Opera 101: A Complete Guide to Learning and Loving Opera

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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.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 494 pages
  • Publisher: Hachette Books; 1st edition (December 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786880252
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786880256
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds

Customer Reviews

Wife now loves Opera

 on January 1, 2018
By Gary N Hayward
My wife loves opera now, me, not so much! I’m still a EAGLES fan(sorry).

An outstanding musicien and a fantástica Writer

 on January 11, 2018
By Jose Bento dos Santos
Just The best

This book outstanding!!

One person found this helpful.
 on December 25, 2013
By WREllis
This book a perfect choice for anyone seeking complete

Five Stars

 on May 23, 2016
By chi_bill
A wonderful and informative guide.

Reference Book

 on June 26, 2014
By stgeofun
I’m a novice when it comes to Opera. This book helps me gain an appreciation for the topic. I have gone from one having no interest in Opera to one who now loves it!

Great book!

 on January 11, 2014
By D.
This book is a very nice guide to opera for beginners. The first 400 pages are just this history of opera. Quite extensive. The following pages delve into a few of the must know operas.

Love it!

One person found this helpful.
 on October 19, 2013
By rosa terrones
I am not a connaiseur, but I understand this book clearly. It’s interesting and fun. You don’t get tired of reading it.

Opera Book Review

 on May 12, 2015
By Legal Eagle
An excellent book for learning about opera. Written very clearly and concisely.

Fred Poltkin knows his music!

 on September 28, 2015
By Amy K
The definitive Opera book Opera lovers

Five Stars

 on December 2, 2015
By Judith
Great and fast service.

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