Strictly for opera connoisseurs, but for those in the know, a treasure trove of information on tenors, methods, and...

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FRANCO CORELLI & A REVOLUTION IN SINGING

FIFTY-FOUR TENORS SPANNING 200 YEARS, VOLUME 3

This third volume of an opera series on tenors gathers interviews with Franco Corelli—along with accounts of peers, rivals, and possible successors—with a focus on techniques, teaching, and booing.

The author, an accomplished singer, former host of Columbia University’s radio show Opera Fanatic, and a pre-eminent scholar, shares transcripts of salon-style interviews in the 1990s with Corelli, the “prince of tenors.” The Italian superstar answers a variety of questions regarding his technique, teaching—which he rarely did—and the stage appearances of fellow tenors. On the subject of evaluating performances, the controversial topic of booing artists is raised with Corelli, with numerous positive opinions on it from hard-core fans, singers, ushers, and even Miss Manners herself, presented practically in sports terms. Moving beyond Corelli, interviews on methods with the likes of tenors Roberto Alagna (who sang through the pain of a tumor and blood clots) and Alfredo Kraus, renowned voice teacher Bill Schuman, and others speak at length about larynx-lowering, glottal attacks, and diaphragmatic breathing. There is a wealth of operatic terminology that will go over uninitiated readers’ heads, but fans of this series will likely be properly informed. Modern singers are evaluated by the author with an eye toward who might be the next great tenor. Unlike the first two installments, Zucker (Franco Corelli & a Revolution in Singing: Fifty-Four Tenors Spanning 200 Years, Volume 2, 2018, etc.) feels a bit freer to editorialize here. This welcome development, coupled with Corelli’s own wit and wisdom, makes the interviews with the other performers pale in comparison. They just don’t have the same charisma or enthusiasm as Corelli and the author. As with the other volumes, the photographs included here, particularly those featuring singers in full costume, are quite stunning, capturing the visual glamour alongside the work’s deep, rich dissection of methods. The wide array of interview subjects and the concentration on teaching, techniques, and booing—along with the ending’s look at modern tenors—make this book slightly more piecemeal than the previous ones. But, in the name of comprehensiveness, leaving any of it out would have been a huge misstep.

Strictly for opera connoisseurs, but for those in the know, a treasure trove of information on tenors, methods, and performances.

Pub Date: April 26, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-891456-01-5

Page Count: 347

Publisher: Bel Canto Society

Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

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MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. AND THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON

This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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