Opera Encore: Collected Essays on the Grand Art



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“Chapter after chapter—from Wagner to Verdi, from Bizet to Gilbert & Sullivan—Kestner’s ability to place operas in their historic, dramatic, and cultural context is a satisfying and entertaining master class.”—Eric Gibson, Opera Stage Director, The Ohio State University

For over twenty years, Joseph A. Kestner wrote for Opera News and other publications. Collected for the first time, Kestner’s essays explore the creation, influence, context, and meaning of the world’s most famous operas as well as hidden gems. For those new to opera, Opera Encore provides the perfect introduction; for longtime opera fans, these articles will deepen your understanding and appreciation of your favorite works.

Praise for Opera Encore

“Kestner’s multidisciplinary breadth of knowledge provides unique insights regarding thirty-four classic operas . . . Each opera cited is a gourmet artistic banquet, and Kestner deftly identifies its key ingredients”—Carol I. Crawford, Tulsa Opera Artistic & General Director, 1993-2007

“Opera transcends one dimensional enjoyment. It is music, poetry, drama, art, dance, spectacle, even moral revelation. By relishing this interplay he reveals connections less nuanced critics miss. His special love for opera’s nineteenth and twentieth century masterpieces is infectious, unlocking new pleasures on every page to savor in these familiar yet ever rewarding gems.”—Roger Blais, Retired Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, The University of Tulsa