Opera Illustrated
An Artistic Odyssey

Christina Petrowska     

Captus Press, ISBN 978-1-895712-23-0 (1994)
128 pages, 900 g, 9 X 12, $32.95 (US$26.36)

Renowned pianist Christina Petrowska has created a visual panorama of one of the world's most loved music and theatre genres. Everyone from the seasoned opera aficionado to the enthusiastic novice will marvel at Christina's stunning interpretations of such celebrated operas as Carmen, Don Giovanni, La Gioconda and Roméo et Juliette and her portraits of such popular performers as Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, and Louis Quilico. This exquisite blend of media is a collection of drawings formed with the precision of a graphic artist and the originality of a surrealist, communicating a vast store of sensory riches in every bar of music. Stage designers, architects and all opera fans will savour the extreme detail and vivid imagination contained within each of Christina's set drawings and character visualizations. This book is receiving acclaim from the opera world:

"For me, these sketches successfully portray opera in art. I found myself fascinated by the detail and originality. Ms. Petrowska has hit on an entirely different genre that is both unusual and rarely seen." -- Sherrill Milnes (Metropolitan Opera)

"This book is a treat for all opera lovers, it gives a vivid and imaginative view of opera. Delightful!" -- Joan Dornemann (Metropolitan Opera)

Table of Contents   top

  • Foreword by Aldo Maggiorotti
  • Preface by Louis Quilico
  • Acknowledgements
  • About the Drawings
  • Arias

  • Adriana Lecouvreur
  • Aida
  • Un Ballo in Maschera
  • La Bohème
  • Carmen
  • Don Carlo
  • Don Giovanni
  • Il Due Foscari
  • Die Entfübrung aus dem Serail
  • Falstaff
  • La Gioconda
  • Lucia di Lammermoor
  • Idomeneo, Rè di Creta
  • Madama Butterfly
  • Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
  • Otello
  • Pagliacci
  • Rigoletto
  • Roméo et Juliette
  • Suor Angelica
  • Tosca
  • La Traviata
  • Il Trovatore
  • Die Zauberflöte
  • Instructor Resources   top

    Related Resources   top

    About the Author   top

    Author, artist and concert pianist, Christina Petrowska, enjoys an international reputation as a major interpreter of 20th-century music. Following one of several Carnegie Hall recitals in 1977, the New York Times described her as "a pianist of extraordinary talent...with a phenomenal ability to play the most difficult music cleanly." She has been hailed for her outstanding technique and understanding of the music--both emotionally and intellectually. She approaches the repertoire with a spirit of discovery and is able to communicate to an audience its complex mysteries.

    Born in Canada, Christina Petrowska made her debut in New York's Town Hall at the age of 14, at which time the New York Times declared her a "promethean talent." While attending the Juilliard School as a scholarship student, she discovered her intense identification with the 20th-century literature. As Toronto's Globe and Mail notes: "At 14, when most students are just beginning to realize there's more to music than Chopin waltzes and early Beethoven sonatas, Petrowska was playing Copland and Hindemith. Gradually she built her portfolio until it included some of the most intellectually and technically demanding piano music in creation."

    A professor of music at York University, Petrowska continues to record and to concertize internationally. In addition to her musical activities, Christina is an accomplished visual artist and writer. Her drawings have been published in Spain as part of a biography on the Spanish composer Luis de Pablo. She has also had a book of poetry published as well as written many articles for music publications. She currently lives in Toronto with her husband, Metropolitan Opera baritone, Louis Quilico.