Amanda Juliet Holden (born 19 January 1948)is a British musician, librettist and translator.
A libretto is the text used in, or intended for, an extended musical work such as an opera, operetta, masque, oratorio, cantata or musical. The term libretto is also sometimes used to refer to the text of major liturgical works, such as the Mass, requiem and sacred cantata, or the story line of a ballet.
Holden is the daughter of Sir Brian Warren and Dame Josephine Barnes, DBE. She was educated as Benenden School, Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford (where she gained a Master of Arts), Guildhall School of Music and Drama and American University, Washington (MA). She also has degrees from the Royal Academy of Music (ARCM and LRAM).
Dame Alice Josephine Mary Taylor Barnes,, known professionally as Dr Josephine Barnes, was a leading English obstetrician and gynaecologist. She was the first female president of the British Medical Association, 1979. Barnes was also active in the Women's National Cancer Control Campaign with cancer screening.
Lady Margaret Hall (LMH) is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England, located on the banks of the River Cherwell at Norham Gardens in north Oxford and adjacent to the University Parks. The college is more formally known under its current royal charter as "The Principal and Fellows of the College of the Lady Margaret in the University of Oxford".
A Master of Arts is a person who was admitted to a type of master's degree awarded by universities in many countries, and the degree is also named Master of Arts in colloquial speech. The degree is usually contrasted with the Master of Science. Those admitted to the degree typically study linguistics, history, communication studies, diplomacy, public administration, political science, or other subjects within the scope of the humanities and social sciences; however, different universities have different conventions and may also offer the degree for fields typically considered within the natural sciences and mathematics. The degree can be conferred in respect of completing courses and passing examinations, research, or a combination of the two.
She translated the libretto of Don Giovanni for Jonathan Miller in 1985.Her librettos include Bliss , for Brett Dean and The Silver Tassie , for which she was joint winner, with composer Mark-Anthony Turnage, of the Outstanding Achievement in Opera Laurence Olivier Award in 2001. She made a "highly acclaimed translation" of Puccini's Madama Butterfly for David Freeman's production at the Royal Albert Hall in 2011. Holden prepared the "deft" narration for a concert performance of the opera Der Freischütz presented by the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican Centre, London, in April 2012
Don Giovanni is an opera in two acts with music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Italian libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte. It is based on the legends of Don Juan, a fictional libertine and seducer. It was premiered by the Prague Italian opera at the National Theater, now called the Estates Theatre, on 29 October 1787. Da Ponte's libretto was billed as a dramma giocoso, a common designation of its time that denotes a mixing of serious and comic action. Mozart entered the work into his catalogue as an opera buffa. Although sometimes classified as comic, it blends comedy, melodrama and supernatural elements.
Sir Jonathan Wolfe Miller, CBE is an English theatre and opera director, actor, author, television presenter, humourist, and medical doctor. After training in medicine, and specialising in neurology, in the late 1950s, he came to prominence in the early 1960s in the comedy revue Beyond the Fringe with Peter Cook, Dudley Moore and Alan Bennett.
Bliss is an opera in three acts by Brett Dean to a libretto by Amanda Holden. The libretto is based on Peter Carey's novel Bliss, which had earlier been made into the 1985 film Bliss. The opera premiered at the Sydney Opera House on 12 March 2010 and has subsequently been performed in the United Kingdom and Germany. A performance of the work lasts for about two hours and forty minutes.
Holden's publications include contributions to The Mozart Compendium in 1990, the New Penguin Opera Guide in 2001 and the Penguin Concise Guide to Opera in 2005.James Oestreich, writing in The New York Times , described the New Penguin Opera Guide as a "valuable source" and "most impressive", though he would have liked the index to cover performers, places and events – rather than just the composers and librettists.
The New York Times is an American newspaper based in New York City with worldwide influence and readership. Founded in 1851, the paper has won 125 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other newspaper. The Times is ranked 17th in the world by circulation and 2nd in the U.S.
Many of her opera translations are commissioned by the English National Opera.The Age compared Holden's partnership with composer Brett Dean in "long-distance collaboration" to "the great composer-librettist partnerships" of "Mozart and da Ponte, or Richard Strauss and Hugo von Hofmannsthal" who "did not have email or jet planes". Critic Bernard Holland, writing in The New York Times about H. K. Gruber's Gloria: A Pigtale, thought it heavy-handed but "rescued by Amanda Holden's clever English version".
English National Opera (ENO) is an opera company based in London, resident at the London Coliseum in St Martin's Lane. It is one of the two principal opera companies in London, along with The Royal Opera, Covent Garden. ENO's productions are sung in English.
The Age is a daily newspaper that has been published in Melbourne, Australia, since 1854. Owned and published by Nine, The Age primarily serves Victoria but is also available for purchase in Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory and border regions of South Australia and southern New South Wales. It is delivered in both hardcopy and online formats. The newspaper shares many articles with other Fairfax Media metropolitan daily newspapers, such as The Sydney Morning Herald.
Lorenzo Da Ponte was an Italian, later American opera librettist, poet and Roman Catholic priest. He wrote the libretti for 28 operas by 11 composers, including three of Mozart's most celebrated operas, Don Giovanni, The Marriage of Figaro and Così fan tutte.
Holden has appeared on Deutsche Welle's Inspired Minds talking about her work on opera libretti.
Deutsche Welle or DW is Germany's public international broadcaster. The service is available in 30 languages. DW's satellite television service consists of channels in English, German, Spanish, and Arabic. While funded by the German government, the work of DW is regulated by the Deutsche Welle Act, meaning that content is always independent of government influence. DW is a member of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).
She married Anthony Holden in 1971. They have three sons and divorced in 1988.
