Opera Blair Edgar

Opera is a Blood Sport, a new book by Blair Edgar PDF format only


A small book on a very big subject for those who aspire to sing in Opera and for first year Opera Students

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Product Description

PDF E-Book


About the Author

Blair Edgar was born in Melbourne, Australia in 1940.
For over forty years he worked with beginning and aspirant Actors and Opera Singers as well as balancing parallel careers as Actor, Stage Manager, Stage Director, Director, Academic and Writer. He describes his working life as having been “A Jack of all Theatre Trades, from making performances, teaching the performers, writing criticisms about Theatre, Music, Opera and Dance, and broadcasting on radio.”

His working life took him to the USA, the UK, Europe, all States of Australia and New Zealand. Inevitably each time he returned to Australia it was to another crop of young Singers, Actors and Dancers all looking toward careers in the theatre.

During the latter 1960s and through the 1970s his innovative teaching methods cut a swathe through the established way of ‘training’ Opera Singers. Mostly they were being taught how to change places so that they could always see the Conductor as well as the traditional acting and gestures for specific roles. As graduates began to achieve successes on the Australian and World stages his methods were viewed in a new light.

The Australian National Theatre Opera School, the Melba Memorial Conservatorium of Music and the Victorian College of the Arts School of Opera all benefited from his ideas, teaching and experiences. He was also called upon to give Master Classes in various parts of the world.

He was invited to Lecture in Media, Theatre and Communication Studies in Teacher Education for Teachers of Technical and Arts subjects. That involvement lasted for twenty one years, alongside his on-going commitment to the world of Opera. It meant that he was as the cutting edge of innovative Educational thought.

As a Director he had a repertoire of thirty two Operas and sixty four Plays.

Blair Edgar says: “I have only one talent and that is being able to recognise talent in others. Real talent is a rare commodity, I love talent and when you find it, it must be nurtured. I will always fight for it.”
For forty three years, he greeted those young hopeful faces and led them into the world where many of them were to find careers. In 1992 he was awarded an OAM [Medal of the Order of the Australia] “For Services to Education and the Performing Arts.”

1 review for Opera is a Blood Sport, a new book by Blair Edgar PDF format only

  1. Lewis Fiander, Actor


    “Opera is a Blood Sport “Where this book beats all the others is that it is for everyone who works in and around a theatre. It exceeds Michael Redgrave’s The Actor’s Ways and Means. Blair loves the technicians and the backstage workers as much as the artists and this comes through loud and clear. To him they are all artists. Anyone who survives this book will be on their way to understanding how the theatre works.” Lewis Fiander Actor

  2. Dr. Marie Morton FRSA [Fellow of The Royal Society of Artists


    “Opera is a Blood Sport “He is tall. He is elegant. He knows. I have heard him described by very outstanding artists as one of the best. It is a fine book full of great truths and his early years are fascinating as we see the artist emerging. Then we see the teacher who had to invent. So many people benefitted from his work. This book is a treasure house. He is a practitioner and that is what makes it outstanding.” Dr. Marie Morton FRSA [Fellow of The Royal Society of Artists

  3. Isabel Gabriel Arts Courses Co-ordinator.


    “Opera is a Blood Sport “There was no better teacher. No one understood what teaching is and can be better than Blair Edgar. Hang on his every word. He made silk purses out of sows ears. He could weld people into a working group with a common purpose better than anyone I have known.”
    Isabel Gabriel Arts Courses Co-ordinator.

  4. Kristy Swift Singer


    “Opera is a Blood Sport “Every student of Opera and of the Theatre has to read this book over and over and over. It is full of the truths that they all need to know. I will recommend it to everyone. There are times when it gets really tough, but that is the way it is. If you come through this and still want a career you will probably have one.” Kristy Swift Singer

  5. Frank van Straten Historian. Former Director Performing Arts Museum.


    “Opera is a Blood Sport “As part of his writing Blair Edgar gives some very important information regarding the history of Opera in Melbourne and Australia. Over all his writing tells it as it is. No frills, some punches. It should be a must for anyone who wants to work in the theatre no matter what area of discipline.”

  6. Cameron Menzies
    5 out of 5

    (verified owner):

    “Opera is a Blood Sport” is essential reading for any opera singer aspiring or working. Too many people seem to be training egos and not giving singers skills to work in opera as theatre. Blair Edgar is interested in delivery skills and reality both in performance and in expectation. I was lucky enough to have had two amazing men of theatre take me under their wings and train me. Hayes Gordon AO OBE and Blair Edgar OAM. Both men have made me into the artist and human being that I am today. Reading this book is like having Blair on tap if you aren’t fortunate enough to have worked with him, or serves as a black and white reminder about why, how and when we should be doing opera. This book should be on the book shelf or desktop of every artist. I will be re, re, re-reading this book for many years and hope it allows me to continue with my artist voice and pursuits. Thank you Blair for being honest, caring, vulnerable, bold and inspirational.

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