Synopses & Reviews
Opera housesand#151;temples to the art of Mozart, Verdi, Tchaikovsky, and moreand#151;have been created by some of the most talented architects and designers of their generations, inspiring centuries of veneration from audiences, filled with royalty and commoners alike. In this sumptuous book, photographer Guillaume de Laubier and journalist Antoine Pecqueur explore more than 25 of the worldand#8217;s most beautiful opera houses, from Tokyo to Covent Garden, from Oslo to Chicago, from Milan to New York. The buildings are described in their historical contexts, while stunning photography reveals the theatersand#8217; most captivating spaces. In addition to offering sweeping views of ornate auditoriums and facades, the book opens doors normally closed to the public, entering the artistsand#8217; dressing rooms, rehearsal halls, scenery workshops, and more, presenting a wide-ranging and compelling look into a spectacular world.
Praise for The Most Beautiful Opera Houses in the World:
and#147;Performance spaces take the spotlight in The Most Beautiful Opera Houses in the World and you donand#8217;t need to be a music buff to appreciate their range. The photographs by Guillaume de Laubier capture 32 theaters across the globe in rich detail . . . Who knew empty stages made for such good theater?and#8221; and#151;Wall Street Journal
and#160;and#147;With the growing popularity of massive arenas, it is often difficult to think back to a time when going out for a night of music was synonymous with elegance. But a new book has rediscovered the high art of these exquisite theater spaces. The Most Beautiful Opera Houses in the World contains hundreds of photographs showing the exteriors and auditoriums of these cultural treasuresand#151;and is a reminder why these architectural wonders are worth a visit.and#8221; and#151;FOXNews.com
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 Zauberflöte. 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 Così 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 surtitles.
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 refreshingly readable guide to the whole world of opera, available in paperback for the first time. Perfect for opera buffs, and opera novices.
Sir Denis Forman has provided the least intimidating guide to opera yet. With a lively and stylish pen, Sir Denis, who for nine years was deputy chairman of the Royal Opera House in London, dispenses his opinions freely on operas and their composers and artistic interpreters. He has taken the eighty-three most popular operas on CD (from Cilea's Adriana Lecouvreur to Mozart's Die Zauberflote) and detailed each plot, explaining what is happening at any given moment and highlighting parts worth special attention. He explains the historical circumstances of the works and grades them from alpha to gamma (apart from the Ring cycle, which receives an X).
A Night at the Opera also includes brief biographies of the great composers, conductors, and artists; a glossary of musical terms; and a guide to "Oprania" -- the special world of opera.
This is an entertaining and informative guide to opera, and a subject of ready reference and lively debate for years to come.
With a lively and stylish pen, Sir Denis Forman, who for nine years was deputy chairman of the Royal Opera House in London, dispenses his opinions freely on operas and their composers and artistic interpreters. Forman explains the historical circumstances of the works, then grades them from alpha to gamma, except for one to which he gives a thumbs-down "X".
About the Author
Guillaume de Laubier
, a photographer who has regularly contributed to Elle Dand#233;cor
, and Maison Franand#231;aise
, is the author of several books, including Abramsand#8217; The Most Beautiful Libraries in the World
. Antoine Pecqueur
is a journalist for Le Monde
, the French television channel Mezzo, and the classical music periodical La Lettre du Musicien