Fairy Tales are often short on character, motivation and development. The stock figures are either good or bad, they are usually archetypal, and stand not only for themselves but larger dimensions of humanity.
George Benjamin is the leading British composer of his generation. Into the Little Hill premiered in 2006, has been acclaimed a masterpiece.
Despite its length and pretentions to being serious opera, Jacques Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann, dating from the 1880s, remains a leaky vessel adrift on a sea of self-fulfilling prophesies of doom.
The operas of British composer Jonathan Dove enjoy a fairly high level of both critical and popular support in the U.K., where his best known work, Flight, premiered at the prestigious Glyndebourne Festival.
Bellini’s Norma was composed in 1831 and, in the era of such
singing actresses as Giuditta Pasta, Maria Malibran, Giuseppina Strepponi,
Giulia Grisi and ThÈrËse Tietjens (famous Normas all), soon came to be known as
the bel canto vehicle par excellence, the summit of vocal achievement.
Originally published in German as Herrin des H¸gels, das Leben der Cosima Wagner (Siedler, 2007), this new book by Oliver Hilmes is an engaging portrait of one of the most important women in music during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.