Author Topic: Good books on Opera  (Read 1295 times)

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Offline yashin

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Good books on Opera
« on: July 19, 2007, 09:49:07 PM »
I enjoy reading different types of books on opera.

I would split them into 2 types: (1) Those which review (2) those which try to discuss one opera or composer.

For the former i enjoy 'The metropolitan guide to recorded opera' - despite being some years old now it is a terrific guide to many recordings.  Good length reviews for each cd available.

'The rough guide to opera' is fine too.  A more limited range of recordings reviewed.  I don't always agree with their choices and i wonder why some have been missed off.  However, it is informative and simple to read.

The grammophone guide is good-but very expensive for each years changes- i bought one copy some years ago and have not bothered since since the change is so limited.  I enjoy the reviews and respect them.

The 20th Century guide to opera - Martin.  This book is a suprise-a pleasant one.  I like the sections explaining key words/phrases being sung.  I was  reading whilst watching Wozzeck on DVD.  It was a great help.

First intermissions-commentaries on Met broadcasts -by M.Owen Lee.  A good discussion about a number of opera.  Brief, informative and well written commentaries to read as you listen or before you go to watch.

Puccini without excuses and Wagner without fear -i was sceptical about these books but i enjoy them.  the Puccini book has excellent explanations.

As for those books on specific operas:

Wagner's Ring - by M.Owen Lee - his books are always informative.  Highly recommend.

The Perfect Wagnerite - By George Bernard Shaw - old i know, but a very interesting guide.  Answers many questions and gets you thinking.

Finding the ending -Reflections of Wagner's Ring- by Kitcher and Schact.  A detailed account of the Ring cycle.  More difficult to read for the average Joe.  Interesting thought-provoking and answers many of your questions.

Wagner's Ring-a listeners companion and concordance.  A great book.  Well written.  Very nice section about the staging of the Ring over time.  Highly recommend.

Anyone got any other Wagner Ring recommendations?

What about 'Start-up at the new Met' -anyone been reading this ?

Other opera books??

Tancata

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Re: Good books on Opera
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2007, 01:07:18 AM »

The Perfect Wagnerite - By George Bernard Shaw - old i know, but a very interesting guide.  Answers many questions and gets you thinking.
Other opera books??

Yeah, I really enjoy The Perfect Wagnerite - GBS always has interesting things to say.

I'm reading Opera's First Master - The music dramas of Claudio Monteverdi by Mark Ringer at the moment. It has a good deal of interesting information and commentary in it, although I'm not always in the mood for the kind of clause-by-clause analysis provided for the three surviving operas.

If anyone can recommend any other books on Monteverdi, let me know  :).

Offline yashin

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Re: Good books on Opera
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2007, 02:59:59 AM »
Tancata-i have seen that one too-looks interesting.  Might have another look next time i go to the bookshop.  I know little about Monteverdi so would be interesting.  My music training is nil so i tend to like books requiring less technical knowledge.

Offline PerfectWagnerite

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Re: Good books on Opera
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2007, 03:22:06 AM »
I like Fred Plotkin: Opera 101 :)

Offline Moonfish

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Re: Good books on Opera
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2018, 03:47:18 PM »
Hmm, this thread needs a *bump* or is there another thread focusing on "books about opera"?


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« Last Edit: May 25, 2018, 03:52:03 PM by Moonfish »
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