Quantcast
The New Mexican's Weekly Magazine of Arts, Entertainment & Culture Friday, July 25, 2014

Librettos illustrated: P. Craig Russell

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Friday, August 2, 2013 5:00 am | Updated: 10:21 pm, Thu Aug 8, 2013.

It's as dramatic a portrayal of Pagliacci as you’ve seen, despite the fact that there’s no music. The askew playbill image of the clown — leaning on his drum, his right hand clutching a formidable stick, a single painted tear falling from one of his eyes — is pinned by a deeply plunged, blood-releasing dagger. The drawing calls up at once the tragedy of Ruggero Leoncavallo’s familiar opera, but it carries something more: the graphic terror of horror comics.

Welcome to The P. Craig Russell Library of Opera Adaptations, a three-volume collection of the respected graphic illustrator’s takes on operatic stories. Recently reissued by graphic-arts publisher NBM, the books reflect not only Russell’s classic-comic and illustration influences but also his love of story and music. Done over a period of some 30 years, the volumes include, in addition to I Pagliacci, adaptations of Parsifal, Ariane and Bluebeard, and Pelléas et Mélisande, with illustrations of lyrics to songs by Gustav Mahler and Hugo Wolf. One volume is dedicated to Mozart’s The Magic Flute. Volume 3, which includes a Godfather-influenced reading of Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana, sports a cover that shows Salome dancing as a shadowy arm lifts a bloody platter bearing the head of Jochanaan.

Subscription Required

An online service is needed to view this article in its entirety. You need an online service to view this article in its entirety.

Have an online subscription?

Login Now

Need an online subscription?

Subscribe

Login

You must login to view the full content on this page.

Thank you for reading 5 free articles on our site. You can come back at the end of your 30-day period for another 5 free articles, or you can get complete access to the online edition for $2.49 a week. If you need help, please contact our office at 505-986-3010 You need an online service to view this article in its entirety.

Have an online subscription?

Login Now

Need an online subscription?

Subscribe

Login

More about

More about

More about

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 No Alias Commenters must use their real names.
  • 2 Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
  • 3 Don't Threaten or Abuse. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated. and please turn off caps lock.
  • 4 Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.

Welcome to the discussion.

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
Not you?||
Logout|My Settings

FOLLOW US

Click here for book talks & lectures
Advertisement