Did you ever leave an opera performance wondering why the singers use so much vibrato? Or a symphony, wondering who decided where on stage the orchestra members should sit, or why they tune their instruments to an oboe rather than an electronic tuner? Why is Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture played on the 4th of July? And how does a composer choose what key to compose in? In Who Knew?: Answers to Questions about Classical Music You Never Thought to Ask, master music educator Robert A. Cutietta provides lucid answers to these and more than 140 other questions submitted by listeners to his popular weekly radio program.
Death in modern theatre offers a unique account of modern Western theatre, focusing on the ways in which dramatists and theatre-makers have explored historically informed ideas about death and dying in their work. It investigates the opportunities theatre affords to reflect on the end of life in a compelling and socially meaningful fashion.
While we often tend to think of the Third Reich as a zone of lawlessness, the Nazi dictatorship and its policies of persecution rested on a legal foundation set in place and maintained by judges, lawyers, and civil servants trained in the law. This volume offers a concise and compelling account of how these intelligent and welleducated legal professionals lent their skills and knowledge to a system of oppression and domination.
The Byzantine cathedral of Hagia Sophia has been a source of wonder and fascination since its sixth-century construction. It was the premier monument of the Byzantine capital, Constantinople, and remains one of the most recognisable symbols of modern Istanbul. Often seen as encapsulating Byzantine history and culture, the building has been the subject of much scholarly interest since the Renaissance. However, while almost all previous archaeological work has focussed on the church itself, the surrounding complex of ecclesiastical buildings has been largely neglected. The research project presented here (co-directed by the authors) is the first to focus on the archaeology of the immediate environs of the church in order to understand the complex as a whole.
Opera Acts explores a wealth of new historical material about singers in the late nineteenth century and challenges the idea that this was a period of decline for the opera singer. In detailed case studies of four figures – the late Verdi baritone Victor Maurel; Bizet’s first Carmen, Célestine Galli-Marié; Massenet’s muse of the 1880s and’90s, Sibyl Sanderson; and the early Wagner star Jean de Reszke.
Museums of all kinds – art, history, culture, science centers and heritage sites – are actively engaging with food through exhibitions, collections, and stories about food production, consumption, history, taste, and aesthetics. Food also plays a central role in their food courts, restaurants, cafes, gardens, and gift shops. Food and Museums is the first book to explore the diverse, complex relationship between museums and food.
The modern comic book shop was born in the early 1970s. Its rise was due in large part to Phil Seuling, the entrepreneur whose direct market model allowed shops to get comics straight from the publishers. Stores could then better customize their offerings and independent publishers could access national distribution. Shops opened up a space for quirky ideas to gain an audience and helped transform small-press series, from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to Bone, into media giants.Comic Shop is the first book to trace the history of these cultural icons.
America’s Favorite Holidays explores how five of America’s culturally important holidays—Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween, and Thanksgiving—came to be what they are today, seasonal and religious celebrations heavily influenced by modern popular culture. Deftly distilling information from a wide range of sources, Bruce David Forbes reveals often-surprising answers to questions about each holiday’s traditions.
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita made landfall less than four weeks apart in 2005. Months later, much of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast remained in tatters. As the region faded from national headlines, its residents faced a dire future. Emmanuel David chronicles how one activist group confronted the crisis. Founded by a few elite white women in New Orleans, Women of the Storm quickly formed a broad coalition that sought to represent Louisiana’s diverse population. From its early lobbying of Congress through its response to the 2010 BP oil spill, David shows how members’actions were shaped by gender, race, class, and geography.
“We look around and feel as if book culture as we know it is crumbling to dust, but there’s one important thing to keep in mind: as we know it.” What happens if we separate the idea of’the book’from the experience it has traditionally provided? Lynn Coady challenges booklovers addicted to the physical book to confront their darkest fears about the digital world and the future of reading. Is the all-pervasive internet turning readers into web-surfing automatons and books themselves into museum pieces? The bogeyman of technological change has haunted humans ever since Plato warned about the dangers of the written word, and every generation is convinced its youth will bring about the end of civilization.