Personalities | Mauricio Kagel | Modern Era | Opera

1931–2008, Argentinian

A self-taught composer, this ‘prankster of the avant-garde’ began writing at 18 and quickly became associated with music theatre and eclectic compositional techniques, encompassing both neo-classical and aleatoric styles. Humour, irony, double-meanings and a rejection of music’s more pretentious conventions are omnipresent elements within Kagel’s work.

Intent on the theatricalization of music, Kagel used his first opera, Staatstheater, to subvert the hierarchy of the opera house. A ballet is performed by non-dancers, each member of a 60-strong chorus sings a solo and the orchestra is not in the pit, but pre-recorded. What’s more, there is no plot or libretto. Staatstheater’s premiere at the Hamburg State Opera provoked uproar, which helped to establish Kagel’s reputation as an enfant terrible of the operatic stage.

Introduction | Modern Era | Opera
Personalities | Jonas Kaufmann | Modern Era | Opera


An extensive music information resource, bringing together the talents and expertise of a wide range of editors and musicologists, including Stanley Sadie, Charles Wilson, Paul Du Noyer, Tony Byworth, Bob Allen, Howard Mandel, Cliff Douse, William Schafer, John Wilson...


Classical, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Country and more. Flame Tree has been making encyclopaedias and guides about music for over 20 years. Now Flame Tree Pro brings together a huge canon of carefully curated information on genres, styles, artists and instruments. It's a perfect tool for study, and entertaining too, a great companion to our music books.

Rock, A Life Story

Rock, A Life Story

The ultimate story of a life of rock music, from the 1950s to the present day.

David Bowie

David Bowie

Fantastic new, unofficial biography covers his life, music, art and movies, with a sweep of incredible photographs.