At last! A definitive reference book for singers, directors, students
and virtually anyone interested in understanding opera. I can't think
of anyone more qualified to author such an undertaking than Nico
Castel, with his remarkable command of languages and all of their
nuances. My own working relationship with Nico began in the early 70's
and continues to this day. His assistance has been invaluable to me
for all of my roles in the Italian, French and German repertoire, most
recently Wotan in Wagner's Ring cycle. He started with me on day one
of that project and it is impossible to imagine what the outcome would
have been without his help. Thank you, Nico.
--Jame Morris, bass-baritone, Metropolitan
They should build a statue to Nico Castel at the Metropolitan
Opera! For the last eleven years I have worked with him any and every
time I had an important engagement. I have performed all over the
world from Vienna, Salzburg, Berlin, Paris and London to New York and
have done so with much greater confidence for having coached every
word, every nuance, every shape and color of pronunciation with Nico
Castel. He is an astonishingly gifted performer and his gifts as a
teacher are unsurpassed! Best of all, he does this with a brilliant
sense of humor. These books must surely be a most important part of
any serious musician's library. To my knowledge, there isn't anyone
else who has contributed study aids of this magnitude to those of us
who want to spend a lifetime learning.
--Sylvia McNair, soprano, Metropolitan Opera
Thank you for your libretto translations. What you have done and
are doing with this project rocks and establishes my generation of
American singers as well as generations to come. What an awesome
undertaking! With this project you will help create singer-actors and
help to empower them with confidence in knowing what they are singing
and how they are to say it. With this bible of information you will
make singers accountable for this knowledge. I say this from my heart.
--Earl Patriarco, baritone, Metropolitan Opera
The staggering amount of information in the pages that follow could
only have been achieved by one who has dedicated his life to the
search for knowledge, and found it! I have never met a language
scholar whose scope is as broad-ranging, whose enthusiasm is as
inexhaustible, whose sheer joy as infectious. This is a collection of
real work, by a man who is himself a real gift.
--Richard Croft, tenor, Metropolitan Opera
My good friend and colleague of many years, Nico Castel, has
undertaken the Herculean task of writing translations and phonetic
transcriptions of practically every opera in the current repertoire.
It is an undertaking that has engaged the passion so typical of him.
These books will become the standard by which a new generation of
singers can better understand and interpret their opera roles in a way
that was never practicably possible heretofore. Bravo, Nico, for this
--Placido Domingo, tenor/conductor, Metropolitan Opera