The New Penguin Opera Guide (Penguin Reference Books)

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9780140514759: The New Penguin Opera Guide (Penguin Reference Books)

This is a completely updated and revised edition of the "Viking Opera Guide", with many new entries and a guide to the best opera recordings. It brings together an extraordinary range of material and information, embracing all forms of opera from its beginnings through to the 21st century, covering composers, individual operas and operatic history. Over 100 distinguished contributors have written on more than 800 composers and examined 1500 operas in detail.

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About the Author:

Amanda Holden studied music at Oxford with Egon Wellesz and has taught at Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Her opera translations, many of them commissioned by the English National Opera, are performed throughout the English speaking world. She received the Olivier award for "outstanding achievement in opera" in 2001 - along with Mark Anthony Turnage, the composer - for her libretto for The Silver Tassie. She edited The Viking Opera Guide (1993). Amanda Holden lives in London, N5.

From Library Journal:

In this update of her compact but thorough guide, first published in 1993, opera translator Holden casts her net to include operetta and musical theater. Ranging from opera's beginnings in the 16th century to ventures that premiered as late as the end of 2000, she offers about 850 articles arranged alphabetically by composer. A tenth of these articles are new, representing previously unexplored territory or operas that have appeared since the earlier title. Familiar operas are addressed, as are those on the fringes of the repertoire and contributions by composers probably recognized only in their homelands (e.g., C.L. Dieter, P. Hadjiev, and J. Ruzitska). Performers are, however, excluded. After giving biographical information and background on musical training, the book presents major operas individually in chronological order, offering text sources, premiere dates, character names with voice types, synopses, and some critical remarks. Following are discographical recommendations, sources for scores and occasionally libretti, and bibliographic citations. Other operas and related works are listed at the end of each article. The operas of key figures like Mozart, Verdi, Wagner, Richard Strauss, and Puccini receive separate treatment, while those of lesser-known creators or where opera was not necessarily a main focus are mentioned within the bio-musical sketch. Each entry is initialed by a leading music scholar or practitioner, often among the most highly regarded in their respective areas-chiefly British with a sprinkling of American and Canadian names. The scattered illustrations add interest, presenting either portraits of composers or scenes/costumes from operas, evoking a period or genre. There are useful indexes of librettists and titles, as well as a glossary and contributor biographies. This comprehensive title is highly recommended as an update to relevant portions of The New Grove Dictionary of Opera at a bargain price.
Barry Zaslow, Miami Univ. Libs., Oxford, OH
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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