Written by a well-known authority, this book consists of 175 entries that set some of the most popular operas within the context of their composer's career, outline the plot, discuss the music, and more.
An invaluable guide for lovers of classical music designed to enhance their enjoyment of the core orchestral repertoire from 1700 to 1950 Robert Philip, scholar, broadcaster, and musician, has compiled an essential handbook for lovers of classical music, designed to enhance their listening experience to the full. Covering four hundred works by sixty-eight composers from Corelli to Shostakovich, this engaging companion explores and unpacks the most frequently performed works, including symphonies, concertos, overtures, suites, and ballet scores. It offers intriguing details about each piece while avoiding technical terminology that might frustrate the non-specialist reader. Philip identifies key features in each work, as well as subtleties and surprises that await the attentive listener, and he includes enough background and biographical information to illuminate the composer's intentions. Organized alphabetically from Bach to Webern, this compendium will be indispensable for classical music enthusiasts, whether in the concert hall or enjoying recordings at home.
Spanning from the birth of opera to the present day, a comprehensive musical reference features biographical profiles of more than 1,500 singers, alphabetically organized for easy access, that range from Marian Anderson to Benedict Zak, with basic biographical data, vocal style, memorable roles, and assessment of their place in operatic history for each.
Nigel Douglas, one of the most versatile figures in international opera, has produced the perfect book for all lovers of this extravagant, enthralling art form. Ranging across several continents and as many centuries, this lavish volume begins with the prima donna and her male counterpart, examining the lives of some of opera’s most colorful performers. Douglas also provides lively commentary on the filming and recording of opera, controversial directors, venues both fabulous and not, the pleasures and pitfalls of the singing life, and those quintessentially operatic topics: drink and seduction. Boldly mixing musical history, biography, gossip, and anecdote, Nigel Douglas has brilliantly captured the pleasures of opera.
You are getting ready for a performance of Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore and you have a few questions. How many clarinets are in the orchestra? How many orchestra members appear onstage? How many different sets are there? How long does the opera typically run? What are the key arias? Are any special effects or ballet choreography required? Who owns the rights? Where was it premiered? What are the leading and supporting roles? The Opera Manual is the only single source for the answers to these and other important questions. It is the ultimate companion for opera lovers, professionals, scholars, and teachers, featuring comprehensive information about, and plot summaries for, more than 550 operas—including every opera that is likely to be performed today, from standard to rediscovered contemporary works. The book is invaluable, especially for opera professionals, who will find everything they need for choosing and staging operas. But it is also a treasure for listeners. Similar reference books commonly skip over scenes and supporting characters in their plot summaries, lacking even the most basic facts about staging, orchestral, and vocal requirements. The Opera Manual, based on the actual scores of the works discussed, is the only exhaustive, up-to-date opera companion—a “recipe book” that will enable its readers to explore those operas they know and discover new ones to sample and enjoy.