In Conversation With
A biography in the form of interviews, this book explores the life and music of the celebrated tenor, Jonas Kaufmann. In extended conversations with Thomas Voigt, Kaufmann discusses his work in opera, and particularly his relationship to Verdi and Wagner, the sacrifices of success, and the performance of lieder, which he describes as ‘the ne plus ultra of singing’. Foreword by Plácido Domingo.
Wigmore Castle, North Herefordshire
Excavations 1996 and 1998
Wigmore Castle was the seat of the Mortimer family from the late 11th century to 1425, when it passed to the Dukes of York, and thence to the crown. This monograph records the two excavations within the Inner Bailey of the castle, prior to its repair and consolidation by English Heritage.
Southwell and Nottinghamshire
Medieval Art, Architecture, and Industry
The special focus of this volume is Southwell Minster, but the 15 essays also include discussions of the Cistercian Abbey at Rufford, Worksop Priory Church, the 12th-century castle at Newark and the development of bell-casting in Nottinghamshire. With a 48-page section of black and white photographs.
Newcastle and Northumberland
Roman and Medieval Architecture and Art
Ranging from the prehistory of Newcastle to Warkworth castle, the Percy family’s tower house built in the 14th century, this volume of 15 essays explores the remarkably rich material legacy of the Middle Ages in north-east England. Among the significant sites discussed are Hexham Priory, the castle keep in Newcastle upon Tyne, Tynemouth priory and Alnwick castle.
The Medieval Chantry in England
Originally published as the 2011 Journal of the British Archaeological Association, this collection of eleven conference papers begins with ‘A Prehistory of the Chantry’ by John McNeill and includes studies of the development of the English ‘Stone Age’ chantry chapel, the commemorative foundations of William of Wykeham, and Islip’s Chantry at Westminster Abbey.
Medieval Art, Architecture and Archaeology at Canterbury
Since the foundation of its cathedral in 597, Canterbury has been the epicentre of Britain’s ecclesiastical history and an important locus for architectural and visual innovation. The majority of these 17 essays deal with aspects of the cathedral, among them the rebuilding by Archbishop Wulfred (805–32), the south oculus and the ‘Old Bakery’ chamber; but other topics include the monks’ library at Christ Church and the Great Gate of St Augustine’s Abbey.
Medieval and Early Modern Art, Architecture and Archaeology
The importance of Norwich as the second most populous and wealthy city in medieval England is explored in this volume of 19 essays and seven site reports, including studies of Norwich Castle Keep, castle staircases, chancel passageways and a Norwich freemason as well as several aspects of the cathedral’s architecture and artefacts.
King's Lynn and the Fens
Medieval Art, Architecture and Archaeology
Beginning with an essay on ‘King John’s Cup’, one of the finest pieces of medieval silversmith’s work in England, this volume discusses a variety of buildings and artefacts in West Norfolk, including the counting houses and Hanseatic ‘Steelyard’ in King’s Lynn, Snettisham Church, and the tomb of Sir Humphrey de Littlebury at All Saints, Holbeach. Slightly off-mint.
Seats of Power in Europe During the Hundred Years War
An Architectural Study from 1330 to 1480
Surveying more than 60 residences of the crowned heads and royal dukes of countries involved in the Hundred Years War, this illustrated study investigates whether the castles, palaces and manor houses of the War’s protagonists reflect a defensive purpose, a social function or the personality of the builders. After an introduction to the military, political and architectural background, the book discusses residences in France and England, but also in Scotland, Flanders and the Iberian Peninsula, during the period 1330 to 1483.
During the last decade of his life Leoš Janácek sent hundreds of passionate letters to Kamila Stösslová, a married woman half his age. Selections from their correspondence are translated in this volume, with linking commentary, photographs and a decoding of the lovers’ erotic references. Their words reveal how much this relationship inspired the composer’s final, greatest works – including the String Quartet ‘Intimate Letters’ – and shed valuable light on his personality.
An Archaeological Study of the Bayeux Tapestry
The Landscapes, Buildings and Places
Trevor Rowley, an authority on the Normans and landscape history, focuses on the mid 11th-century landscapes in North-western France and England in which the epic events portrayed by the Bayeux Tapestry took place. Following those events, from Earl Harold’s journeys to Bosham and France to the Battle of Hastings, Rowley describes, with photographs and diagrams, the archaeological evidence and existing sites of the buildings and places represented and sometimes named on the Tapestry.
The Crafty Art of Opera
For Those Who Make It, Love It or Hate It
Acclaimed director Michael Hampe presents ‘useful rules’ for staging opera, giving examples from his work with singers and conductors. He discusses such questions as how to move on stage and how to convey comedy, aiming to help performers realize the art form’s full potential.
The Composer and the Community
Beginning with Benjamin Britten’s speech On Receiving the First Aspen Award (1964) in which he expressed his commitment to community and place, this volume presents 20 essays, interviews and commentaries by composers, performers and facilitators reflecting on the role of the composer in the community in Britain during the last 50 years.
