Top positive review
12 of 12 people found this helpful
Composers, performers, paintings, photos, and even muscial examples from hundreds of operas
on September 17, 2005
If you love opera or even have any desire to learn about it, this big and beautiful book is a wonderful treat to wander through. You don't need to know anything at all about opera to find this book most enjoyable. As you read the articles and examine the pictures you will begin to see why grand opera is one of the greatest of the art forms. It involves music, drama (and comedy). Instrumental music and singing, dancing, costumes (fashion), painting for those glorious sets, stagecraft, and much more. Millions love opera, and while many of us live or used to live in areas without an opera company or we can't afford the tickets (opera is expensive to produce), this book can bring to life affordable audio recordings of the singing and music.
The authors have provided us articles on 124 composers and 338 operas. The book is organized alphabetically by composer and then chronologically within the composer's life. The major composers have longer articles about their lives. The articles on the operas include not only the facts of the first performance, but also a brief synopsis of the story of the opera. The articles often provide information about major performances of the work. And the book is full or wonderful pictures of the composers, the operas in their various performances, set designs, the great stars over the centuries, an the opera houses. A few musical examples of great moments in the opera are often included.
This book is wonderfully informative and very entertaining. Given how inexpensively this book can be purchased used, I don't see why anyone would want to be without it.