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Living Opera is a fascinating collection of 20 wide-ranging interviews with the preeminent opera professionals working on and behind the stage today. Joshua Jampol invites opera-lovers to listen in as performers such as Renee Fleming, Natalie Dessay, Rolando Villazon and Placido Domingo speak in exceptionally frank terms about their strengths and weaknesses, and address such hard-hitting, enduring topics as how they deal with critics, vocal troubles, and balancing their career and family lives. We hear conductors such as James Conlon, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Kent Nagano discuss their likes and dislikes about the state of contemporary opera, their own inspirations, and whom they themselves hope to inspire. World-class directors such as Robert Carsen and Patrice Ch?reau discuss the complexities involved in staging a successful opera, and how opera can remain relevant today. Jampol has unprecedented access to these major singers, conductors, and directors, and the table of contents reads like a "who's who" of the global opera world. Each interview highlights a distinctive voice, and Jampol brings immense knowledge and a wonderful flair to these conversations. He allows his subjects to follow their thoughts wherever they lead, and reveals in the process a more intimate, reflective side of the emotional and extravagant world of the lyric arts. For anyone wanting to know more about the people behind the performances--what they think, how they feel, and who they really are--Living Opera is full of delights and surprises.

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