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Happy Alchemy: On the Pleasures of Music and the Theatre
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Happy Alchemy: On the Pleasures of Music and the Theatre

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  72 ratings  ·  6 reviews
This posthumous treasury of brilliant essays shines with Davies' unmistakablewit, erudition, and magic.
Paperback, 400 pages
Published July 1st 1999 by Penguin Books
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3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  72 ratings  ·  6 reviews


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Al
Jul 11, 2017 rated it liked it
A collection of speeches by Davies on the theater, opera and related topics, compiled and introduced by his wife and daughter. Davies was accomplished in many fields of writing: novels, plays, essays and more. It turns out he was an interesting speaker as well. This collection has a number of real gems, but as one might expect, is a bit uneven. It's worth perusing, though; Davies is knowledgeable and entertaining. If you have an interest in the performing arts, give it a try.
Sheri-lee
Mar 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was interesting to read more about Davies love of opera and the stage. The timing of my reading the selections on opera were fortuitous as that very week I had tickets to Verdi's Requiem performance by WSO. Fortuitous, indeed. I am not well versed in opera, and I think I have a better appreciation of it (not, by any means, a thorough appreciation...but better).

I enjoyed his libretto and film scenario suggestion as well. Interesting to see how versatile he was.

His humour shines as always, but
...more
Michael Joosten
Oct 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
I do not share the love of theatre that Robertson Davies had; certainly, I do not have it to the extent he did. That isn't necessary to enjoy this book, this collection of essays, because Davies brings his own enjoyment to the table and presents it with not only enthusiasm but erudition and education. His knowledge of the theatre is broad and sinks deeply into a number of related--and unrelated!--matters. In that respect, to read him is to soak up knowledge and in some respects to be connected t ...more
Ellen
Jun 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: theater lovers, anyone who enjoys Davies' stories and essays.
A brilliant collection of essays and other writings, some autobiographical, by Davies on the theater and its joys. Anyone who loves the theater either as a participant or an audience member will enjoy reading this lovely book. If you are a fan of Davies' fiction and non-fiction, you'll enjoy reading his thoughts and stories about life in theater.
Susan
Apr 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, tbr-list
This collection of essays and speeches focuses on theater and music with topics ranging from the Greeks to opera, from Dickens and music to folk songs, from Hamlet to Jung to book collecting. Reading this book is as entertaining and enlightening as sitting by the fireplace listening to a great raconteur and writer talking about his ideas and experiences.
Steve
Dec 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing
One of the best collections of theatrical essays I've read.
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William Robertson Davies, CC, FRSC, FRSL (died in Orangeville, Ontario) was a Canadian novelist, playwright, critic, journalist, and professor. He was one of Canada's best-known and most popular authors, and one of its most distinguished "men of letters", a term Davies is sometimes said to have detested. Davies was the founding Master of Massey College, a graduate college at the University of Toro ...more