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Featuring a gold embossed cover, this lovely volume was created in collaboration with Deitch Projects, and presents artist Francesco Clemente's portraits of eight contemporary opera stars who figure prominently in the Metropolitan Opera's 2008-09 season: Diana Damrau, Natalie Dessay, Renée Fleming, Angela Gheorghiu, Susan Graham, Karita Mattila, Anna Netrebko and Deborah Voigt. The results--riveting portraits made within a four-month period--capture each of the divas in character for an upcoming role. Clemente has said about his portraits "I never paint a portrait from a photograph, because a photograph doesn't give enough information about what the person feels." In his essay, the distinguished philosopher-critic Arthur C. Danto writes that Clemente has, through scale and style, "recreated these women into personages of an order that our attitude toward sopranos demands, alive but larger than life, in a space of their own. We, lesser and duller, are exalted by their being. They are not just creatures that belong on stages. They are beings that transform stages into magical spaces in which actions larger than those of life take place. They are epic."