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Bravo! Brava! A Night at the Opera: Behind the Scenes with Composers, Cast, and Crew

Overview

A delightful introduction to opera, Bravo! Brava! A Night at the Opera teaches elementary school children what opera is by showing how it is made. "Who writes the words?", "Who makes an opera happen? "Who is backstage?"—these questions and more are answered with easy-to-understand explanations and are illustrated with whimsical watercolors by the author. From composer, choreographer, and costume designers to the conductor, lighting and special effects crew, and, of course, the singers, the excitement builds as ...

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Overview

A delightful introduction to opera, Bravo! Brava! A Night at the Opera teaches elementary school children what opera is by showing how it is made. "Who writes the words?", "Who makes an opera happen? "Who is backstage?"—these questions and more are answered with easy-to-understand explanations and are illustrated with whimsical watercolors by the author. From composer, choreographer, and costume designers to the conductor, lighting and special effects crew, and, of course, the singers, the excitement builds as Anne Siberell explains each person's role in producing an opera. Bravo! Brava! A Night at the Opera reveals details of the most famous operas' plots and characters along the way and includes synopses of 27 popular operas, a glossary, suggestions for further reading, and an index.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"I think this is a marvelous introduction to opera. I heartily recommend it!"—Marilyn Horne

"An accessible introduction to an often-intimidating art form: opera. Visually inviting....Added features include a double-page spread that offers an excellent visual explanation of vocal ranges."—Booklist

"Filled with detailed explanations and entertaining trivia, this clearly written, lively book introduces readers to the world of opera from curtain opening to curtain call....An excellent resource for reports, this unusual book has an exceptional range of topics for younger students and is an essential purchase for upper elementary and middle school music programs."—School Library Journal [starred review]

"Will show you that far from being inaccessible, opera is easy to enjoy and is full of life and color....Very interesting, and the information is well selected....A great introduction to opera. For those who want a refresher, this book is also perfect."—New York Home Educators Newsletter

"An engaging introduction to opera for young people....[Siberell's] writing is lively and quick and conveys much of the excitement of opera in ways young people can understand."—Kirkus Reviews

"Delightful....A literate, upbeat introduction." — The Opera Journal

Children's Literature
Brava indeed to the talented author/illustrator who has created a totally readable and enjoyable book to introduce children to the incredible "theatrical spectacle" of opera. Siberell does not downplay the difficulty of opera but does emphasize the joy inherent in engaging so many senses while experiencing a production. She takes the reader on a complete backstage tour, from creating and choosing libretto and music score through stage-managing, producing, rehearsing, costuming and finally performing the opera. On the way we meet the dozens or hundreds of people involved, most of whom are unseen to the audience. Siberell's many pastel drawings are charming and always an asset to the text, which is accessible to readers as young as eight but meaty for middle-schoolers as well. Back notes include a glossary as well as twenty-seven brief plot summaries for well-known operas and suggestions for further reading. 2001, Oxford, $19.95. Ages 8 to 12. Reviewer: Judy Chernak
School Library Journal
Gr 4-8-Filled with detailed explanations and entertaining trivia, this clearly written, lively book introduces readers to the world of opera from curtain opening to curtain call. Siberell offers a broad framework for understanding the genre by posing a series of questions such as: "How did opera begin?" "Who writes the words, and who writes the music?" and "Who holds an opera performance together?" Readers can also find out about costuming, makeup, set design, and the production of realistic-looking "weather." Sidebars contain additional nuggets, and there are concise summaries of 27 opera plots. Siberell keeps the tone light with whimsical pen-and-ink and watercolor drawings and diagrams in delicate hues. An excellent resource for reports, this unusual book has an exceptional range of topics for younger students and is an essential purchase for upper elementary and middle school music programs.-Mary Elam, Forman Elementary School, Plano, TX Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
An engaging introduction to the opera for young people opens with a few words from mezzo Frederica von Stade about her own first night at the opera. Siberell answers questions about how opera began, how it gets performed, and how it all comes together by writing about everyone from one of its earliest composers (Monteverdi) to a current opera favorite (Cecilia Bartoli). She describes who is on the stage (and under it, beside it, and behind it), and fills the margins and sidebars with historical tidbits and cool facts-the raspberry-peach dessert Peach Melba was named for soprano Nellie Melba, for instance. She includes a timeline, a map of story locations, diagrams of the kinds of stages, the many curtains, and all the instruments of the orchestra. Her writing is lively and quick ("What You Can Expect in Opera Stories. Suspense! Comedy! Madness! Love! Tragedy! Horror! War!") and conveys much of the excitement of opera in ways young people can understand. The glossary is a bit abrupt, and the opera plot summaries suffer from acute brevity, occasionally to the point of incoherence. Still, any parent who wants to explain to a child what all the fuss is about will find this useful. Plentifully illustrated with simple, colorful art. (glossary, bibliography, index, not seen) (Nonfiction. 9-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195139662
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 1/3/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 64
  • Age range: 6 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.80 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Anne Siberell is the author/illustrator of several children's books, including Lamb, Said the Lion, I Am Here, which won the Rounce and Coffin Club Award for Book Design and Illustration.

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