Opera History and Reference
Giacomo Puccini, La Boheme
Giacomo Puccini, La Boheme
Paperback      ISBN: 0521319137

This guide presents a unique collection of critical, analytical, and documentary essays on Puccini's most popular opera. There are new studies on the background to Parisian bohemianism (by Jerrold Seigel), on Puccini's musical language (by William Drabkin), and on the opera's stage history (by William Ashbrook). Following research in Italian archives, and a thorough study of the published sources (many of them previously unknown to modern scholarship), the editors have added further essays on the genesis of the opera, the structure of the libretto, and aspects of the work's reception. The book also contains a brief study of Puccini's working methods as seen through the autograph score, a full synopsis, discography, many illustrations, and an appendix of related documents (some published in English for the first time).

Giuseppe Verdi: Falstaff
Giuseppe Verdi
Falstaff
Paperback      ISBN: 0521280168

This book is a compact, up-to-date guide to the history and construction of Verdi's last - and possibly greatest - opera. Incorporating the findings of the most recent research, it provides performers, opera enthusiasts, students and scholars alike with a reliable summary of what is currently known about the work. The book gives a full synopsis of the plot and a detailed account both of Verdi's aims in composing the opera and of how he actually composed it: which portions were difficult for him, which he considered crucial, which were afterthoughts, etc. Special attention is given to separating the three versions of Falstaff that Verdi approved - versions that are still confused in almost all performances today. Professor Hepokoski also supplies extensive discussions of Boito's derivation of the plot and text from Shakespeare (and others); of the musical technique and structure of Falstaff; and of Verdi's own guidelines for interpretation, staging and singing. A guide to critical assessments of the opera illustrates the widely differing receptions the opera has had in the twentieth century, and a concluding essay by Graham Bradshaw discusses Shakespearean aspects of both Otello and Falstaff. The book contains a bibliography, a discography (by Malcolm Walker), illustrations of the original stage designs and costumes, and extensive musical examples.

Götterdämmerung in Full Score
Götterdämmerung in Full Score
German    Paperback      ISBN: 0486242501

Melding literary, philosophical, and political -- as well as musical -- influences in his works, Richard Wagner (1813-83) brought the expressive power of German romantic opera to new heights -- indeed, his music was its crowning glory. George Bernard Shaw, a critic not given to hyperbole, acknowledged Wagner's preeminent status in The Perfect Wagnerite "He was the summit of the nineteenth-century school of dramatic music."
In Der Ring des Nibelungen, Wagner drew on a medieval German epic, the Nibelungenlied, and Norse mythology to create a new synthesis of music and drama on the largest scale. Of the four works in the Ring cycle, G tterd mmerung is perhaps the grandest and most sweeping of all. Although it is the final work in the series, the opera was actually first sketched out by Wagner in 1848, under the title Siegfrieds Tod. As it turned out, dramaturgic difficulties forced the composer to expand the tragedy of Siegfried into the four-part Ring. In 1851 he amplified Siegfrieds Tod with Der junge Siegfried (later Siegfried), and the following year wrote the texts of Die Walk re and Das Rheingold. In effect, the text of the Ring cycle was written in reverse order.
Wagner began composing the musical drafts of G tterd mmerung in 1869. Five years later, the work was complete -- the capstone of an epic masterpiece that aroused near-religious fervor among its devotees. Shaw opined of the Ring as a whole: "The musical fabric is enormously elaborate and gorgeous," while Grove's Dictionary offers this comment on the special appeal of G tterd mmerung "It is in the epic and reflective passages of G tterd mmerung, the narratives and orchestral epic of the Funeral March, that there unfurls that 'associative magic' praised so highly by Thomas Mann."
G tterd mmerung has never been available in the United States in full operatic score -- until now. Reprinted directly from the rare 1877 first edition, this is the score that Wagner himself approved with the instrumentation he intended. Except for the original title page, the German-language front matter has been omitted in this edition for reasons of space and replaced by an English translation.
New admirers of Wagner, opera enthusiasts, and all music lovers can savor the full heroic impact of this majestic musical achievement in Dover's characteristically inexpensive, superbly produced edition.

