Opera: Desire, Disease, DeathBMJ 1996; 313 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.313.7063.1022b (Published 19 October 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:1022
- Bruce Charlton
Linda Hutcheon, Michael Hutcheon University of Nebraska Press, $40, pp 294 ISBN 0 8032 2367 6
Opera: desire, disease, death—what does that conjure up? For me, it is a matter of crying, uncontrollably, in public. I remember for instance, a few years ago, being led by the hand from a performance of Verdi's La Traviata out on to the streets of Edinburgh, still blinded by tears. Or something similar while watching the closing scenes of La Boheme—caught off guard by the desperately affecting moment when another consumptive heroine quietly dies.
Opera performs such punches to the solar plexus more powerfully than any other …