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Most popular at the top

  • A History of Operaby Carolyn Abbate; Roger Parker

    Penguin Books Ltd 2012; US$ 23.98

    Opera is in many ways the most extraordinary artistic medium of the last four hundred years. Prohibitively expensive and patently unrealistic, it can nevertheless paint the human passions with astonishing power and drama. This book, the first new, full-length, single-volume history of opera for more than a generation provokes in-depth discussions... more...

  • The Politics of Opera in Handel's Britainby Thomas McGeary

    Cambridge University Press 2013; US$ 96.00

    Thomas McGeary's book explores the relationship between Italian opera and British partisan politics in the era of George Frideric Handel. more...

  • The Rival Sirensby Suzanne Aspden

    Cambridge University Press 2013; US$ 84.00

    The Rival Sirens examines the vital and intertwined roles of singers, audiences and local cultural context in creating eighteenth-century opera. more...

  • Verdi and Puccini Heroinesby Geoffrey Edwards; Ryan Edwards

    Scarecrow Press 2000; US$ 43.99

    Artistically limited by the bel canto musical tradition popular at the time, Verdi launched a new style dramma per musica which also demanded a new soprano archetype. This book illustrates the musical evolution of the Verdi and Puccini soprano while illuminating the dramatic scope and power of these great heroines. Avoiding critical reductionism,... more...

  • Wagner Androgyneby Jean-Jacques Nattiez; Stewart Spencer

    Princeton University Press 2014; US$ 47.50

    That Wagner conceived of himself creatively as both man and woman is central to an understanding of his life and art. So argues Jean-Jacques Nattiez in this richly insightful work, where he draws from semiology, music criticism, and psychoanalysis to explore such topics as Wagner's theories of music drama, his anti-Semitism, and his psyche. Wagner,... more...

  • Mozart's The Magic Fluteby Michael Steen

    Icon Books 2013; US$ 2.99

    Even Salieri, the notorious villain of Peter Shaffer?s drama Amadeus, admired Mozart?s comic opera Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute), which was premièred in Vienna a few weeks before Mozart?s death in December 1791. Though sometimes enjoyed as a children?s opera, this is not a pantomime: rooted in Freemasonry, the Enlightenment and the Age of Reason,... more...

  • Bizet's Carmenby Michael Steen

    Icon Books 2013; US$ 2.99

    The Paris audience in 1875 was shocked by the sexually explicit realism of Bizet?s exotic operatic masterpiece, its ?verismo? depiction of low life and brutal passion. But since the disastrous première ? a sensational failure which hastened Bizet?s premature death ? it has been the greatest operatic success. It led to a film opera, a jazz opera, a... more...

  • Puccini's Toscaby Michael Steen

    Icon Books 2013; US$ 2.99

    Tosca?s première in Rome in January 1900 was nearly disrupted by a terrorist threat to blow up Italy?s King Umberto. Victorien Sardou had written the melodrama for the great actress Sarah Bernhardt. Giacomo Puccini?s popular opera is a tale of sadism and brutality, torture, attempted rape, murder, an execution and two suicides. ?Realism? was in vogue:... more...

  • Rossini's The Barber of Sevilleby Michael Steen

    Icon Books 2013; US$ 2.99

    The première in 1816 in Rome of Gioachino Rossini?s famous opera was a fiasco comparable to those of Wagner?s Tannhäuser and Bizet?s Carmen. But Il barbiere di Siviglia was soon recognised as being among the greatest of comic operas, comparable to those of Mozart. Even Beethoven was enthusiastic. Figaro, Seville?s barber, is confident of a good... more...

  • Verdi's La Traviataby Michael Steen

    Icon Books 2013; US$ 2.99

    Verdi?s now-popular opera was a fiasco in Venice in 1853, attributable perhaps to the prima donna being noticeably obese, despite apparently wasting with tuberculosis. Soon, however, Verdi?s scandalous love story was on stage contemporaneously at Her Majesty?s Theatre, Covent Garden and Drury Lane. Piave?s libretto depicts Violetta and Alfredo... more...