Opera has a reputation as a rather fancy, "highbrow" sort of pastime... but what do opera singers, conductors and directors read for fun (when it's not all arias and librettos)? We asked the cast and crew of New Zealand Opera's Tosca for some reading recommendations. Here's what they're enjoying:
Jacqueline Coats (Assistant Director)
Moonglow by American author, Michael Chabon, whose title jumped off the library shelf at me as I am obsessed with all things lunar at the moment (research for another opera production I am working on). I was then sold by the author's note - "In preparing this memoir, I have stuck to facts except when facts refused to conform with memory, narrative purpose, or the truth as I prefer to understand it". Who could resist that?! And three-quarters of the way through, it has more than lived up to its promise.I am reading
Marco Guidarini (Conductor)
At the moment I’m reading a fascinating book by a well known italian art historian and journalist Matilte Battistini, called “Simboli e Allegorie”, a fascinating journey through alchemy and magic in the history of art. It’s an extraordinary essay revealing an enormous amount of information concerning the symbols of artistic iconography through the centuries.
James Benjamin Rodgers (Spoletta)
American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur by William Manchester. Only 30% of the way through but fascinating look at the man who exerted huge influence in the Pacific during WWII. Amazing to read about that time and the people that made key decisions in the armed defence of their nations.
Teddy Tahu Rhodes (Baron Scarpia)
I’m not actually reading anything in particular at the moment but a book that has always stayed with me is In the heart of the sea by Nathaniel Philbrick. The story of the loss of the whaling ship The Essex back in 1820. It was made into a movie which in no way did the full story justice in my opinion. An epic, true and unimaginable historical journey that I was gripped by. It was recommended to me and I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone.
Find out more
- Read Claire's review of New Zealand Opera's Tosca
- Find recordings of Puccini's Tosca in the library.
- Ticket information for New Zealand Opera's production of Tosca, 8-16 March, Isaac Theatre Royal.