The New Grove Dictionary of Opera: 4 volumes

The New Grove Dictionary of Opera: 4 volumes

by Stanley Sadie
     
 

Incorporating a decade of musicological research, the Dictionary is unsurpassed in its scope and quality, with contributions from over 1,300 of the world's leading critics and scholars. A remarkable 11,000 articles, all fully cross-referenced, create a work that has become established as the essential opera reference. Indeed, every aspect of this varied art…  See more details below

Overview

Incorporating a decade of musicological research, the Dictionary is unsurpassed in its scope and quality, with contributions from over 1,300 of the world's leading critics and scholars. A remarkable 11,000 articles, all fully cross-referenced, create a work that has become established as the essential opera reference. Indeed, every aspect of this varied art form is covered: composers, conductors, directors, performers, librettists, literary sources, cities and countries, operatic historians, and opera genres and terminology.

  • Over 1800 operas are discussed from the late 16th century Florentine Camerata, through the great 18th and 19th century operas, to contemporary works such as the minimalist theatre pieces of Philip Glass
  • The lives and careers of over 2900 composers are discussed in depth, with entries containing critical assessments as well as discussion of their individual careers and major achievements
  • Profiles of every singer who has made a significant contribution to opera are included, from Francesco Rasi in the 1600s to Luciano Pavarotti in the 1990s
  • Two unrivaled indices of character names and arias make it the most useful and user-friendly opera dictionary available
  • Illustrated throughout with rare photographs, reproductions of original posters, set and costume designs, and scenes from recent performances.

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Editorial Reviews

John Rhein
Make no mistake: This will be the definitive reference work in opera for many, many years to come. -- Chicago Tribune
Library Journal
This final set developed from The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians ( LJ 12/15/80) covers all aspects of the modern Western opera tradition, including composers, performers, directors, companies, stagecraft, theaters, cities, terms, and individual works. It follows the format of the mother set, with 10,000 signed articles by 1300 opinionated specialists, plentiful cross references, black-and-white illustrations, and secondary bibliographies attached to most of the entries. Composer listings contain detailed information on specific works; articles on individual operas normally include lengthy plot summaries, dramatis personae, and performance history; performer entries are generally limited to one paragraph and are often less than illuminating. Volume 4 concludes with appendixes of role names (e.g., Radames) and first lines. The editor claims that 80 to 90 percent of the material is newly written since the 1980 set; a spot check reveals many unique articles, particularly on contemporary composers (e.g., Michael Nyman) and their works. The expected British bias is evident, most notably in the column inches devoted to composers and cities (New York receives seven pages, London 38). For overall breadth of scholarship, however, no other work approaches this, although The Metropolitan Opera Encyclopedia edited by David Hamilton ( LJ 1/88), The Oxford Dictionary of Opera edited by John Warrack and Ewan West (Oxford, 1992), and The Encyclopedia of Opera edited by Leslie Orrey and Gilbert Chase (Scribner, 1976) are all serviceable single-volume guides. Highly recommended as the core opera reference work for all academic and public libraries. -- Anthony J. Adam, Prairie View A&M Univ. Lib., Tex.
Bernard Holland
...a feast: meat and potatoes for the serious student, dessert for the dilettante. -- Bernard Holland, The New York Times
Opera Quarterly
"The New Grove Dictionary of Opera" is to the opera lover as an oasis would be to one in mid-Sahara. -- Opera Quarterly

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195221862
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
12/02/2004
Edition description:
4 Volume Set
Pages:
5448
Product dimensions:
15.80(w) x 12.00(h) x 6.20(d)

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