'The Divine Opera' by Costin Popa
For the last ten years, the music critic Costin Popa, has been gathering, from time to time, in books, articles he has written for magazines or for the online world. And thus, five volumes have come to life, adding up to over 1600 pages of reviews and interviews, nearly all dedicated to opera;a true journalistic work, which certifies the author's passion, talent and professionalism, and which has gathered notoriety in the music world.
His last volume, 'The Divine Opera', which will be soon available at Mihai Eminescu bookstore, draws your attention instantly. With its surrealist baroque cover, designed by artist Tudor Banus, it picks your interest when skimming it, because of its inciting titles and subtitles, and also because of the generous photo album at the end of the book, but it completely wins you over upon reading it.
Cristian Popa's reviews can be fully appreciated by musicians and by the most competent music lovers, who are familiarized with specialised terms and are capable of identifying in an instant the musical moments mentioned, with only a quote from the original text. Therefore, the concrete, precise and suggestive comments rebuilds in the reader's imagination or memory, the artistic act it references to, cementing the unique and ephemeral moment forever by recording it, and by providing the other witnesses with the opportunity to, maybe, confront, check and clarify their own thoughts.
For a wide range of readers are the reviews and records of some events, like artistry classes, workshops, interpretation classes. Highly attractive are the interviews, the unseen part of the stage, of the artist's life that never ceases to attract attention, and Costin Popa is an emphatic and well informed partner, who guides the discussions with ability, generating surprising, contrasting replies. He is a keen and skilful observer of the lyric phenomena, who knows what and how to listen, to ask, to record and who is very proficient in his field, who is convinced that the steps he's taking are useful, necessary, not only for the present moment but for the years to come.
Therefore, he deserves our respect, admiration and an ever increasing number of readers.
Translated by Florina Sămulescu
MTTLC, Bucharest University