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Comment: Book is in very good condition with minor wear to cover, tight binding. Text is clean of any markings, writing, or highlighting. Corner of inside dust jacket has been clipped.
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The New Kobbe's Opera Book Hardcover – Illustrated, November 24, 1997


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Product Details

  • Series: New Kobbe's Opera Book
  • Hardcover: 1012 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult; 11 Sub edition (November 24, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399143327
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399143328
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 2.3 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,232,935 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 65 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 5, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The new format of this magnificent reference book is the most outstanding feature of this revised, updated work. The prior Kobbe's clumsily, but not wholly improperly , catlogued composers like a taxonomical excercise. The genus being the chronological era and the species is the nationality of the composer. Thus German composers in the nineteenth century with singular emphasis on Wagner are grouped; then Italian opera for that century, and so on through Europe. Then we come to the twentieth century and all over again with this format but encompassing the world by nation. The revised volume has nothing more outstanding than an alphabetical arrangement for the subjects, but how outstanding and important this seemingly simple change is cannot be overestimated. This is a required reference book for opera afficianados whatever level of knowledge of the subject one possesses.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on November 27, 2002
Format: Hardcover
It could be an exaggeration when I call the Kobbes Opera Guide a Bible for opera lovers. But it's a very resourceful book on operatic composers, performers and the rich history of opera from its early days in Baroque Italy. Everything you want to know is here...the opera comique style, Baroque masters such as Gluck and Handel, the Rossini operas, bel canto beauties such as the Donizetti operas, German operas and French operas. It is a very monumental source of information on singers as well, sopranos from the very talked about Maria Callas (1923-1977), Joan Sutherland, Beverly Sills, and recent singers as Renee Fleming and Sumi Jo, tenors Placido Domingo, Nicolai Gedda, Luciano Pavoratti, Jon Vickers, and their careers. A must have for any true opera buff. Immerse yourself into the stories of operas and its fascinating background in music.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Henry Thoreau on June 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Sure this is a fine book for what it DOES cover. But, if you'll simply "search inside" (click Amazon's above image) and examine its table of contents, you'll readily discover that it only covers about half of Handel's operas, two of Cavalli's operas, and nothing whatsoever for numerous "minor yet noteworthy" composers.

By contrast, the 2001-edition "NEW Penguin Opera Guide" (or, better still, its original 1993 version, "The Viking Opera Guide") covers many, many, many more operas and includes biographical content for the composers.

Or, if money (and shelf space) is of little concern, consider the only other truly "comprehensive" encyclopedia of opera, "The New Grove Dictionary of Opera" (4-volume set). That is unarguably the ULTIMATE choice, albeit the single-volume "Viking" is a fairly close second, provided you only need a reference for, specifically, operas and their composers. ("The New Grove" covers those things PLUS operatic terminology; technique; history; venues; performers; and more.)

Me, I'm pleased to own BOTH the four-volume "New Grove Dictionary" AND the single-volume "Viking" guide. When it comes to genuinely "COMPREHENSIVE coverage of particular operas and their composers," there's basically nothing else available.
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