The Art of Writing Opera-Librettos - Practical Suggestions #245596

di Edgar Istel

Forgotten Books

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There are many composers in theoworld who think it strange that their operas have so little success, although they are recognized as excellent musicians. The idea may grad ually dawn upon these good fellows, but bad dramatists, that the cause of their ill success is to be sought simply in the fact that they know nothing about the stage or the planning of a libretto. But how shall they learn to do better? Hitherto there has been no book that gave really practical directions for the planning and analytical criticism of an opera-libretto. Shortly before the war I published a work which might be considered as the first attempt at writing such a book. The abundant ex perience which the author has had since then as0 a poet and composer in producing and staging several of his own operas, has encouraged him (on request of Mr. O. G. Sonneck) to rewrite the aforesaid work in a form specially adapted for American conditions. In doing so, all theoretical discussions of a general characterohave been reduced to the narrowest limits, so that the practical part could be proportionately enlarged. I trust that the young American writer may learnfrom the example of the best among the vigorous European operatic works of all the nations considered, that the principal thing is theoaction and its development, and that everything must be avoided which is not genuinely theatrical. Then — I do not doubt — original modern American operas will soon be produced and take their place in the world repertory beside the masterworks of a Bizet.
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Forgotten Books
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Edgar Istel