Verdi with a Vengeance: An Energetic Guide to the Life and Complete Works of the King of Opera [NOOK Book]

Overview

Everything you could possibly know about Verdi and his operas, from the brilliant and humorous author of Wagner Without Fear.

If you want to know why La traviata was actually a flop at its premiere in 1853, it's in here.  If you want to know why claiming to have heard Bjorling's Chicago performance of Il trovatore is the classic opera fan faux pas, it's in here.  Even if you just want to know how to pronounce Aida, or what ...
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Verdi with a Vengeance: An Energetic Guide to the Life and Complete Works of the King of Opera

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Overview

Everything you could possibly know about Verdi and his operas, from the brilliant and humorous author of Wagner Without Fear.

If you want to know why La traviata was actually a flop at its premiere in 1853, it's in here.  If you want to know why claiming to have heard Bjorling's Chicago performance of Il trovatore is the classic opera fan faux pas, it's in here.  Even if you just want to know how to pronounce Aida, or what the plot of Rigoletto is all about, this is the place to look.  From the composer's intense hatred of priests to synopses of the operas and a detailed discography of the best recordings to buy, it can all be found in Verdi with a Vengeance.  William Berger has given another improbable performance, serving up a book as thorough as it is funny and as original as it is astute, an utterly indispensable guide for novice and expert alike.    

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
For an authoritative volume on opera's greatest composer, look no further than Verdi with a Vengeance. William Berger, the acclaimed author of Wagner Without Fear, takes readers on an extremely knowledgeable and equally amusing tour of Verdi's life and works, sure to delight both novices and expert opera fans alike.
Library Journal
Berger follows his successful Wagner Without Fear: Learning To Love--And Even Enjoy--Opera's Most Demanding Genius (LJ 10/15/98) with an equally engaging look at Giuseppe Verdi, the towering figure of Italian musical life in the 19th century. This overview of his life and work is not thorough but is thoroughly informed. Berger, a librettist and frequent commentator on National Public Radio's At the Opera, provides a brief overview of the composer's life and times and examines the connections between contemporary politics and Verdi's creative output. There are scene-by-scene plot descriptions along with witty commentary--he describes Nabucco's Abigaille as "one of opera's most outstanding bitches, not so much in what she says as in the number of octaves she takes to say it." A glossary and recommended recordings, films, and soundtracks are included. Informative and eminently readable for the novice and scholar alike, this book would not be out of place in academic libraries, yet its personal approach and accessibility make it an excellent choice for public libraries.--Kate McCaffrey, Onondaga Cty. P.L., Syracuse Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
From the Publisher
Praise for William Berger's Wagner Without Fear:

"An engaging guide."--The New Yorker

"Witty, knowledgeable, iconoclastic, and emphatically nonacademic...with a down-to-earth, gossipy approach that belies a keen intelligence.... Often outrageously funny."--Library Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307756336
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/23/2010
  • Series: Vintage Original
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 789,908
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

William Berger lives in New York City.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Table of Contents

1 (Re)introducing Verdi
Introduction: With a ... Vengeance? 3
The Art of Italian Opera 12
The Life and Times of Giuseppe Verdi 21
Map of Verdi's Italy 74
2 The Operas
Oberto, conte di San Bonifacio 77
Un giorno di regno 82
Nabucco 88
I lombardi alla prima crociata 98
Ernani 110
I due Foscari 120
Giovanna d'Arco 131
Alzira 140
Attila 146
Macbeth 156
I masnadieri 168
Il corsaro 178
La battaglia di Legnano 184
Luisa Miller 194
Stiffelio 203
Rigoletto 215
Il trovatore 235
La traviata 252
I vespri siciliani 273
Simon Boccanegra 286
Un ballo in maschera 300
La forza del destino 314
Don Carlos 333
Aida 361
The Requiem 379
Otello 391
Falstaff 413
3 Exploring Verdi
Verdi Recordings 431
Productions: What You Might Expect to See 449
Verdi in Print 459
Verdi Films 464
Glossary 475
Acknowledgments 481
Index 483
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