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Opera Adaptations

This volume includes Russell's classic adaptations of Richard Wagner's Parsifal, from the legend of the Holy Grail; Ariane & Bluebeard by Maeterlinck and Dukas; The Clowns taken from I Pagliacci by Leoncavallo; as well as two songs by Mahler: The Drinking Song of Earth's Sorrow and Unto This World.
Product Details

About the Author

P. Craig Russell is one of the most respected artists in comics and is well-known for his many stunning adaptations. He lives in Kent, Ohio.


High School/Adult-This oversized volume contains Pelleas & Melisande, Salome, Ein Heldentraum, and Cavalleria Rusticana. The adaptations, in graphic-novel format, stay very close to the originals: some are almost transcribed to the page word for word. Detailed color illustrations define the settings effectively. It might be argued that without the music, an essential part is lacking, but told this way the stories become central and are brought out in a new, welcoming light that may interest comics lovers in opera. What seems more likely, however, is that the book will stand as a high-quality work that, if not promoted, may be a shelf-sitter. Nevertheless, the talented Russell does an admirable job lending credibility to both opera and graphic novels.-J. M. Poole, East Rochester Public Library, NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

This final book in its series adapts Pell?as & M?lisande, Salome, Ein Heldentraum and Cavallieria Rusticana, introducing each opera with an educational text on the work and its author. The first, Pell?as & M?lisande, tells the story of a girl whom readers meet weeping in a forest, and the ensuing love triangle between her and brothers Pell?as and Golaud, which destroys them all. Russell's new interpretation of the metaphysical fantasies of Maeterlinck and Debussy is ravishing. The beautiful illustrations and dream-like colors (evoking light, sea and stars) make this tortured story of love and grief even more epic. The short Ein Heldentraum is a single song, and Russell's art and coloring provide a unique reinterpretation of the lyrics and add an additional layer of meaning. Cavallieria Rusticana ("The Godfather's Code") is another story of cuckoldry; it contrasts vengeance with the sunny rebirth of an Easter morning. Lastly, Salome, based on the Oscar Wilde play, decadently contrasts spiritual and physical virtue. Russell channels Aubrey Beardsley's original illustrations while giving the story his own spin. His ambitious plan to adapt the great works of opera into comics form is audacious, but his flowing, poetic lines and fanciful colors are an art in and of themselves. (Aug.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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