Joseph A. Kestner was born in Horton, Kansas and grew up in Albany, New York. He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. from Columbia University in English and Classics. While at the University of Tulsa, where he taught for over thirty years, Kestner was the McFarlin Professor of English and Chair of the Film Studies Department. In addition to his writings on opera, Kestner published eight books and countless articles on topics ranging from literature, film, detective fiction, and the visual arts, combining his passions into fascinating insights. Kestner died in 2015 preparing for a new book about a fellow opera fan, Ingmar Bergman.