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This book is concerned not so much with the 'prima donna' as with prime donne: a group of working artists (sometimes famous but more often relatively unknown and now long forgotten) and the circumstances of their professional lives. It attempts to locate these singers within a broader history, including not only the specificities of operatic stage practice but the life beyond the opera house - the social, cultural and political framing that shaped individual experience, artistic endeavour and audience reception. Rutherford addresses questions such as the multiple discourses on the image of the singer and their impact on the changing profile of the professional artist from figlia dell'arte at the beginning of the era to middle-class woman at the end; the aspect of the 'stage mother' and patronage; issues of vocal training and tuition; professional life in the operatic market-place; and performance (both vocal and dramatic) conventions and practices.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780521851671
ISBN-10: 052185167X
Format: Hardback
(228mm x 152mm x 25mm)
Pages: 394
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 10-Aug-2006
Country of Publication: United Kingdom


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Author Biography - Susan Rutherford

Susan Rutherford is Lecturer in Performance Studies in Drama, School of Arts, Histories and Cultures at the University of Manchester.

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