Opera's First Master
Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643) was the first great opera composer and is often hailed as the creator of modern music. His genius was often likened to that of Mozart, Wagner, and Verdi, but in many of the world's opera houses his operas often receive an almost chilly respect, far removed from the nearly universal love aroused by those later masters. This book, the first layperson's guide to Monteverdi, seeks to stimulate appreciation for his operas by examining them not as musicological relics but as the vital theatrical experiences they are. Ringer places Monteverdi's operatic works within the musical and theatrical framework of his era, offering a brief sketch of the composer's early years and detailing the complex forces that led to the emergence of opera in late sixteenth-century Florence. Opera's First Master enables opera lovers to see and hear Monteverdi's masterpieces anew, while opening new channels of inquiry into how Monteverdean opera works in the theater.