A concise but comprehensive guide to understanding and enjoying opera
Opera is a wonderful musical form--but the prospect of attending performances can be quite daunting for the uninitiated. The sense of insecurity about the entire enterprise--What is the plot about? What is the music like? What should one listen for? What should one look for on the stage? What are the best recordings and videos to buy?--can discourage would-be fans from making that first step into this extraordinary world.
In A Pocket Guide to Opera, Rupert Christiansen, a leading music critic, addresses all these questions head-on to provide a highly readable guide to eighty of today's most popular operas, ranging from the Baroque operas of Gluck and Cavalli through the classical operas of Mozart and the nineteenth-century masterpieces by Wagner, Verdi, and Puccini, and on to twentieth-century works from Strauss, Stravinsky, and others. In addition to offering a pithy synopsis of each opera, A Pocket Guide to Opera also includes short sections on the history of each work, descriptions of the main characters, and guidance on what to look for in a performance and what to listen to in a recording, as well as recommendations for the best recording, video and DVD. The resulting book is today's best one-volume introduction and guide to opera--a concise but comprehensive volume that every opera fan should own.
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Rupert Christiansen is the opera critic for the London Daily Telegraph and a member of the editorial board of Opera magazine. He has contributed to many newspapers and magazines, including The New Yorker and Vanity Fair. He lives in England.
London-based critic Christiansen enters the crowded field of opera guides with this informative and engaging traversal of the form's history and key works from Monteverdi to John Adams. Grouping the operas by period (baroque and classical) or geography (Italian, Slavic), with a chapter on operetta, he provides short synopses, historical context, some musical details, comments on various producers' and directors' stagings, and suggested audio and video recordings. Though Christiansen includes all the major operas one would expect (e.g., Mozart's Don Giovanni, Puccini's La Boheme, Verdi's Aida, and Wagner's Tristan and Isolde), some of his choices reveal a slightly British bias and result in odd imbalances. He treats almost the entirety of Benjamin Britten's oeuvre other than church parables, while he is much more parsimonious with American titles, referring only fleetingly to such composers as Philip Glass, who have made significant contributions to the genre. Also, Gilbert and Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore would probably be a more familiar title worldwide than Iolanthe. Fortunately, Christiansen confesses that he is not able to do as much justice to certain aspects of the topic as he would like in his chosen pocket format. Despite some disconcertingly snide remarks and a few errors of fact, this title is recommended as a reasonably priced companion to M. Owen Lee's The Operagoer's Guide, which covers much of the same repertoire from a more direct North American viewpoint. Barry Zaslow, Miami Univ. Libs., Oxford, OH
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Descripción Faber & Faber, 2002. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Never used!. Nº de ref. de la librería P110571209009
Descripción Faber & Faber. PAPERBACK. Estado de conservación: New. 0571209009 New Condition. Nº de ref. de la librería NEW7.1966367