About Laura Stanfield Prichard

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So far Laura Stanfield Prichard has created 6 blog entries.

Benjamin Britten in Rome: The Rape of Lucretia

By |2019-03-10T14:27:50-03:30March 10th, 2019|

The virtuous victim. The doomed hero. The social outcast. These tragic figures preoccupied composer Benjamin Britten (1913–1976), inspiring him to become the first modern British composer to achieve international success in opera, chief creator of the Aldeburgh Festival (1948), and founder of the English Opera Group. The Rape of Lucretia, begun during the last years of World War II, marks a decisive break with the grand opera tradition. An amalgam of frenzied emotional power and expressive richness, it is the most transparent and tension-filled of Britten’s mid-century works, combining his beautiful melodic writing with dramatic pungency and colorful tone painting. Lucretia’s unstable mix of pagan brutality, sexual politics, and passionate Christian moralizing, shows Britten struggling to find meaning in the post-war world.

Vocal Acrobatics & Musical Wit: A History of The Barber of Seville

By |2018-10-09T19:23:46-03:30October 5th, 2018|

Lighter and more quirky than Mozart’s masterpiece, The Barber of Seville—Rossini’s classic opera buffa—revolves around stock characters taken from commedia dell’arte, which developed from comic entertainments by medieval musicians (minstrels, troubadours, trouvères, and minnesingers). In 16th-century Italy, these groups evolved into more elaborate traveling companies, presenting commedia dell’arte plays with distinctive masks or hats and stock characters such as wily servants (Arlecchino/Harlequin), old men (Il Dottore and Pantalone), and young lovers (Lindoro and Rosina).

Finding Meaning in Melodrama: TOSCA

By |2017-10-05T13:24:49-03:30October 5th, 2017|

Composer Giacomo Puccini based his Tosca on the 1889 play La Tosca by Victorien Sardou. He had seen a performance of it while working on Manon Lescaut (even Verdi was interested in it!), and was taken with the thriller. He began work in earnest in 1896, after asking his publisher Giulio Ricordi to wrangle the rights for Sardou’s play from Alberto Franchetti, another composer who worked with librettist Luigi Illica...

Greek Tidbits and Inside Info

By |2016-11-20T12:47:23-03:30November 19th, 2016|

After Mark-Anthony Turnage studied at Tanglewood Music Center with Hans Werner Henze in 1983, Henze arranged a commission from him for the Munich Biennale, and thus Greek premiered in 1988. The “then unknown, twenty-five-year-old English composer” had “never written a piece longer than fifteen minutes,” but...