Qty:1
  • List Price: $24.99
  • Save: $4.89 (20%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 13 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Opera For Dummies has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: qualifies for prime/super saver shipping! no writing no highlighting. light wear from use. cd included.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

Opera For Dummies Paperback – September 4, 1997


See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$20.10
$9.92 $0.77
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"

The Salish Sea by Audrey DeLella Benedict
The Salish Sea by Audrey DeLella Benedict
Check out the newest book by Audrey DeLella Benedict. Learn more | See Similar titles
$20.10 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 13 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.


Frequently Bought Together

Opera For Dummies + Opera 101: A Complete Guide to Learning and Loving Opera + 100 Great Operas And Their Stories: Act-By-Act Synopses
Price for all three: $48.17

Buy the selected items together
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 1 edition (September 4, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764550101
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764550102
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #331,335 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Opera is growing--in the size of its audience, in the number of companies, in general interest--and is attracting a lot of attention among younger, more visually oriented people. But opera can be intimidating to the uninitiated: it's sung in foreign languages and has odd little customs (such as women singing the parts of young boys, and hefty middle-aged singers portraying teenaged lovers) that may be disconcerting at first. But opera needn't be at all intimidating, thanks to the miracle of supertitles (like subtitles, but projected above the stage), the advent of generations of singers who work at staying in shape, and the appearance of reference works like Opera for Dummies that are designed to remove the snobbery and mystery from opera. If you don't mind the flippant tone, IDG Books' Opera for Dummies makes an excellent guide for those who are new to this splendid art form. All of opera's details are explained clearly and without pretension; there's a lot of useful information packed into its 358 pages. The package includes an enhanced compact disc (listen to it in your stereo's CD player or in your computer's CD-ROM drive), with more than an hour of operatic excerpts from classic EMI releases. The illustrations, while not lavish, are adequate.

There are, however, a few glaring errors in this book that demand correction: Scott Speck and David Pogue confuse the opera chorus with the supers (the "extras" who march in armies, wait on tables, and never, ever sing), and--even worse--maintain that soloists and choristers are two entirely separate breeds. In fact, there's not a soloist alive who has never done chorus work--and choristers frequently do solo work as well. These are rather foolish mistakes for a pair of acclaimed experts to make in a book that wants to be taken as a basic guide to opera.

From Library Journal

Though musicians and other music lovers continue to lament the lack of classical music enthusiasts, their concern may have diminished somewhat over the last 25 years. The "Hooked on Classics" recording series, Peter Schickele (a.k.a. P.D.Q. Bach), the Three Tenors, and the movie Shine are but a few of the media phenomena that have popularized classical music. Lately, some authors have taken a lighthearted approach to the genre, hoping to make it less intimidating; Barry Scherer's delightful Bravo! A Guide to Opera for the Perplexed (LJ 11/15/96) is an example not to be overlooked. It does appear, however, that with these two books from IDG's ever-expanding "For Dummies" series, classical music has finally arrived. Orchestrator, synthesizer programmer, music copyist, and vocal arranger Pogue and symphony conductor Speck have collaborated to make musical facts fun to peruse. In some cases, the information may seem oversimplified, but novices will come away with a fairly good idea of the important composers, the main periods of music, the instruments, the conductors, the artists, when to applaud at a concert or opera, and even what to wear to a performance. Icons throughout pinpoint tips, advanced information, listening guides, when to use the accompanying CDs, and stories to use in conversations. Both books are recommended for public libraries.?Kathleen Sparkman, Baylor Univ. Lib., Waco, Tex.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

Plus, the included CD is of high quality and has a great selection of tracks.
Judge Knott
Okay, well actualy I am not an opera snob, but after reading this book I know enough about opera to be one, if I so chose.
Chitown Reader
The book includes a handy CD containing operatic snippets from Mozart to the present.
Allen Smalling

