A Passion for Opera: Learning to Love It: The Greatest Masters, Their Greatest Music

A Passion for Opera: Learning to Love It: The Greatest Masters, Their Greatest Music

by Peter Fox Smith
     
 

From the beginnings of opera in Italy over 400 years ago to the present day, the historical and artistic context of the most dramatic of all arts is elucidated in pleasurable, non-technical prose. Mozart, Verdi, Wagner, and Puccini are featured, but not to the exclusion of a thorough consideration of French and Russian masterworks, as well as operetta, Richard

Overview


From the beginnings of opera in Italy over 400 years ago to the present day, the historical and artistic context of the most dramatic of all arts is elucidated in pleasurable, non-technical prose. Mozart, Verdi, Wagner, and Puccini are featured, but not to the exclusion of a thorough consideration of French and Russian masterworks, as well as operetta, Richard Strauss, and a comprehensive introduction to modern operatic music. Stories of great singers, past and present, and the author’s friendly association with some of them, enrich this engaging personal account.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

An invaluable presentation for both beginners desiring to learn about opera as well as opera lovers seeking more information and new insights.

Library Journal
Writing for the generalist, Vermont Public Radio host Smith offers a delightful look at opera that proceeds from Monteverdi to Britten, with synopses of many significant works and discussions of composers' development within a chronological framework. Smith discusses the main musical numbers (without the actual musical examples) and refers to recordings of some of the greatest singers of the 20th century (e.g., Enrico Caruso and Kirsten Flagstad) while bringing to light lesser-known talents like Tiana Lemnitz. Throughout, he introduces the rudiments of opera in clear language and provides translations for foreign titles or phrases. Smith has included some marginal operas (e.g., Puccini's La Rondine) and even anticipated some debate by including his own caveat about choosing Berlioz's Damnation of Faust over Les Troyens. Perhaps a bit long-winded and plagued by a few odd locutions, this book would have benefited from tighter editing but is on the whole successful, with the author's obvious love for his subject matter and endearing asides adding to the book's charm. Recommended for all libraries as a complement to Fred Plotkin's valuable Opera 101. Barry Zaslow, Miami Univ. Libs., Oxford, OH Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781570762802
Publisher:
Trafalgar Square
Publication date:
09/28/2004
Pages:
512
Product dimensions:
6.56(w) x 9.48(h) x 2.18(d)

Meet the Author


Peter Fox Smith, raised in an operatic family, has brought his passion for opera into the lives of thousands through his music tours, college teaching, lectures here and abroad, and for twenty-seven years as the writer, producer, and voice of fifteen hundred "Saturday Afternoon at the Opera" broadcasts for Vermont Public Radio.

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