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When the Fat Lady Sings: Opera History as it Ought to Be Taught [Kindle Edition]

David W. Barber , Anna Russell , Dave Donald , Maureen Forrester
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $19.95
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $9.96 (50%)


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Paperback $16.30  
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Book Description

David. W. Barber has delighted readers all around the world with the quirky definitions of Accidentals on Purpose, the irreverent history of Bach, Beethoven and the Boys, a hilariously offbeat history of dance and ballet in Tutus, Tights and Tiptoes and a host of other internationally bestselling books of musical humor and literature. With When the Fat Lady Sings, the popular author and musical humorist turns his attention to what Dr. Johnson called that “exotick and irrational entertainment,” the world of opera. Here are stories of love and lusty, jealousy, intrigue, murder and tragic death – and that’s just the stuff happening off stage, in the composers’ personal lives. Wait till you read about the opera plots. Informal yet informative, witty yet wise, this book will both enlighten and entertain you. As always, Dave Donald has provided witty and clever cartoons that perfectly complement the text.

“This is a very humorous book, but at the same time it tells it like it is, or was. David’s not really fabricating anything, he just manages to give you the gist of the history while leaving out all the boring bits.” – Canadian contralto Maureen Forrester, from the Preface

“I must say I still adore opera. I know it is just as silly as Mr. Barber says it is, but I love it.”
– musical humorist Anna Russell, from the Foreword.

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David Barber is a journalist, author, composer and performer who lives and works in Toronto.

Dave Donald works as an art director for a Toronto-based national magazine.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1123 KB
  • Print Length: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Indent Publishing (February 6, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0076M2UHG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #178,406 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A GREAT Way To Learn Opera!! December 30, 2000
I am a music major at college and study opera intensivly. There are some really boring books on the subject, but When The Fat Lady Sings is NOT one of them! All of the facts were there and were presented in a way that kept my attention. I would reccomend this book to the music student looking to brush up on composers, to the people who want to know a little more about what opera is, and to the person who wants something interesting to say at a cocktail party. Anyone can learn something from this book with or without music knowledge. I didn't think a book could be written about opera that is both true to the subject AND funny. Well done Mr. Barber!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Intro to Opera History January 5, 2000
By A Customer
This book tells all the fun stuff that you don't usually hear about opera composers along with a sturdy structure of opera history. Easy to read and intensely funny, this book's only weakness is that it misses a lot of important composers and concentrates on a couple of unimportant ones. Thus, the reader is left with a feeling like the author got tired of writing and stopped halfway through. If the author added enough information for this book to be more comprehensive representation of opera history, it would a wonderful book for both opera experts and opera neophytes.
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Format:Kindle Edition
As an opera coach, and author, I had this book for years. In my early 20s, I found the book fun for learning opera facts... The author tries to take a lighthearted "fun" attempt in making the "serious" genre of opera accessible to the masses. At first it feels he might be winning, but by half way through the book, the cliches get tired.

Yes we all have heard about the fat lady.. who sings.. but in the long run couldn't this be damaging? I actually have vocal students .. who are a bit tuned off to opera.. because of this exact cliche phrase. I have to show them that there are actually very sexy men and women in opera today, and the art form is going strong and accessible. After a few students saw the Met telecast at the local movie theatre they were more attuned to the genre.

This book sort of pokes fun in a way that can be discouraging. In other words.. I wasn't not really amused.

A mediocre study at best.

J. R. is the author of: An Historical Study of Kurt Weill's Der Silbersee: Ein Wintermarchen
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5.0 out of 5 stars Poor Fat Ladies. April 9, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Again, Love the humour, removing all the so call snobbery and nonsense, a lay man book, to use when folks are being pompous. Well done..
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3.0 out of 5 stars Too many cliches March 11, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Interesting for light reading. The problem for me is the cutesy way the author tries to make the book enjoyable. Too many cliches and puns in an attempt to be funny. I finally stopped reading about half way through.
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