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Allen Smalling TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 25, 2000
Format: Paperback
"Opera for Dummies" is my favorite of the several "For Dummies" books I've read. I enjoy classical music and musical comedy but was always put off by the mystique of opera, and this book was just what I needed to break that barrier. The authors patiently take us on a quick chronological tour of opera, give us a peek into a fictional aspiring opera singer's career (as she lies about her age!), and briefly describe the plots of several dozen of the best-known operas. The bulk of your opera company's offerings will come out of this standard repertoire each year, so with a little study you can become an instant expert.
The book includes a handy CD containing operatic snippets from Mozart to the present. The book's corresponding CD guide is timed to the second, and the authors cue you in to dramatic "color" changes in the orchestra and singing, so be sure your CD player displays play times to the second.
Both beginners and seasoned opera buffs alike will enjoy the witty, irreverent plot synopses (said of one lusty hero: "He wasn't exactly thinking with his BRAIN"). After I finished "Opera for Dummies," I really put it to the test--I talked myself into a free dress rehearsal of "Tales of Hoffman" and enjoyed it thoroughly!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Judge Knott on October 21, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is a great book. But there's nothing "dumb" or "for dummies" about it. Any person who is bright and has a sense of humor and who is just beginning to be interested in opera will find this funny, clever, irreverent book to be fascinating. Plus, the included CD is of high quality and has a great selection of tracks.
In sum, this book (while being not as hefty or as chock full of information as competing introduction-to-opera guides) is an intelligant, useful, user-friendly welcome to the universe of opera. The genuine passion of the authors shines through, a trait not found in many of the more traditional guides. All in all, "Opera for Dummies" is not at all for dummies, and is a "must-have" item for the opera beginner.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Valiant on June 20, 2001
Format: Paperback
I feel compelled to give a standing ovation to the Authors of this book. I'll admit it, I'm an opera lover and live for the purity of moment when a human voice, a dynamic orchestra, and a fantastic stage setting all come together in a powerful moment and literally raise every hair across my body. That thrill is rapturous and intoxicating.
When I first picked up the book, even I was skeptical about how interesting this book could be. However, from the opening page the humor in it had me laughing while giving me a greater insight into the opera world. You'll get an education in the components of opera, styles of opera, composers and their contributions, opera etiquette and some just plain fascinating stories about the lives of people who advanced this art form.
If the Authors could give High School students across the country some of the toungue in cheek insight into opera this book is filled with, we would see a dramatic increase in the opera crowd and gain new converts in the process.
Opera seems to be on the rise thanks in part to a book like this, Broadway Musicals and movies such as Moulin Rouge that allow people to take baby steps towards the ulitmate, bonafide, time honored Classics. Way to go David Pogue & Scott Speck, you definately deserve a Bravi! (Note to readers, see page 134 under variations of Bravo)
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Chitown Reader VINE VOICE on February 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
I bought this book when I knew absolutely nothing about opera, other than a lot of big people sing very loudly in Italian.
After reading this excellent book, I now consider myself an opera snob, I mean I know when to say Bravo or Brava or Bravi. Okay, well actualy I am not an opera snob, but after reading this book I know enough about opera to be one, if I so chose.
For anyone who wants to know anything and everything about opera this is an excellent resource. It is entertaining and Pogue and Speck have a humorous and easy to follow style. I highly recommend this book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 19, 1999
Format: Paperback
If you're one of those people who thinks opera is strictly for men in tuxedo's and women in pearls, this book will change your mind and have you enjoying this art form.
The book takes you through the basics of the voices and the players, gives you plots of the 75 most commonly performed operas, explains how to watch an opera live and gives you a sample of some of the music on the included CD.
The book also traces the history of opera from the ancient Greeks to the present.
Think of this book as a map for a journey that you can follow for life and never need to turnback from.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
29 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A flu patient from Finland on February 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
I wasn't expecting to be entertained when I picked up Opera for Dummies, but the book is like having a personal stand-up comedian (and one who is well informed in all things operatic) around your house to tell you stories about opera and systematically building up your knowledge in it.
But make no mistake, this is not "merely" a funny book, it is a well researched miniature course on opera. If schoolteachers and professors taught the way the authors of this book do, I'd been a Nobel laureate years ago as opposed to not yet... Imagine attending an opera class taught by Victor Borge or Eddie Izzard , and you'll get my drift.
With a sound music background the authors can make generalizations of opera phenomena, getting beginner going; e.g. telling what kind of "voices" usually play what kinds of characters, etc.
Even if you will never go to opera, reading this book is worth your time (and I am not related to the authors).
I am writing these lines at 1:55 a.m. while suffering from stomach influenza and fever, and although I feel like I'd eaten acouple of kilos of soap, shampoo and baking powder, I don't mind being awake as this book keeps me company.
P.S. A minor minus, but not one concerning the book itself: The enclosed CD tried to install Quicktime without informing me whether it would be replacing my newer version with an older one or vice versa. When I tried to cancel the installation (leaving my version of Qt intact and skipping the installation of the version on the CD was not an option) my Win98 halted like a donkey, and only got going after two power-ups and some automatic file recovering. I might just stick to listening to the CD with my CD player while browsing the book. (No big deal, really.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Want to discover more products? Check out these pages to see more: italian dining room furniture, blood diva

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Opera For Dummies
This item: Opera For Dummies
Price: $20.10
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com