Opera
Sing for Your Life: A Story of Race, Music, and Family
Sing for Your Life
A Story of Race, Music, and Family
Paperback      ISBN: 0316300632
The New York Times bestseller about a young black man's journey from violence and despair to the threshold of stardom: "A beautiful tribute to the power of good teachers" (Terry Gross, Fresh Air).

"One of the most inspiring stories I've come across in a long time."-Pamela Paul, New York Times Book Review

Ryan Speedo Green had a tough upbringing in southeastern Virginia: his family lived in a trailer park and later a bullet-riddled house across the street from drug dealers. His father was absent; his mother was volatile and abusive.

At the age of twelve, Ryan was sent to Virginia's juvenile facility of last resort. He was placed in solitary confinement. He was uncontrollable, uncontainable, with little hope for the future.

In 2011, at the age of twenty-four, Ryan won a nationwide competition hosted by New York's Metropolitan Opera, beating out 1,200 other talented singers. Today, he is a rising star performing major roles at the Met and Europe's most prestigious opera houses.

Sing for Your Life chronicles Ryan's suspenseful, racially charged and artistically intricate journey from solitary confinement to stardom. Daniel Bergner takes readers on Ryan's path toward redemption, introducing us to a cast of memorable characters -- including the two teachers from his childhood who redirect his rage into music, and his long-lost father who finally reappears to hear Ryan sing. Bergner illuminates all that it takes -- technically, creatively -- to find and foster the beauty of the human voice. And Sing for Your Life sheds unique light on the enduring and complex realities of race in America.
A Night at the Opera: An Irreverent Guide to the Plots, the Singers, the Composers, the Recordings
A Night at the Opera
An Irreverent Guide to the Plots, the Singers, the Composers, the Recordings
Paperback      ISBN: 0375751769
"Delightful and anti-reverential"--Sunday Times (London)

With an encyclopedic knowledge of opera and a delightful dash of irreverence, Sir Denis Forman throws open the world of opera--its structure, composers, conductors, and artists--in this hugely informative guide. A Night at the Opera dissects the eighty-three most popular operas recorded on compact disc, from Cilea's Adriana Lecouvreur to Mozart's Die Zauberfl te. For each opera, Sir Denis details the plot and cast of characters, awarding stars to parts that are "worth looking out for," "really good," or, occasionally, "stunning." He goes on to tell the history of each opera and its early reception. Finally, each work is graded from alpha to gamma (although the Ring cycle gets an "X"), and Sir Denis has no qualms about voicing his opinion: the first act of Fidelio is "a bit of a mess," while the last scene of Don Giovanni "towers above the comic finales of Figaro and Cos and whether or not it] is Mozart's greatest opera, it is certainly his most powerful finale."

The guide also presents brief biographies of the great composers, conductors, and singers. A glossary of musical terms is included, as well as Operatica, or the essential elements of opera, from the proper place and style of the audience's applause (and boos) to the use of subtitles.

A Night at the Opera is for connoisseurs and neophytes alike. It will entertain and inform, delight and (perhaps) infuriate, providing a subject for lively debate and ready reference for years to come.
The Metropolitan Opera Presents: Puccini's La Boheme: Libretto, Background, and Photos
The Metropolitan Opera Presents: Puccini's La Boheme
Libretto, Background, and Photos
Paperback      ISBN: 1574674447

There's a reason La Boh me has been staged at the Met more often than any other opera: Puccini's enticing music perfectly conveys the enchantment of new young love and the anguish that comes with loss and death. La Boh me, the passionate and timeless story of love among impoverished young artists in Paris, can stake its claim as the world's most popular opera. It has a marvelous ability to make a powerful first impression (even on those new to opera) and to reveal unexpected treasures after dozens of hearings. At first glance, La Boh me is the definitive depiction of the joys and sorrows of love and loss; on closer inspection, it reveals the deep emotional significance hidden in the trivial things (a bonnet, an old overcoat, a chance meeting with a neighbor) that make up our everyday lives. This touching story of tenderness and tragedy never fails to move audiences and melt hearts. This gorgeous souvenir libretto includes extensive background notes and photos from productions through the years.

Verdi with a Vengeance: An Energetic Guide to the Life and Complete Works of the King of Opera
Verdi with a Vengeance
An Energetic Guide to the Life and Complete Works of the King of Opera
Paperback      ISBN: 037570518x

Everything you could possibly know about Verdi and his operas, from the brilliant and humorous author of Wagner Without Fear.

If you want to know why La traviata was actually a flop at its premiere in 1853, it's in here. If you want to know why claiming to have heard Bjorling's Chicago performance of Il trovatore is the classic opera fan faux pas, it's in here. Even if you just want to know how to pronounce Aida, or what the plot of Rigoletto is all about, this is the place to look. From the composer's intense hatred of priests to synopses of the operas and a detailed discography of the best recordings to buy, it can all be found in Verdi with a Vengeance. William Berger has given another improbable performance, serving up a book as thorough as it is funny and as original as it is astute, an utterly indispensable guide for novice and expert alike.
History Is Our Mother: Three Libretti: Nixon in China, the Death of Klinghoffer, the Magic Flute
History Is Our Mother: Three Libretti
Nixon in China, the Death of Klinghoffer, the Magic Flute
Paperback      ISBN: 1681370646
The first appearance of Alice Goodman's two internationally-renowned and controversial libretti, alongside one of her masterful translations.

