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In Operatic Afterlives, Michal Grover-Friedlander examines the implications of opera's founding myth-the story of Orpheus and Eurydice: Orpheus's attempt to revive the dead Eurydice with the power of singing. Grover-Friedlander examines instances in which opera portrays an existence beyond death, a revival of the dead, or a simultaneous presence of life and death. These portrayals-in operas by Puccini and other composers and performances by Maria Callas-are made possible, she argues, by the unique treatment of voice in the operas in question: the occurrence of a breach in which singing itself takes on an afterlife in the face of the singer's death. This may arise from the multiplication of singing voices inhabiting the same body, from disembodied singing, from the merging of singing voices, from the disconnection of voice and character. The instances developed in the book take on added significance as they describe a reconfiguration of operatic singing itself. Singing reigns over text, musical language, and dramatic characterization. The notion of the afterlife of singing reveals the singularity of the voice in opera, and how much it differs categorically from any other elaboration of the voice. Grover-Friedlander's examples reflect on the meanings of the operatic voice as well as on our sense of its resonating, unending, and haunting presence. Traditionally, opera kills its protagonists, but Grover-Friedlander argues that opera at times also represents the ways that the voice, singing, or song acquire their own forms of aliveness and indestructibility. Operatic Afterlivesshows the ultimate power that opera grants to singing: the reversal of death.
Table of Contents
|Afterlife: A New Configuration of Singing|
|Inside the Book|
|Giacomo Puccini, Le villi (1884)||p. 35|
|The Afterlife of Maria Callas's Voice Franco Zeffirelli, Callas Forever (2002)||p. 45|
|Regaining the Lost Voice: First Attempt|
|Vocal Pairs: An Overwhelmed Body|
|Regaining the Lost Voice: Second Attempt|
|The Voice's Afterlife|
|Sung By Death Giacomo Puccini, Gianni Schicchi (1918)||p. 77|
|How Comedy Ends|
|Clues about Life and Death|
|Dramatic and Musical Continuity|
|Curious Dating of the Tale in the Libretto|
|Inaccurate Historical References in the Libretto|
|Undifferentiating the Living from the Dead|
|Interlude Opera Ghosting|
|Michael Ching, Buoso's Ghost: Comic Sequel in One Act after Puccini's Gianni Schicchi (1996)||p. 109|
|Dybbuk: Between Voice and Song Lodovico Rocca, Il dibuk (1934)||p. 115|
|A Soul Has a Voice|
|The Divine's Voice|
|The Dybbuk, or Between Two Worlds|
|Duet within Oneself with the Dead about the Unborn|
|I Am Song|
|Interlude Voice Replacement Puccini, Gianni Schicchi, Rocca, Il dibuk||p. 149|
|Singing and Disappearing Angels Mordecai Seter, Tikkun Hatsot (Midnight Vigil, 1961)||p. 151|
|Dying Out of Song: Midnight Vigil|
|Allowing a Voice to be Heard|
|Composing A Hearing|
|Pargod: Celestial Veil|
|Coming to an End|
|Epilogue Cartoon-Animated Opera The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met (Disney, 1946)||p. 197|
|Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.|