Opera 101: A Complete Guide to Learning and Loving Opera

( 5 )

Overview

Opera is the fastest growing of all the performing arts, attracting audiences of all ages who are enthralled by the gorgeous music, vivid drama, and magnificent production values. If you've decided that the time has finally come to learn about opera and discover for yourself what it is about opera that sends your normally reserved friends into states of ecstatic abandon, this is the book for you.

Opera 101 is recognized as the standard text in English for anyone who wants to ...

See more details below
Paperback
$18.00
BN.com price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (51) from $1.99   
  • New (12) from $7.75   
  • Used (39) from $1.99   
Opera 101: A Complete Guide to Learning and Loving Opera

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$9.99
BN.com price

Overview

Opera is the fastest growing of all the performing arts, attracting audiences of all ages who are enthralled by the gorgeous music, vivid drama, and magnificent production values. If you've decided that the time has finally come to learn about opera and discover for yourself what it is about opera that sends your normally reserved friends into states of ecstatic abandon, this is the book for you.

Opera 101 is recognized as the standard text in English for anyone who wants to become an opera lover--a clear, friendly, and truly complete handbook to learning how to listen to opera, whether on the radio, on recordings, or live at the opera house. Fred Plotkin, an internationally respected writer and teacher about opera who for many years was performance manager of the Metropolitan Opera, introduces the reader (whatever his or her level of musical knowledge) to all the elements that make up opera, including:

  • A brief, entertaining history of opera;
  • An explanation of key operatic concepts, from vocal types to musical conventions;
  • Hints on the best way to approach the first opera you attend and how to best understand what is happening both offstage and on;
  • Lists of recommended books and recordings, and the most complete traveler's guide to opera houses around the world.
The major part of Opera 101 is devoted to an almost minute-by-minute analysis of eleven key operas, ranging from Verdi's thunderous masterpiece Rigoletto and Puccini's electrifying Tosca through works by Mozart, Donizetti, Rossini, Offenbach, Tchaikovsky, and Wagner, to the psychological complexities of Richard Strauss's Elektra. Once you have completed Opera 101, you will be prepared to see and hear any opera you encounter, thanks to this book's unprecedentedly detailed and enjoyable method of revealing the riches of opera.

Written by an opera insider and featuring an introduction by Placido Domingo, here is a thorough, friendly, and truly complete guide to learning how to love and appreciate the opera. After a brief history of opera, the book includes a guide to operatic terms, a minute-by-minute listener's guide to 11 central works, a list of recommended books and recordings and much more.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Written by an opera insider and featuring an introduction by Placido Domingo, here is a thorough, friendly, and truly complete guide to learning how to love and appreciate the opera. After a brief history of opera, the book includes a guide to operatic terms, a minute-by-minute listener's guide to 11 central works, a list of recommended books and recordings, and much more.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786880256
  • Publisher: Hyperion
  • Publication date: 12/1/1994
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 190,746
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Fred Plotkin is the author of the bestselling and acclaimed Opera 101: A Complete Guide to Learning and Loving Opera, which is the standard text in North American for discovering the glories of opera. He writes for the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Opera News, Das Opernglas, and Gourmet. He lectures on music for leading institutions, including Columbia University, the Juilliard School, and the Smithsonian. Plotkin is a popular guest on the intermission features of the Chevron Texaco-Metropolitan Opera broadcasts, and many shows on National Public Radio. An expert on Italy, he has written five definitive books on Italian food and wine.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2012

    A must-read book for all opera lovers

    Beautifully written, Plotkin manages to explain basic opera to the neophyte as well add to the knowledge of the more experienced opera lover. I particularly liked the part of the book that examined many of the most-popular and most-performed operas. It gave me a deeper appreciation of what I see and hear onstage. I learned so much from this book and can't wait to read Plotkin's "Classical Music 101."

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2002

    Acceptable for the ABSOLUTE beginner

    Plotkin is certainly a lover of opera, and he manages to convey this reletively well. The short history he gives in the first chapter is a fun read, though it covers only the most superficial details. He covers some important points about voice parts and important singers in the second chapter. The third chapter, 'Going to the Opera' is a waste of time for anyone who has ever stepped foot outside their own bedroom. I hate to say it, but he must believe his reader a true cultural imbecile if they don't know how to behave during a night on the town. I should admit, though, that I didn't read the whole chapter. So, there could have been some deep insights plaed right at the end of the chapter that I never got to (but I doubt it). His recommended recordings are certainly some of the best available for each respective opera, and his choice of operas to cover is right on for the beginner to the genre. Unfortunately, he gives little more information about the opera in his far too short analyses than one could learn from the libretti and essays that accompany any opera recording. The one good thing about these sections are the couple of sentences he puts in each giving a few musical moments to which the reader should attend. All-in-all, he tries way to hard to dumb opera down and promote a purely emotional listening experience, colored minimally by any intellectual understanding of the art form, its theory, its history, etc. There is some merit to this endeavor, as the term 'opera aesthete' has become synoymous with 'snooty and aloof cultural bigot.' Bringing the issues of opera back to the level of the movement of emotions in word and music is a noble pursuit, but Plotkin seems to equate this experience with being a 'newcomer to opera' and not as an attempt to remind us all of why we listen to opera in the first place. Again he assumes the least from his readers. The book is acceptable for someone who is not only a new-comer to opera, but a new-comer to classical music, theater, art, and culture in general. My recommendation: purchase the recordings he recommends and listen to them on your own.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2002

    EXACTLY what I was looking for

    I wanted more than just a book about operas. I wanted the inside scoop about what was going on during the period the opera was created, what the composer was thinking, and how that composer was regarded by others. Opera 101 is that and much more. More importantly, Mr. Plotkin instructs how to appreciate these works of art on a musical and emtional level. Fred has a writing style that flows very well and is enjoyable to read. The idea of chosing specific recordings and walking the reader through them is brilliant, not to mention, very effective. While I'm still a opera novice (for the time being), I have no doubt I'm going to be enjoying the opera for a very long time - Opera 101 has me hooked!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)