The Crafty Art of Opera

August 2016
5 colour, 17 black and white illustrations
197 pages
21.6x13.8 cm
Library eBook
Boydell Press

The Crafty Art of Opera

For those who make it, love it or hate it

Michael Hampe

Translated by Chris Walton

eBook for Handhelds
Insights into an opera stage director's work from an internationally acclaimed director and teacher.
Opera is nowadays performed worldwide. But as an art form it is little understood by performers and audiences alike. The Crafty Art of Opera wants to change that. Here, Michael Hampe brings glimpses of the director's work to a wider audience, uncovering the many techniques and rules that should inform an opera's staging: the need for singers to know their orchestra, the importance of space around singers, the gestures of languages, what we all can learn from Mozart, and the primacy of sense over effect, to name but a few. He shows how stories, through music, become tangible and real.
Packed with many anecdotes from the author's luminous career, this book is dedicated to opera-lovers who want to understand 'how it is done'; to opera-makers who want to better understand their craft; and, last but not least, to those who loathe opera, in order to prove them wrong. Eminently readable, it brings both insight and wit from a life spent in opera as director and teacher.

MICHAEL HAMPE is an internationally acclaimed opera stage director. The Crafty Art of Opera was published in German as Opernschule.
Keywords: Film & TheatreMusic

Table of Contents

What is opera?
The heart
The seven 'W's
Sense and sensuality
Bodies in space
Le physique du rôle
Discomfort and inconvenience
Bank robbers
Pretend theatre
The 'trizophrenic' upbeat
The complete music-actor
Being comic
'Too many notes...'
Breaking the rules
The harmony of the spheres
In place of an epilogue: my teachers
Appendix 1: All the 'useful rules' in overview, for those who make opera
Appendix 2: A masterclass in opera, for those who love it or hate it
Index of names and works


I can't imagine a better way to introduce budding singers to the dramatic part of music drama. Stephen Brown, TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT

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