Histories of Modernist Music Drama from Parsifal to Nono
Beginning with the composer’s final stage work, Mark Berry traces the impact of Wagner on 20th-century opera. In particular he identifies how music drama, staging and political engagement intersect in the work of five composers with very different conceptions of a Wagnerian tradition.
Composing an American Life
One of America’s foremost composers reflects on his life and times, from the marching bands of his 1950s childhood to his acclaimed 2005 opera Doctor Atomic. He also explains the interplay of tradition and innovation in his own compositional process and the work of fellow-musicians.
Many of the great operatic singers of the 20th century led lives as extraordinary as the characters they portrayed on stage. In this refreshingly readable survey, acclaimed tenor and BBC presenter Nigel Douglas assesses the lives and careers of 14 great singers, from Enrico Caruso to Kirsten Flagstad, from Lotte Lehmann to Fritz Wunderlich. The book provides anecdotes and recollections from those who knew them, and also recommends the best CDs of their work.
Britain's Medieval Episcopal Thrones
History, Archaeology and Conservation
Six episcopal thrones survive from 14th-century cathedral churches. In this scholarly volume, Charles Tracy presents in-depth studies of the timber thrones in Exeter, St David’s and Hereford Cathedrals and the impressive, canopied oak bishop’s chair in Lincoln; Andrew Budge contributes a chapter on the two stone episcopal thrones at Wells and Durham Cathedrals. There is much additional information in appendices, and the studies are lavishly illustrated with photographs, plans and line drawings of the thrones.
The Great Composers and Their Masterworks
This guide to the world of opera covers the whole history of the art form, from the early Baroque masterpieces of Monteverdi and Cavalli to works by such modern composers as Britten, John Adams and Thea Musgrave. Ranging across Europe, Russia and the United States, the book provides concise biographies of more than 50 composers, with synopses of their key works, photographs of productions and details of famous arias and choruses. Preface by Lord Harewood and foreword by Bryn Terfel.
Bizet's electrifying drama contains some of his best-known music, and its femme fatale is one of the most iconic figures in all opera. This superb recording, in which Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos conducts the Rome Opera chorus and orchestra, features a top-flight cast including Grace Bumbry, Jon Vickers, Mirella Freni and Kostas Paskalis.
In Search of England's Lost King
Francis Young, himself at the forefront of the search to locate the lost coffin of King Edmund, tells the story of the historical search for the real man behind the legendary East Anglian king killed by the Vikings in 869. The book traces Edmund’s progress from martyred king to England’s national saint in medieval times; and describes current research into Edmund’s burial in the abbey at Bury St Edmunds and the present whereabouts of his mortal remains.
Great Opera Recordings
Presented in Naxos’s Great Opera Recordings series, this is a much-celebrated historical performance of Jules Massenet’s Manon by the Chorus and Orchestra of the Opéra-Comique, Paris, conducted by Élie Cohen, with Germaine Féraldy (soprano), Joseph Rogatchewsky (tenor) and George Villier (baritone).
Most archaeological study of medieval children has focused on the physical remains found in burials; this volume of nine papers presents new ways of exploring children’s lives. Among the topics discussed are play, particularly board and dice games; migration; children’s use of domestic and social space; evidence of children in the labour force; and ‘eaves-drip’ burials – the practice of burying babies close to the church walls.
Medieval Art, Architecture and Archaeology at
Apart from three studies of the castle, the 20 papers in this volume deal mainly with aspects of Rochester’s often-overlooked medieval cathedral, including Bishop Gundulf’s door, the 12th-century nave, the cathedral’s monuments and its historiography.
The Chapel and Burial Ground on St Ninian's Isle, Shetland
Excavations Past and Present
St Ninian’s Isle is famous for the discovery of 28 pieces of Pictish silverware by Andrew O’Dell in 1958: this volume reassesses archive material from O’Dell’s work in the 1950s and describes earlier and later excavations, 1876 to 2000. Monograph 32.
First used in medieval Venice and prized for its manoeuvrability, the gondola evolved over the centuries into today's sleek, asymmetrical black boat. Illustrated with reproductions of views of Venice, Donna Leon's little book offers 'a new way to enter into the life of the city' through the stories of the gondola, its history, its makers and its songs. A CD of gondoliers' barcarole accompanies the book, recorded by Il Pomo d'Oro, with a special track by Cecilia Bartoli.
The Chronicle of Opera
Derided by Dr Johnson as 'an exotic and irrational entertainment', opera has captivated audiences for four centuries. This volume charts the historical development of the art form, with features on composers from Monteverdi to Britten, key works from The Magic Flute to Wozzeck, and legendary singers such as Maria Callas. The reference section includes a timeline, discography, biographies and a guide to further reading, and over 100 colour illustrations show the magnificence of many operatic productions.
The Knowledge: Opera
In a concise introduction to opera, from its history to synopses of the most popular works, Dennis Marks (1948–2015), the former General Director of English National Opera, explains ‘what gives this strange activity the power to inspire the novice and obsess the enthusiast’. Slightly off-mint.