Mefistofele is an opera in a prologue, four acts and an epilogue, the only completed opera with music by the Italian composer-librettist Arrigo Boito. The opera was given its premiere on 5 March 1868 at La Scala, Milan, under the baton of the composer, despite his lack of experience and skill as a conductor.
Der Freischütz, Op. 77, J. 277, is a German opera with spoken dialogue in three acts by Carl Maria von Weber with a libretto by Friedrich Kind. It premiered on 18 June 1821 at the Schauspielhaus Berlin. It is considered the first important German Romantic opera, especially in its national identity and stark emotionality.
Intermezzo, Op. 72, is an opera in two acts by Richard Strauss to his own German libretto, described as a Bürgerliche Komödie mit sinfonischen Zwischenspielen. It premiered at the Dresden Semperoper on 4 November 1924, with sets that reproduced Strauss' home in Garmisch. The first Vienna performance was in January 1927.
Il Pigmalione (Pygmalion) is a scena lirica in one act by Gaetano Donizetti. The librettist is unknown, but it is known that the libretto was based on one by Antonio Simeone Sografi for Giovanni Battista Cimador's Pimmalione (1790), in turn based on Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Pygmalion and ultimately based on Book X of Ovid's Metamorphoses. Sografi's libretto was also used for an opera by Bonifacio Asioli (1796).
Daphnis et Eglé is an opera by Jean-Philippe Rameau. It was due to appear on 30 October 1753 at Fontainebleau, but the performance was cancelled. It takes the form of a pastorale héroïque in one act. The librettist was Charles Collé.
Io is an unfinished opera by Jean-Philippe Rameau in the form of a one-act acte de ballet. The date of its composition is unknown and it was probably unperformed during Rameau's lifetime. There is no overture or chorus and only a single dance. The score consists of recitative, arias and vocal ensembles.
Cheryl Frances-Hoad is a British composer. She graduated from Gonville and Caius College with a Double 1st in 2001 and an MPhil in Composition, also at Cambridge.
Le cheval de bronze is an opéra comique by the French composer Daniel Auber, first performed on 23 March 1835 by the Opéra-Comique at the Salle de la Bourse in Paris. The libretto is by Auber's regular collaborator, Eugène Scribe and the piece was a great success in its day. In 1857, it was transformed into an opera-ballet, but this did not hold the stage. The overture is one of Auber's most popular. The first-act finale expands on the final phrases from the first-act finale of Mozart's Così fan tutte. The composer tried to reflect the Chinese setting of the story in the music.
Giovanni Ruffini was an Italian poet of the early 19th century. He is chiefly known for having written the draft of the libretto of the opera Don Pasquale for its composer Gaetano Donizetti.
Roland is a tragédie lyrique in three acts by the composer Niccolò Piccinni. The opera was a new setting of a libretto written by Philippe Quinault for Jean-Baptiste Lully in 1685, specially adapted for Piccinni by Jean-François Marmontel and based on Ludovico Ariosto's epic poem Orlando Furioso. The opera was first performed on 27 January 1778 by the Académie Royale de Musique at the Théâtre du Palais-Royal.
Maria egiziaca is an opera "in three episodes" by the Italian composer Ottorino Respighi. The libretto, by Claudio Guastalla, is based on a Medieval life of Saint Mary of Egypt, contained in the translation into the vernacular of the Vitae Patrum written by Domenico Cavalca.
The Poisoned Kiss, or The Empress and the Necromancer is an opera in three acts by the English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams. The libretto, by Evelyn Sharp, is based on Richard Garnett's The Poison Maid and Nathaniel Hawthorne's Rappaccini's Daughter. The opera was completed in 1929, first performed by the Intimate Opera Company at the Cambridge Arts Theatre, Britain, on 12 May 1936, and premiered in New York by the Bronx Opera in January 2012.
Fennimore und Gerda is a German-language opera with four interludes, by the English composer Frederick Delius. It is usually performed and recorded in English, as Fennimore and Gerda in a translation by Philip Heseltine. The German libretto, by the composer himself, is based on the novel Niels Lyhne by the Danish writer Jens Peter Jacobsen. In neither German nor English is the libretto highly regarded; rather, the work is considered an "orchestral opera," limited in its dramatic appeal but voluptuous and engaging in its instrumental texture.
Griselda is a dramma per musica in three acts that was composed by Antonio Vivaldi. The opera uses a revised version of the 1701 Italian libretto by Apostolo Zeno that was based on Giovanni Boccaccio's The Decameron. The celebrated Venetian playwright Carlo Goldoni was hired to adapt the libretto for Vivaldi. The opera was first performed in Venice at the Teatro San Samuele on 18 May 1735.
Alfred is a heroic opera in three acts by the Czech composer Antonín Dvořák. It was Dvořák's first opera and the only one he composed to a German text. The libretto, by Carl Theodor Körner, was set by Friedrich von Flotow, based on the story of the English king Alfred the Great. Composed in 1870, Alfred was not performed during Dvořák's lifetime. The opera premiered at the City Theatre, Olomouc on 10 December 1938.
Paul Anthony Griffiths OBE is a British music critic, novelist and librettist. He is particularly noted for his writings on modern classical music and for having written the libretti for two 20th century operas, Tan Dun's Marco Polo and Elliott Carter's What Next?.
Der Stein der Weisen, oder die Zauberinsel is a two-act singspiel jointly composed by Johann Baptist Henneberg, Benedikt Schack, Franz Xaver Gerl, Emanuel Schikaneder, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in 1790. The libretto was written by Schikaneder.
Amor ingegnoso is a 1798 farsa by Simon Mayr to a libretto by Caterino Mazzolà, the librettist of Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito. The plot concerns a girl, thought to have died, who pretends to be a ghost to misdirect her former fiance, in order to marry the man she really loves.