Barbara Vinken’s book “Diva”: Verdi and Berg reread – culture

In her book “Diva” the literary scholar Barbara Vinken sweeps through 13 master operas from Mozart to Verdi to Alban Berg with a speed inspired by Voltaire. She reads the texts boldly and precisely, digs into them in a feminist way, brings the strange and astonishing to light with enthusiasm and accuracy. Anyone who is familiar with the hagiographically harmless standstill prose in opera guides and program booklets and suffers from it will be enthusiastic about this intellectually brilliant, pleasantly educated and furiously inspiring book. Finally, a non-music specialist is once again perceiving opera as the central social and artistic major event, which it not only was, but still is.

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