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A History of Opera

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A History of Opera Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

, the first new, full-length, single-volume history of opera for more than a generation, provokes in-depth discussions of many works by the greatest opera composers, from Monteverdi, Handel, and Mozart to Verdi and Wagner, to Strauss, Puccini, Berg, and Britten. There are lively discussions of opera’s social, political, and literary backgrounds, its economic cicumstances, and the almost continual polemics that have accompanied its development through the centuries. Central to the book is an exploration of the tensions—between words and music, character and singer—that have always sustained and enlivened opera. In a polemical final chapter, Carolyn Abbate and Roger Parker examine the problems that opera has faced in the last half century, when new works—once opera’s lifeblood—have shrunk to a tiny minority and have largely failed to find a permanent place in the repertoire.

Review:

"In this sometimes plodding, sometimes energetic, but always fascinating history of opera, music historians Abbate and Parker conduct us on a captivating journey from the birth of opera in the 17th century up through the most recent technological innovations that bring operatic performances to wider and wider audiences. While the authors cover the breadth of operatic history — bringing to view important composers such as Monteverdi and Meyerbeer whose historical significance outweighs their presence in modern performances of their work — they focus their attention on the composers whose works are most performed today: Verdi, Mozart, Puccini, Wagner, Rossini, Donizetti, Strauss, Bizet, and Handel. The authors praise opera's complex glories, demonstrating through their lovingly crafted survey that as long as performers are willing to devote themselves to singing the operas and as long as suitable spaces exist to host the performances, opera will continue to be brought to life, articulating some of the complexities of human experience in ways that no other art form can match." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

A bold, engaging exploration of opera’s fundamental nature and enduring appeal, from the sixteenth century to the present.

Synopsis:

Why does opera continue to attract new audiences at a time when the stream of original works that was once its lifeblood has dried to a trickle? Carolyn Abbate and Roger Parker answer this question in their modern retelling of the history of opera, examining its evolution over several centuries and its continued appeal to generations of audiences. Integral to this nuanced and engaging narrative is the ongoing exploration of the tensions that have sustained opera over four hundred years: between words and music, character and singer, the surreal and the believable. As this pair of experts argue, 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, and intellectually--with its enduring power.

About the Author

Carolyn Abbate is a recipient of awards from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. She lives in Princeton, New Jersey.Roger Parker, a professor of music at King's College London, was a founding coeditor of the Cambridge Opera Journal and is a frequent opera commentator on radio and television. He lives in Havant, Hampshire.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780393057218
Author:
Abbate, Carolyn
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company
Author:
Parker, Roger
Subject:
Opera
Subject:
Music | Opera
Publication Date:
20121131
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
24 pages of illustrations, including fou
Pages:
624
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.125 in

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Opera
Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Opera » General
Arts and Entertainment » Music » History and Criticism

A History of Opera New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$49.95 In Stock
Product details 624 pages W. W. Norton & Company - English 9780393057218 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In this sometimes plodding, sometimes energetic, but always fascinating history of opera, music historians Abbate and Parker conduct us on a captivating journey from the birth of opera in the 17th century up through the most recent technological innovations that bring operatic performances to wider and wider audiences. While the authors cover the breadth of operatic history — bringing to view important composers such as Monteverdi and Meyerbeer whose historical significance outweighs their presence in modern performances of their work — they focus their attention on the composers whose works are most performed today: Verdi, Mozart, Puccini, Wagner, Rossini, Donizetti, Strauss, Bizet, and Handel. The authors praise opera's complex glories, demonstrating through their lovingly crafted survey that as long as performers are willing to devote themselves to singing the operas and as long as suitable spaces exist to host the performances, opera will continue to be brought to life, articulating some of the complexities of human experience in ways that no other art form can match." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , A bold, engaging exploration of opera’s fundamental nature and enduring appeal, from the sixteenth century to the present.
"Synopsis" by , Why does opera continue to attract new audiences at a time when the stream of original works that was once its lifeblood has dried to a trickle? Carolyn Abbate and Roger Parker answer this question in their modern retelling of the history of opera, examining its evolution over several centuries and its continued appeal to generations of audiences. Integral to this nuanced and engaging narrative is the ongoing exploration of the tensions that have sustained opera over four hundred years: between words and music, character and singer, the surreal and the believable. As this pair of experts argue, 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, and intellectually--with its enduring power.
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