The Queen's Throat

The Queen's Throat

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The Queen's Throat: Homosexuality and the Mystery of Desire by Wayne Koestenbaum
1993, Hardcover

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 exultation into startling focus, he treats the opera queen as a trickster-oracle of whom we form 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 use - 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.