Last Days of the Opera


A major anthology on opera edited by leading specialists in the field. Critical reflections on the present and future of opera as an art form.


ISBN: 9788857243597 Category:


The title is inspired by the epic drama The Last Days of Mankind by Karl Kraus. Published in full in 1922, its author ridicules the interconnected ills of modernity that he saw as fueling the war machine (nationalism, capitalism, unbridled technology, militarism, journalistic unscrupulousness) as well as the Viennese cultural scene of the time. The drama bears chilling parallels to our world in 2020. The goal of the anthology, which includes some 100 essays, is to consider the relevance of opera in today’s dystopian world and to look to possible developments in the genre in the foreseeable future.

The writers include opera professionals: singers, directors, and conductors as well as creative minds from other fields, like philosophers, artists, film directors, and actors. The book features an iconography of original works by famous artists, in particular those of the renowned stage designer Richard Peduzzi.

Authors include: Marina Abramovic, Laurie Anderson, Cecilia Bartoli, Georg Baselitz, George Benjamin, Robert Carsen, Amira Casar, Martin Crimp, Peter Gelb, Markus Hinterhauser, Mariss Jansons, Philippe Jordan, Jonas Kaufmann, William Kentridge, Christian Lacroix, Daniel Libeskind, Christa Ludwig, Katie Mitchell, Jonathan Meese, Riccardo Muti, Shirin Neshat, Hermann Nitsch, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Richard Peduzzi, Denis Podalydès, Thaddaeus Ropac, Bogdan Roscic, Tilda Swinton, Keith Warner, Robert Wilson.

Additional information

Weight 916 g
Dimensions 17.2 x 24.6 cm
Publisher name Skira Editore S.p.A
Publication date 28 March 2023
Number of pages 336
Format Paperback / softback
Contributors Edited by Christian Kircher, Gert Korentschnig, and Denise Wendel-Poray
Dimensions 17.2 x 24.6 cm
Weight 916 g


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Christian Kircher is Executive Director of Bundestheater-Holding GmbH in Vienna.

Gert Korentschnig is an opera critic (Wiener Kurier).

Denise Wendel-Poray, writer, critic, and former opera singer, is the author of several books and essays on the relationship between art, theatre, and music. She recently published Painting the Stage/i> (Skira, 2019).