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Lotfi Mansouri
An Operatic Journey
Lotfi Mansouri; Donald Arthur, contrib.

Available only as an ebook.

2010 • 348 pp. 40 illus. 6 x 9"
Biography - Musicians & Composers / Opera / Music

$19.99 Ebook, 978-1-55553-752-4

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

“In this fitfully compelling account of Mansouri’s long professional life (co-authored by Donald Arthur) many of the most interesting passages relate to the particulars of his background, his eventual... [continued in Reviews below]”—Opera

A lively and engaging memoir of one of opera’s driving forces

Lotfi Mansouri has lived a full life in opera: triumphs and near disasters, divas and divos, moneymen and true artists, he has known them all. In this entertaining and engaging memoir, Mansouri lifts the curtain and invites the reader to see how magic is created on stage. He has lived a storied life: early years in Iran, move to America, long stays in Europe and Canada, directing tasks on several continents, and a brilliant final act as the general director of the San Francisco Opera, all the while continuing to mount productions worldwide. He has known virtually everybody in the opera world over the past fifty years, and has collaborated with some of the greatest. Mansouri was also a central figure in the recent rejuvenation of opera through innovations such as supertitles and, perhaps more important, the staging and commissioning of new works that would appeal to a contemporary audience, such as SFO’s production of The Death of Klinghoffer, A Streetcar Named Desire, and Dead Man Walking. Mansouri isn’t shy about dropping names and bruising some egos (even his own). Anyone who wants to know what the opera world is really like can now find out in the company of a charming and expert guide.

A telephone interview with Lotfi Mansouri was featured in the August 1, 2010 San Francisco Chronicle, Click here for the article.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“In this fitfully compelling account of Mansouri’s long professional life (co-authored by Donald Arthur) many of the most interesting passages relate to the particulars of his background, his eventual near-complete assimilation to Western life, and such reconciliation with his family and past as the changes in Iranian history afforded him. His relationship with his father makes a particularly telling thread.”—Opera

“Lotfi Mansouri’s new memoir is a must-read on several levels. His career as a director/administrator (and sometime tenor) spans five decades of opera-world change. He brought important new works, techniques, and artists to the stage. He is an immigrant who recalls the pain and triumph that journey engendered. And, oh, yes, the dish! Mansouri puts on what he calls ‘my best Persian smile’ as he candidly settles scores and names the (big) names he tussled with over the years.”—Wagner Notes

“One of the most fascinating books on opera for a general reader in recent years.”—Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

“Easy, breezy, boastful and bitchy. That’s Lotfi Mansouri: An Operatic Journey (Northeastern University Press), the memoir by the man who dragged the Canadian Opera Company into the modern era during his tenure as general manager from 1976 to 1988. . . The personal adventures are as gripping as the larger-than-life personalities of the opera world. . . Most endearingly, the book also celebrates the pleasures of working hard to break down the stereotype of opera as an elitist art form.” —The Toronto Star

“Lotfi is a wonderful reminder of the impresarios of the past, but with the capacity to look forward to the future and all the new possibilities for our art form.”—Plácido Domingo

“We both counted ourselves the luckiest of people when we first met Lotfi Mansouri in San Francisco back in 1963 for La Sonnambula. He has since been a major influence on our lives. Not only is he a supremely gifted opera director but also a great human being. We are proud to have this lovely man as our friend and mentor.” Richard Bonynge and Joan Sutherland

“Lotfi Mansouri’s work on stage is smart, stylish and essentially — possibly unfashionably — faithful to the source. So is his vividly detailed autobiography (brilliantly assembled by Donald Arthur). The director’s personal background is almost as dramatic as his career, and the sections devoted to his early life in, and temporary return to, Iran are especially compelling. Last and maybe least, his unsweetened assessments of assorted colleagues, collaborators and rivals should warm the cockles of any self-respecting opera maniac.” Martin Bernheimer, Pulitzer Prize winning music critic

LOTFOLLAH “LOTFI” MANSOURI is an Iranian-born opera director and manager. He was the general director of the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto from 1976 to 1988 and of the San Francisco Opera from 1988 through 2001. In addition, he is credited with the revolutionary introduction of the running translation strip or “supertitles” to the world of opera in 1983. In 2009 he received the Opera Honors award of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Tue, 15 May 2018 13:03:50 -0500