The Opera Stage of Sarah Caldwell

A Directing Philosophy in Practice


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About the Book

Sarah Caldwell, the leader of the Opera Company of Boston from 1958-1990, was a groundbreaking and idiosyncratic woman who established her own career as a conductor and stage director in an environment resistant to change. This book investigates her choices as an opera director, her influences, her philosophies, and her methods, and situates her work within the history of opera in America.
Though she is remembered primarily as a conductor, her passion, and her greater influence on American opera, was through stage directing. With a repertoire that included ground-breaking interpretations of works such as Nono’s Intolleranza 1960, Prokofiev’s War and Peace, and Bernstein’s Mass, Caldwell continually pushed her own artistic limits, provoked critics, intrigued audiences, and challenged the status quo of opera production. Her passion for opera, her creative use of new technology and her influence in bringing opera to all sectors of American society, culminated in 1997 when she was awarded the National Medal of Arts for her work as a pioneering woman in the American musical landscape, and a tireless and innovative arts entrepreneur.

About the Author(s)

Kristina Bendikas is a recently retired academic whose research has focused on modern opera directing. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto and has previously published a book on the French opera director/designer Jean-Pierre Ponnelle. She lives in London, Ontario, Canada.

Bibliographic Details

Kristina Bendikas
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 205
Bibliographic Info: 11 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2020
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8040-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3925-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

A Note on Opera Titles vi
1. Beginnings
2. The Company
3. The Repertoire
4. Preparation and Rehearsal
5. Spaces
6. Experiments
7. Final Years
: : Chapter Notes