From Library Journal
These small-format volumes devoted to individual operas are the first in a projected 200-volume series (with approximately four titles to be added each month). An expansion of the "Opera Journeys Mini Guide" series that the publisher launched last year, they include a brief synopsis, a story narrative with very brief music examples, commentary and analysis, a libretto, a discography, a videography, and a dictionary of opera and musical terms. Students and opera goers may find them attractive because of their reasonable price, their e-book availability on netLibrary, and the insightful commentary and analysis by Fisher (lecturer, Florida Intl. Univ.). A list of source materials, however, would have been useful; in portions of the Butterfly and Boh?me volumes, for example, Fisher seems to have relied to some extent on Julian Budden's articles in The New Grove Dictionary of Opera. Also, the discographies are rife with problems. Neither record labels nor formats are given, the editing is sloppy, names are misspelled ("Tuckers" for Tucker), many dates are incorrect, and some recordings are listed twice with different dates. In one case, a recording made in 1912 with singers who are surely deceased is dated 2001. An entry for a recording of Carmen reverses the women's roles, listing Gheorghiu as Carmen and Larmore as Michaela. Attractive format and engaging commentary aside, these volumes are compromised by their inaccuracies. Not recommended. [The ISBNs for the e-books are the same as those for the print versions. Ed.] Kate McCaffrey, Onondaga Cty. P.L., Syracuse, N.- Kate McCaffrey, Onondaga Cty. P.L., Syracuse, NY
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"The book is a welcome resource for language teachers who wish to introduce the discussion of other art forms into the French literature class." Fred L. Toner, The French Review