A Night at the Opera: An Irreverent Guide to the Plots, the Singers, the Composers, the Recordings

A Night at the Opera: An Irreverent Guide to the Plots, the Singers, the Composers, the Recordings

4.5 9
by Denis Forman
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

This slightly irreverent guide to opera summarizes the plots of 17 of the world's great operas, including Aida, La Boheme, and Carmen, and describes their characters, artists, and composers.  See more details below

Overview

This slightly irreverent guide to opera summarizes the plots of 17 of the world's great operas, including Aida, La Boheme, and Carmen, and describes their characters, artists, and composers.

Editorial Reviews

Zom Zoms
The author, a former deputy chairman of the Royal Opera House, may well become the Anna Russell of print with this irreverent guide to plots, singers, composers, and recordings of more than 80 operas Forman's criteria for selection is that of recorded popularity--the opera must have had three or more versions listed in the Gramophone CD catalog of December 1992. Operas are alphabetically arranged from the backstage tragedy "Adriana Lecouvreur" to the psychiatric tragedy," Wozzeck". All are described in degrees of irreverence and are also rated--from alpha-plus to gamma. Also included is a description of the cast, running time, and a unique commentary on the major arias, described as "Look Out For," with the maximum of a three-star rating awarded "at the whim of the author." The arias are listed in "minutes from start." Notes, news and gossip, and a comment section complete the entries. The book concludes with a dictionary of opera terms; brief biographies of composers, conductors, and singers; and an index Although there is much in this volume that might be considered sacrilegious by the serious opera aficionado, Forman's style is humorous, entertaining, and insightful--"Hansel and Gretel" is said to be loved in Munich because of its "Grimm Teutonic nature." Originally published in Britain in 1994 as the "Good Opera Guide", "A Night at the Opera" belongs in all music reference collections. It will balance the serious, weighty tomes and perhaps spark an interest in opera for those who think it dull and boring.
Booknews
An encyclopedic handbook dissecting the 83 most popular operas recorded on CD, from Cilea's Adriana Lecouvreur to Mozart's Die Zauberflote. For each opera, Sir Denis details the plot and characters in a refreshingly impudent fashion. He also describes the historical background and critical reception of each opera, defines terms, and provides biographies of composers, conductors, and artists. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679445531
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/19/1995
Edition description:
1st U.S. ed
Pages:
992
Product dimensions:
6.45(w) x 9.60(h) x 1.84(d)

What People are saying about this

London Sunday Times
Delightful and anti-reverential.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >