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The queen's throat : opera, homosexuality, and the mystery of desire

Author: Wayne Koestenbaum
Publisher: New York : Poseidon Press, ©1993.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Until now, silence has surrounded the long-observed affinity of gay men for opera. The Queen's Throat violates the taboo, opens the closet, and shows how various and complex are the threads linking opera and homosexuality. A dazzling, innovative work that will fascinate readers of all sexual persuasions, it is a scrapbook of bright-voiced cadenzas, embroidered with candid confession, freewheeling speculation, and
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Genre/Form: Biography
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Koestenbaum, Wayne.
Queen's throat.
New York : Poseidon Press, ©1993
(OCoLC)622344009
Named Person: Wayne Koestenbaum; Wayne Koestenbaum
Material Type: Biography, Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Wayne Koestenbaum
ISBN: 0671754572 9780671754570
OCLC Number: 26762644
Description: 271 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: Opera queens --
The shut-in fan: Opera at home --
The codes of diva conduct --
The Callas cult --
The queen's throat: or, how to sing --
The unspeakable marriage of words and music --
A pocket guide to queer moments in opera.
Responsibility: Wayne Koestenbaum.

Abstract:

"Until now, silence has surrounded the long-observed affinity of gay men for opera. The Queen's Throat violates the taboo, opens the closet, and shows how various and complex are the threads linking opera and homosexuality. A dazzling, innovative work that will fascinate readers of all sexual persuasions, it is a scrapbook of bright-voiced cadenzas, embroidered with candid confession, freewheeling speculation, and keen wit." "In this passionate love letter to opera, Koestenbaum brilliantly illuminates mysteries of sexuality, fandom, and obsession. Using opera as the lens to bring our yearnings and exultations into startling focus, he treats the opera queen as a trickster-oracle of whom we may ask: Why is opera the preeminent art form of the borderline, of transgression? Why have gay men sought to define themselves by mimicking divas? Why has Maria Callas attracted so much gay adulation? Why do the vocal cords seem a hiding place for sexual secrets? Is the marriage of words and music, in opera, a "queer" marriage? Is the word "queer," coming into controversial currency again, an apt description of opera's nature? And in a breathtaking finale, Koestenbaum sings back to us - in lyrical prose - a series of famous opera highlights. Here, in his "pocket guide to queer moments in opera," he provides a whirlwind demonstration of why opera matters so intensely to its devotees." "Surprisingly relevant to issues beyond the borders of opera and homosexuality, these provocative reflections also encompass manners, camp, spectacle, glamour, gossip, privacy, coming out, and a wide spectrum of sexual pleasures." "The Queen's Throat is also an elegy: writing nearly a quarter century after Stonewall, Koestenbaum communicates a haunted awareness of his separation from the earlier era of the opera queen, and his position within a far different time and generation, in a fin de siecle marked by AIDS and by changing sexual definitions and possibilities."

"Exuberant and melancholy, revealing and deeply affecting, The Queen's Throat is an arresting work of literature and cultural history that will appeal to everyone interested in the meanings we give to our erotic and aesthetic experiences."--Jacket.

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