Grammar and Translation for Italian Libretto
Grammar and Translation for Italian Libretto
Paperback      ISBN: 1885064020

Finally -- a complete Italian grammar course that addresses the specific needs of singers translating opera librettos, with their archaic forms and poetic syntax In Grammar and Translation for the Italian Libretto, Professor Berrong guides you through examples from numerous librettos as you build your expertise. Each chapter includes a short vocabulary list and translation exercises to self-test. You will be empowered to speak and understand Italian more masterfully and to translate Italian opera without having to depend on others to do it for you

Grand Opera: The Story of the Met
Grand Opera
The Story of the Met
1st Edition    Hardcover      ISBN: 0520250338

The Metropolitan has stood among the grandest of opera companies since its birth in 1883. Tracing the offstage/onstage workings of this famed New York institution, Charles Affron and Mirella Jona Affron tell how the Met became and remains a powerful actor on the global cultural scene. In this first new history of the company in thirty years, each of the chronologically sequenced chapters surveys a composer or a slice of the repertoire and brings to life dominant personalities and memorable performances of the time. From the opening night Faust to the recent controversial production of Wagner's "Ring," Grand Opera is a remarkable account of management and audience response to the push and pull of tradition and reinvention. Spanning the decades between the Gilded Age and the age of new media, this story of the Met concludes by tipping its hat to the hugely successful "Live in HD" simulcasts and other twenty-first-century innovations. Grand Opera's appeal extends far beyond the large circle of opera enthusiasts. Drawing on unpublished documents from the Metropolitan Opera Archives, reviews, recordings, and much more, this richly detailed book looks at the Met in the broad context of national and international issues and events.

Great Operas: A Guide to 25 of the World's Finest Musical Experiences
Great Operas
A Guide to 25 of the World's Finest Musical Experiences
Paperback      ISBN: 1848316119

Michael Steen provides a compendium of self-standing short guides to twenty-five of the world's greatest and most popular operas.

Michael Steen studied at the Royal College of Music, was organ scholar at Oxford, and is currently Royal College of Music Society chairman.

Great Singers on Great Singing: A Famous Opera Star Interviews 40 Famous Opera Singers on the Technique of Singing
Great Singers on Great Singing
A Famous Opera Star Interviews 40 Famous Opera Singers on the Technique of Singing
Paperback      ISBN: 0879100257

Jerome Hines has interviewed 40 singers, a speech therapist, and a throat specialist to provide this invaluable collection of advice for all singers. This collection includes the commentary of Licia Albanese, Franco Corelli, Placido Domingo, Nicolai Gedda, Marilyn Horne, Sherrill Milnes, Birgit Nilsson, Luciano Pavarotti, Rose Ponselle, Beverly Sills, Joan Sutherland and many others. "Probably the best book on the subject." Publishers Weekly

Herman Klein and the Gramophone
Herman Klein and the Gramophone
Hardcover      ISBN: 0931340187

From Klein's comments on early recordings that remain available today, the reader can get a glimpse of what legendary singers such as Patti and Lind sounded like more than a century ago. The essays of Herman Klein that appeared in The Gramophone from 1924 until 1934 are indispensable sources of information on the singers of the Golden Age.

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.
A History of Opera
A History of Opera
Paperback      ISBN: 0393348954

Why has opera transfixed and fascinated audiences for centuries? Carolyn Abbate and Roger Parker answer this question in their effervescent, witty (Die Welt, Germany) retelling of the history of opera, examining its development, the musical and dramatic means by which it communicates, and its role in society. Now with an expanded examination of opera as an institution in the twenty-first century, this lucid and sweeping (Boston Globe) narrative explores the tensions that have sustained opera over four hundred years: between words and music, character and singer, inattention and absorption. Abbate and Parker argue that, though the genre s most popular and enduring works were almost all written in a distant European past, opera continues to change the viewer physically, emotionally, intellectually with its enduring power."