Opera: The Great Artists, Composers and Their Masterworks

Opera: The Great Artists, Composers and Their Masterworks

by Joyce Bourne
     
 

Mozart, Puccini, Wagner, Britten, Barber, and more are the featured players in the invaluable reference book for opera lovers, whose numbers are climbing as the art enjoys a renaissance in the public imagination.

Joyce Bourne takes us on a compelling tour de force of 400 years of the world's great operas providing biographies for every important composer and

Overview

Mozart, Puccini, Wagner, Britten, Barber, and more are the featured players in the invaluable reference book for opera lovers, whose numbers are climbing as the art enjoys a renaissance in the public imagination.

Joyce Bourne takes us on a compelling tour de force of 400 years of the world's great operas providing biographies for every important composer and synopses for each of their key works. She also covers the singers whose performances have made music history, the festivals that showcase both standard repertory and groundbreaking new works, the stages, the scenery and even the buildings that make opera such a thrilling art form.

With opera attendance climbing, this timely book, "will make your opera an even more exciting, engrossing and fabulous experience." (World famous bass-baritone Bryn Terfel, from the foreword.)"

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Bourne draws on her many years of work on music reference books (e.g., The Oxford Dictionary of Music) for this excellent, lavishly illustrated guide to opera for the novice, from its 16th-century origins to the present day. With biographical sketches of composers, synopses of major titles, and a few musical examples to listen for (not including actual notes), Bourne also provides particularly useful introductory material about the development of opera, details about voice types and singing styles, and "where to start" and "where to go next" operas by each composer. One might quibble about some of the choices and the British slant, although this does not detract from the goal of making opera more accessible and enjoyable for all. Bourne's sly musings are endearing and appropriate, as this does not purport to be an exhaustive reference. The glossary and index add utility. VERDICT Bourne's text and combination of historical illustrations and dramatic photographs go far to make opera understandable and engaging. Likely to be a favorite coffee-table gift book, libraries should consider this a good complement to John Stanley's Classical Music: The Great Composers and Their Masterworks.—Barry Zaslow, Miami Univ. Libs., Oxford, OH

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781845332754
Publisher:
Octopus Books
Publication date:
10/01/2009
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
9.40(w) x 11.60(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
3 Months to 18 Years

Meet the Author

Born in Hull, Yorkshire, Joyce Bourne has lived in Manchester since 1952. Married to the critic and writer Michael Kennedy, she has for 25 years, acted as his researcher, typist and, on the Oxford Dictionary of Music, as his associate editor. She has a lifelong interest in music, particularly in Opera. She is the author of Who's Who in Opera, which was published by Oxford University Press in 1998 and analyzes 2500 roles from 280 varying operas.

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