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Father Owen Lee is internationally known for his intermission commentaries featured during the Saturday afternoon broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. A Season of Opera: From Orpheus to Ariadne gathers together for the first time Father Lee's best broadcast and cassette commentaries, public lectures, and articles on twenty-three works for the musical stage. The essays range from the pioneering Orpheus of Monteverdi to the forward-looking Ariadne of Richard Strauss.
Included are Father Lee's famous discussions of Mozart's Magic Flute and Beethoven's Fidelio, Verdi's La Traviata and Falstaff, Wagner's Tristan und Isolde, and Poulenc's Dialogues of the Carmelites. The concluding chapter, originally published as the lead article in The Opera Quarterly's special issue on the end of the twentieth century, is a thought-provoking forecast of opera's future. Recommendations for further reading, CD recordings, and videos are also included.
Opera Canada has applauded Father Lee's 'extraordinary ability to engage, challenge, and enlighten a vast and diverse audience' and called his learning-worn-lightly commentaries 'a unique mix of spiritual empathy, classical scholarship, and psychological insight.' Opera lovers, or anyone interested in psychology and mythology, humanities and comparative literature, or the art of the essay will welcome this book.