent critic for the New Yorker, Alex Ross, for writing about the staging of the Metropolitan Opera’s Ring Cycle when he had seen each of the works but not the Cycle itself.  […]

Brilliant History of Opera Staging

Evan Baker’s book From the Score to the Stage: An Illustrated History of Continental Opera Production and Staging (Univ. Chicago Press 2013) is the best study of its kind: scholarly, entertaining, and comprehensive in its grasp of this wonderful subject. Baker seems infused with enthusiasm for the topic, lingering deliciously on such topics as early […]

Trying to Get Through the Pile….

My reading pile has grown exponentially larger over the past few months and unfortunately has stayed that way despite conscious and time-consuming effort. It looms over my bed and is starting to totter.  It sits on the right-hand corner of my desk and scowls at me. In the midst of it are three Wagner-related books:  Trippett’s Wagner’s […]