A History of Opera

A History of Opera

Book - 2012
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A bold, engaging exploration of opera's fundamental nature and enduring appeal, from the sixteenth century to the present. There are lively discussions of opera's social, political, and literary backgrounds, its economic circumstances, and the almost continual polemics that have accompanied its development through the centuries. The authors examine the problems that opera has faced in the last half century, when new works-- once opera's lifeblood-- have shrunk to a tiny minority and have largely failed to find a permanent place in the repertoire. Yet opera as an art form remains extraordinarily buoyant and challenging.
Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton & Co., 2012.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780393057218
Characteristics: xix, 603 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 25 cm.
Additional Contributors: Parker, Roger 1951-


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Oct 03, 2013

Abbate and Parker's history contains lots of interesting information. The problem, for me, was, although I'm an opera fan, I don't read music. Given the amount of technical discussion in the book, they appear to assume that their readers do. Luckily, my partner was a professional singer for over thirty years, and he's now a professor of voice. So when he was sitting beside me on the couch, I had a resource to explain both the concepts and the jargon. When I was on my own, it was more difficult. Glad I persevered, however. One refreshing thing is that the authors aren't afraid to take a position (unusual in this kind of writing). While I'm not sure I agree with their conclusions, I applaud their boldness.


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