An NYRB Classics Original

Nixon in China and The Death of Klinghoffer played a crucial role in bringing opera back to life as a contemporary art form, and they have been popular--and, in the case of Klinghoffer, highly controversial--ever since they were first staged by the director Peter Sellars in the eighties and nineties. Both operas were conceived from the start as collaborations between composer and writer, and their power is due as much to the dazzlingly constructed and deeply felt libretti of the poet Alice Goodman as they are to John Adams's music. Nixon in China is a story, at once heroic, comic, and unnerving, of men and women making history and of their different conceptions of what history is and what it means to makes it. Klinghoffer, by contrast, has at its center the tragedy of an innocent man condemned at the cost of his life to play a part in history. History Is Our Mother, which takes its title from a line sung by the title character in Nixon in China, brings Goodman's two libretti together for the first time in book form. Included alongside Goodman's no less inspired translation of Emanuel Schikaneder's famous libretto to The Magic Flute, these vivid dramas of character and searching meditations on fate are here revealed as among the most original, ambitious, and accomplished poetic achievements of our time.
The Chronicle of Opera
The Chronicle of Opera
Paperback      ISBN: 0500286671

'The Chronicle of Opera' celebrates four centuries of music and performance, mixing facts and anecdotes, personalities and stylistic development with hundreds of illustrations.

The Met: One Hundred Years of Grand Opera
The Met
One Hundred Years of Grand Opera
Hardcover      ISBN: 0671470876

Illustrated with hundreds of photographs and based on research in the Met's massive archives, this history chronicles and celebrates the Met's first one hundred years and the legendary stars and conductors who have performed there



Twilight of the Wagners: The Unveiling of a Family's Legacy
Twilight of the Wagners
The Unveiling of a Family's Legacy
Hardcover      ISBN: 0312199570

In "The Ring And The Wolf", Gottfried Wagner chronicles his family's connection with National Socialism, from his great-grandfather's anti-Semitic pamphlets to his father's, uncle's and grandparent's close relationship with Adolf Hitler.

Gottfried's grandmother, Winifred, formed a special closeness to Hitler. It was Winifred who reportedly supplied the paper on which Hitler wrote Mein Kampf. Her two sons, Wieland and Wolfgang (Gottfried's father), called Hitler "Uncle Wolf".

As a young child, Gottfried discovered his family's controversial past, which has lead him on an impassioned crusade as an adult to examine the hatred and prejudice he knew growing up in Bayreuth -- a cultural and political center of German society led by the Wagner family with their annual festival in honor of Richard Wagner's operas.

With a judicious eye for telling detail and a sweeping sense of conscience, Gottfried Wagner lays bare the sins of a most powerful family.

Verdi: A Life in the Theatre
Verdi
A Life in the Theatre
Hardcover      ISBN: 0394541103

Includes letters written by Verdi and his acquaintances that illuminate the personal side of the innkeeper's son turned successful composer

Opera 101: A Complete Guide to Learning and Loving Opera
Opera 101
A Complete Guide to Learning and Loving Opera
Paperback      ISBN: 0786880252

Opera is the fastest growing of all the performing arts, attracting audiences of all ages who are enthralled by the gorgeous music, vivid drama, and magnificent production values. If you've decided that the time has finally come to learn about opera and discover for yourself what it is about opera that sends your normally reserved friends into states of ecstatic abandon, this is the book for you. Opera 101 is recognized as the standard text in English for anyone who wants to become an opera lover--a clear, friendly, and truly complete handbook to learning how to listen to opera, whether on the radio, on recordings, or live at the opera house. Fred Plotkin, an internationally respected writer and teacher about opera who for many years was performance manager of the Metropolitan Opera, introduces the reader (whatever his or her level of musical knowledge) to all the elements that make up opera, including:

  • A brief, entertaining history of opera;
  • An explanation of key operatic concepts, from vocal types to musical conventions;
  • Hints on the best way to approach the first opera you attend and how to best understand what is happening both offstage and on;
  • Lists of recommended books and recordings, and the most complete traveler's guide to opera houses around the world.
The major part of Opera 101 is devoted to an almost minute-by-minute analysis of eleven key operas, ranging from Verdi's thunderous masterpiece Rigoletto and Puccini's electrifying Tosca through works by Mozart, Donizetti, Rossini, Offenbach, Tchaikovsky, and Wagner, to the psychological complexities of Richard Strauss's Elektra. Once you have completed Opera 101, you will be prepared to see and hear any opera you encounter, thanks to this book's unprecedentedly detailed and enjoyable method of revealing the riches of opera.