Thais Seminar May 4 2014

Thais--From Novel to Opera

Anatole France to Jules Massenet

Featuring Santa Fe Opera's Desiree Mays and UCSB Professor Simon Williams

Noon to 3PM Sunday May 4th

Dorothy Chandler Pavilion 5th Floor

Orientation for New Opera League Members at 11:30AM

Lunch Break 1:15 to 2PM


Born in Ireland, Desirée Mays moved to London to become a ballet dancer in the opera ballet as a young woman.  She eventually came to the States where she happily raised two sons with her American husband, and gradually became immersed in the world of opera all over again—from the other side of the footlights.
Desirée is a globetrotter for opera; she lectures both live and on radio across the States, she writes books on the subject, she takes groups of people world-wide in search of that perfect opera in that perfect opera house somewhere on planet Earth. 
Her summers are spent at home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she has been the resident speaker and storyteller for The Santa Fe Opera since 1995. 
Desirée writes a book every year called Opera Unveiled on the five operas of each Santa Fe season.  This book is now in its 14th year.
Simon Williams is Professor in the Department of Theater and Dance at U C Santa Barbara. He has taught at universities on four continents, including the University of Regina, of Alberta, Cornell University and, since 1984, UCSB. He has published widely in the fields of European continental theatre, the history of acting, Shakespearean performance, and operatic history. His major publications include German Actors of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries (Greenwood, 1985), Shakespeare on the German Stage, 1586-1914 (Cambridge, 1990), Richard Wagner and Festival Theatre (Greenwood, 1994), and Richard Wagner and the Romantic Hero (Cambridge, 2004). He has contributed numerous articles in his fields of specialty in edited volumes and leading periodicals. He is also an active director and reviewer of opera. His current projects include co-editing A History of the German Theatre for Cambridge University Press and studies of Shakespeare in the eighteenth century and European opera in the nineteenth Century. 


Photo Credit:  Placido Domingo as Athanael in a scene from "Thais" (photo by Tato Baeza courtesy of the Palau de ses Arts Reina Sofia, Valencia)


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