Opera remains one of the more impenetrable arts; it is expensive, exclusive, often sung in a foreign language and discussed in a jargon almost as unfamiliar. In Opera Today, a detailed and sometimes controversial portrait of the modern opera world, the barriers are lifted to provide an insight into the facts, the figures and the personalities behind the lush velvet curtains.
Opera Today looks beyond the final stage performance to explore the reality of the lives and work of the dozens of specialised contributors whose talents are central to any production. It is something of a miracle that any opera ever reaches the public: the financial investment is colossal, the logistical problems unparalleled, the interplay of creative personalities potentially disastrous.
Meirion and Susie Harries interviewed representatives of all the groups involved in the making of an opera, from composer to choreographer, with the cooperation of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera, New York, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, New York City Opera and ENO. They worked closely with the distinguished arts photographer Zoe Dominic, whose photographs for the book achieve their own balance of glamour, grime and the essentially human quality of opera today.
Short-listed for the Yorkshire Post Music Book of the Year prize