Cover image for Opera : learning to love it : the greatest masters, their greatest music
Title:
Opera : learning to love it : the greatest masters, their greatest music
Author:
Smith, Peter Fox.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
North Pomfret, Vt. : Trafalgar Square Pub., [2004]

©2004
Physical Description:
xiii, 706 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Language:
English
Contents:
Monteverdi to Mozart: the beginnings of opera -- Mozart: the father of modern opera -- Bel canto opera: nineteenth century Italian opera before Verdi -- Nineteenth century German opera before Wagner -- Wagner I: the early operas -- Verdi I: the first masterworks -- Wagner II: the music dramas -- Verdi II: the last masterworks -- Nineteenth century French opera -- Nineteenth century Slavic opera -- The great age of operetta -- Italian opera after Verdi: Puccini -- German opera after Wagner: Richard Strauss -- Opera in the twentieth century.
Subject Term:
ISBN:
9781570762802
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library ML1700 .S65 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Central Library2Received on 12/7/04

Summary

Summary

From the beginnings of opera in Italy over 400 years ago to the present day, the historical and artistic context of the most dramatic of all arts is elucidated in pleasurable, non-technical prose. Mozart, Verdi, Wagner, and Puccini are featured, but not to the exclusion of a thorough consideration of French and Russian masterworks, as well as operetta, Richard Strauss, and a comprehensive introduction to modern operatic music. Stories of great singers, past and present, and the author's friendly association with some of them, enrich this engaging personal account.


Author Notes

Peter Fox Smith, raised in an operatic family, has brought his passion for opera into the lives of thousands through his music tours, college teaching, lectures here and abroad, and for twenty-seven years as the writer, producer, and voice of fifteen hundred "Saturday Afternoon at the Opera" broadcasts for Vermont Public Radio.


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Writing for the generalist, Vermont Public Radio host Smith offers a delightful look at opera that proceeds from Monteverdi to Britten, with synopses of many significant works and discussions of composers' development within a chronological framework. Smith discusses the main musical numbers (without the actual musical examples) and refers to recordings of some of the greatest singers of the 20th century (e.g., Enrico Caruso and Kirsten Flagstad) while bringing to light lesser-known talents like Tiana Lemnitz. Throughout, he introduces the rudiments of opera in clear language and provides translations for foreign titles or phrases. Smith has included some marginal operas (e.g., Puccini's La Rondine) and even anticipated some debate by including his own caveat about choosing Berlioz's Damnation of Faust over Les Troyens. Perhaps a bit long-winded and plagued by a few odd locutions, this book would have benefited from tighter editing but is on the whole successful, with the author's obvious love for his subject matter and endearing asides adding to the book's charm. Recommended for all libraries as a complement to Fred Plotkin's valuable Opera 101.--Barry Zaslow, Miami Univ. Libs., Oxford, OH (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

Writing for the generalist, Vermont Public Radio host Smith offers a delightful look at opera that proceeds from Monteverdi to Britten, with synopses of many significant works and discussions of composers' development within a chronological framework. Smith discusses the main musical numbers (without the actual musical examples) and refers to recordings of some of the greatest singers of the 20th century (e.g., Enrico Caruso and Kirsten Flagstad) while bringing to light lesser-known talents like Tiana Lemnitz. Throughout, he introduces the rudiments of opera in clear language and provides translations for foreign titles or phrases. Smith has included some marginal operas (e.g., Puccini's La Rondine) and even anticipated some debate by including his own caveat about choosing Berlioz's Damnation of Faust over Les Troyens. Perhaps a bit long-winded and plagued by a few odd locutions, this book would have benefited from tighter editing but is on the whole successful, with the author's obvious love for his subject matter and endearing asides adding to the book's charm. Recommended for all libraries as a complement to Fred Plotkin's valuable Opera 101. Barry Zaslow, Miami Univ. Libs., Oxford, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Prefacep. xi
Introductionp. 1
Chapter 1 Monteverdi to Mozart: The Beginnings of Operap. 11
Chapter 2 Mozart: The Father of Modern Operap. 35
Chapter 3 Bel Canto Operas: Rossini, Donizetti, and Bellinip. 77
Chapter 4 Early 19th Century German Opera: Beethoven and Weberp. 121
Chapter 5 Wagner I: Three Early Masterpiecesp. 145
Chapter 6 Verdi I: The First Masterworksp. 181
Chapter 7 Wagner II: The Big Music Dramasp. 223
Chapter 8 Verdi II: Aida, Otello, and Falstaffp. 327
Chapter 9 19th Century French Opera: Six Favoritesp. 369
Chapter 10 19th Century Slavic Opera: Mussorgsky and Tchaikovskyp. 429
Chapter 11 The Great Age of Operettap. 463
Chapter 12 The Incomparable Puccinip. 495
Chapter 13 German Opera after Wagner: Richard Straussp. 583
Chapter 14 Opera in the 20th Century: Six Major Dramasp. 615
Afterwordp. 691
Getting Started with CDsp. 693
Bibliographyp. 695
Indexp. 699

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