Verdi With a Vengeance: An Energetic Guide to the Life an... and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $17.95
  • Save: $4.31 (24%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 14 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Verdi With a Vengeance: A... has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: (PAPER BACK) The book shows normal wear and tear. All shipping handled by Amazon. Prime eligible when you order from us!
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 2 images

Verdi With a Vengeance: An Energetic Guide to the Life and Complete Works of the King of Opera Paperback – September 12, 2000


See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$13.64
$9.53 $1.26

The Amazon Book Review
The Amazon Book Review
Check out The Amazon Book Review, our editors' fresh new blog featuring interviews with authors, book reviews, quirky essays on book trends, and regular columns by our editors. Explore now
$13.64 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 14 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Verdi With a Vengeance: An Energetic Guide to the Life and Complete Works of the King of Opera + Puccini Without Excuses: A Refreshing Reassessment of the World's Most Popular Composer + Wagner Without Fear:  Learning to Love--and Even Enjoy--Opera's Most Demanding Genius
Price for all three: $41.14

Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Berger follows his successful Wagner Without Fear: Learning To LoveDAnd Even EnjoyDOpera's Most Demanding Genius (LJ 10/15/98) with an equally engaging look at Giuseppe Verdi, the towering figure of Italian musical life in the 19th century. This overview of his life and work is not thorough but is thoroughly informed. Berger, a librettist and frequent commentator on National Public Radio's At the Opera, provides a brief overview of the composer's life and times and examines the connections between contemporary politics and Verdi's creative output. There are scene-by-scene plot descriptions along with witty commentaryDhe describes Nabucco's Abigaille as "one of opera's most outstanding bitches, not so much in what she says as in the number of octaves she takes to say it." A glossary and recommended recordings, films, and soundtracks are included. Informative and eminently readable for the novice and scholar alike, this book would not be out of place in academic libraries, yet its personal approach and accessibility make it an excellent choice for public libraries.DKate McCaffrey, Onondaga Cty. P.L., Syracuse
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

Praise for William Berger's Wagner Without Fear:

"An engaging guide."--The New Yorker

"Witty, knowledgeable, iconoclastic, and emphatically nonacademic...with a down-to-earth, gossipy approach that belies a keen intelligence.... Often outrageously funny."--Library Journal
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Image
Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at Audible.com. If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at ACX.com.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; 1st edition (September 12, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 037570518X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375705182
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,417 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
53%
4 star
47%
3 star
0%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 19 customer reviews
Still, this is an enjoyable book and beginning opera fans will benefit highly from it.
dcreader
The chapters on each of Verdi's operas is good goes into enough detail to make it very interesting.
JoeBulldog
His prose is free of musicological jargon, though conversant with the language of music.
R. Hughes

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By R. Hughes on February 11, 2001
Format: Paperback
William Beger's "Verdi with a Vengeance" is a triumph of music writing: accessible, informed and passionate. For the newcomer to the breadth of works by the great composer, this guide is a godsend, as Mr. Berger lays out the history of each opera, the story behind its plot and, most important, what makes each one special. He doesn't preach, but his enthusiasm makes a reader -- and a potential listener -- hungry to hear and see the works he so vividly describes. Mr. Berger is a master of the telling detail: he lets you know what to look and listen for in particular arias, and how these moments affect the drama. "Verdi with a Vengeance" should also delight Verdi aficionados, since Mr. Berger is so familiar with all aspects of the composer's art, his research is so deep, that he reveals new aspects of the operas (and the Requiem). His prose is free of musicological jargon, though conversant with the language of music. Mr. Berger can describe economically the emotion music can convey, and he can give a sense of the intellect behind the notes. He is a writer of wit and nuance, masterfully evoking a mise-en-scene within an opera or limning the characteristics of hammy singers. This is a book both to be savored at length and dipped into for fresh insights before attending any performance of Verdi. It is a rare book that manages to be learned as well as breezy, humorous and deeply felt.
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
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By C. M Mills on February 7, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This short guide to Verdi's life and works is in indispensable gem for anyone wanting to learn more about Italy's greatest operatic composer! Berger gives a succincly informative sketch of the complex composer's life. He adds chapters on Verdi books, CD'S, Videos, staging of Verdi operas and a helpful glossary of operatic terms.
The most helpful and longest part of the book deals with a brief synopsis of each opera in the Verdian canon from the obscure "Oberto" to the Master's final comic masterpiece "Falstaff." Berger lists the characters of each opera, makes witty comments on the big arias and scenes in each opera and also provides historical information on the production of each opera.
I had earlier read Berger's excellent "Wagner Without Fear" and was so impressed with his writing that I eagerly turned to Berger's guide to Verdi. I understand he is now working on a similar guide to the life and operas of Puccini which will be received by this reviewer with gratitude.
If you are a novice to operatic enjoyment or a seasoned Verdian
this work will be a delight. I highly recommend it for your consideration!
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
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 2, 2002
Format: Paperback
Unlike another reviewer, what I really like about "Verdi with a Vengeance" is that it discusses ALL of Verdi's operas, even the early and/or less frequently performed operas. I especially like the "what to listen for" aspects, and also that it is informal and personal. I also like his discussion of different recordings and what he likes about them. I am a real Verdi-phile, and I love this little book. Only four stars because it's little and the discussions are brief. I could read a BIG book about Verdi.
1 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
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Dan Sherman VINE VOICE on January 22, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is similar in format to the author's "Wagner Without Fear". Like the Wagner book, it provides a lot of information in terms of biography, plot summary, musical overview, and selected recordings. Although a very good book, it is not quite up to the Wagner book in that it discusses many more operas (27 including the Requiem) than the Wagner book did (10) in roughly the same space. The plot summaries are still very good, though often there is not quite the same level of detail and (especially) commentary there was in the Wagner book. As a result, the book is more a (very good) set of plot summaries than its predecessor. In fairness to the author, this may be appropriate in that Verdi is a generally more accessible composer who often needs less in the way of commentary to be a appreciated. It definitely is a good resource, though a reader interested in Verdi may find himself or herself going outside of the book more than they would if they were reading the Wagner 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
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By C. M Mills on February 10, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Viva Verdi! William Berger provides a useful guide to all of the Verdi operas from the obscure "Oberto" to the classic comedic masterpiece "Falstaff" which closed the operatic master's oeuvre.
Berger's book is similar to the treatment he earlier applied to Richard Wagner in his " Wagner Without Fear." This means:
a. Succinct but on target plot summaries of all Verdi's operas including the Verdi Requium.
b. Brief chapters on the staging of Verdi's operas; Verdi's works on CD and outstanding books on the Busseto genius for anyone wanting to know more about the King of Italian lyrical opera.
Berger's work is worthwhile reading for the operatic novice or the veteran opera fan who wants to brush up on the labyrinthal plot of "Il Trovotore" or explore how Verdi's music has been used as soundtrack for motion pictures.
Berger's book on Verdi is a treat for everyone enjoying opera who also relishes good writing done with wit, charm and panache! I eagerly await a similar guide on Puccini which I have learned is in the works from the pen of Berger! Highly recommended!
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

Most Recent Customer Reviews

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
Verdi With a Vengeance: An Energetic Guide to the Life and Complete Works of the King of Opera
This item: Verdi With a Vengeance: An Energetic Guide to the Life and Complete Works of the King of Opera
Price: $17.95 $13.64
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com