Welcome to the website of Romanian-American writer Maria-Cristina Necula
On the historic Bridge Street Bridge (1880) in Piermont ~ Photo by Jorge Mardrigal
Upcoming: Oct. 22 @ 6:00pm ~ Guest on the virtual talk show
The Don Carlos Enigma examines the tragic story of King Philip II’s son who fell in love with Philip’s third wife, the fourteen-year-old Elisabeth de France. This brilliant study explores three versions of the same tale—Saint-Réal’s, Schiller’s, and Verdi’s—and traces the implications of when and where each was written. A necessary and fascinating treatment of an irresistible tale filled with courtly intrigue, jealousy, treason, and murder. André Aciman, acclaimed novelist, memoirist, essayist, and scholar, author of "Call Me by Your Name" (now a prize-winning film), "Find Me," "Enigma Variations," "Eight White Nights," "Harvard Square," the celebrated memoir "Out of Egypt," the essay collections "Alibis" and "False Papers," and the newly-released novella on Audible "The Gentleman From Peru."
Only someone who is not just an expert in European literature and a music scholar, but also a highly-skilled professional singer like Necula could have written this book. Her work examines the myth of Don Carlos from multiple perspectives, comparing the versions of Saint-Réal, Schiller, and Verdi and his librettists, shedding light on overlooked aspects and applying new theories and methodologies to understand a character who, for hundreds of years, has fascinated, intrigued, and also disturbed readers as well as theatre and opera-goers. This is a must-read for theatre historians and music lovers, and for all who are interested in this unique, enigmatic historical figure’s life and death. This is the current definitive work on Don Carlos. Paolo Fasoli, Associate Professor of Italian and Comparative Literature, Hunter College and The Graduate Center; Coordinator, Comparative Literature Program, Hunter College
Maria-Cristina Necula offers us a fascinating and engaging work that probes several interconnected mysteries deeply and broadly: the mystery surrounding the discrepancies in the reports of the death of Don Carlos, Infante of Spain; the mystery of creating enduring works of art from these ambiguous reports; and the mystery of the creative process itself, through which three artistic geniuses, Saint-Réal, Schiller, and Verdi, illuminate obscure corners of the human soul. In a chapter that is vitally important to performing artists, she reveals a great deal about the mystery of re-creation by including conversations with leading, contemporary interpreters of opera. Ms. Necula reveals an intimate familiarity with a broad range of original source material. She has amassed a wealth of information concerning three of the greatest artistic creators of the Western world, including both personal and public writings that span several centuries, languages, and genres. Fluent in German, French, Italian, and English, she employs a fluid and beautiful personal style of writing that supports her exploration of these mysteries, and simultaneously reveals her own refined and rich understanding of the creative process. Hugh Murphy, Professor of Music at the Purchase College Music Conservatory, pianist, conductor and American Prize in Conducting recipient
About the author
Maria-Cristina Necula was born in Bucharest, Romania, and immigrated to New York at the age of twelve. Since the publication of Life in Opera, she has continued to explore the operatic universe from a writer's perspective, drawing on her background as a classically-trained singer who has performed at such venues as Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, Florence Gould Hall, the Westchester Broadway Theatre, among others. She holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from The Graduate Center, and is a contributor to Classical Singer Magazine and the culture & society website Woman Around Town. Her work has also been featured in Studies in European Cinema, Das Opernglas, and Opera News. She earned her B.A. in Language & Culture with a Music minor from Purchase College, and her M.A. in English Studies: Composition & Rhetoric from Lehman College. She honed her language skills at the Sorbonne University in Paris and the University of Vienna, and studied singing and music pedagogy at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna, and in her native city, Bucharest.
Phoenix Fire: Poems
Poems about love, transcendence, wonder, rage, and the courage to accept breaking down no matter how painful. Sometimes we just need to let everything burn: pretenses, fears, old beliefs, past selves, and embrace the test by fire, in order to rise and fly again in a boundless sky.
Life in Opera
Step behind opera's glamor with this candid look at life in the lyric universe: reflections and encounters with great stars and personalities that shape the opera world of today. "Necula is one of the writers of today who possess great competence and profound knowledge about the operatic art." (Ioan Holender)
Molière's The School For Wives
"In translating Molière's 5-act comedy, Maria-Cristina Necula fulfills her mission: to be as faithful to the original as possible, while transferring that fidelity to a contemporary context. Maintaining the original's 12-syllable Alexandrine verse and rhyming couplets... she brings this translation into the English language of today." (Philippa Wehle)
The Bliss Delusion Tango
"... vibrant and rich with a divine and delicious tension between classical form and contemporary feeling. This poet, influenced by both European and American culture, reveals to us terrible loss, wondrous discovery, love, disillusionment, faith, cynicism, heavenly joy, and hellish despair..." (Yeshe Gyamtso)
Europe à la carte (translator/contributor)
From Ban Ki-moon to Daniel Barenboim... almost 70 great decision-makers, role-players and innovators of the whole world share visions of “their Europe”. A surprising mosaic, enhanced by previously unpublished and unusual maps whose pertinent features illuminate today's realities; maps that often have more to say than long analyses.
August 29, 2020
Rose petal jam... The pink, shimmery, quivering, transparent, silky substance in my teaspoon, dotted with translucent fragments of veined veils, the petals themselves... A taste,…
June 24, 2020
The hands of blue time united into the mast of a sailboat. And I was captain on that deck of shadows, at the helm, I too a shadow resisting impermanence, asking: is all or any of…
May 24, 2020
As I scour social media these days, I come across various reactions to our global crisis. A hilarious video of a flight attendant “working from home.” Another video of poker…
April 9, 2020
Staying home more than ever now, I am watching a variety of videos: from opera to horror films. By chance, I came across Midsommar (2019), the second feature-film from director…
March 17, 2020
I must have heard the Intermezzo from Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana hundreds of times and I can never get enough of it. It is one of those pieces that sweep you away and awaken…
February 29, 2020
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