This new edition of leading opera critic Rupert Christiansen's perennially popular Pocket Guide has between extensively revised, and incorporates many more operas from all periods, including recent works by Philip Glass, Mark Anthony Turnage, Thomas Adès and George Benjamin. Whether you are a first-timer at La Boheme or a seasoned Wagnerian, every opera-goer can benefit from a little background information, and this book aims to provide just that. Accessible and easy-to-use, it contains entries for over a hundred works, both familiar and unfamiliar.
Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901) was the Shakespeare of opera, the composer of Rigoletto, Il Trovatore, La Traviata, Aida and Otello. The chorus of Hebrew slaves from Nabucco (1842) is regarded in Italy as virtually an alternative national anthem – and the great tragedian rounded off his career fifty years later with a rousing comedy, Falstaff. When Verdi was born, much of northern Italy was under Napoleonic rule, and Verdi grew up dreaming of a time when the peninsula might be governed by Italians. When this was achieved, in 1861, he became a deputy in the first all-Italian parliament. While in his 20s, Verdi lost his two children and then his wife (many Verdi operas feature poignant parent-child relationships). Later, he retired, with his second wife, to his beloved farmlands, refusing for long stretches to return to composition. Verdi died in January 1901, universally mourned as the supreme embodiment of the nation he had helped create. DANIEL SNOWMAN was born in London, educated at Cambridge and Cornell and at 24 became a Lecturer at the University of Sussex, going on to become BBC Radio’s Chief Producer, Features. Since 2004 has held a Senior Research Fellowship at the Institute of Historical Research (University of London). Recent books include a study of the cultural impact of the ‘Hitler Emigrés’, a collection of critical essays on the work of today's leading historians and The Gilded Stage: A Social History of Opera, reviewed by Tim Blanning as ‘A mighty achievement, by far and away the best history of opera available’.
Everything you need to know about opera in one handy guide. Part of our best-selling Pocket Guide series, The Pocket Guide to Opera contains A-Z synopses of operas and biographies of the characters, lyricists and composers. The book features the history of opera, setting it in the context of its day and discussing the influence of world events and influences such as the Freemasons and the composers patrons. With factboxes highlighting surprising, little known and often quirky operatic facts, this fascinating book is a must-buy guide for everyone who loves opera.
The New Pocket Kobbe's Complete Opera Book is the world's leading reference work on opera, and (in the words of Bernard Levin) 'no single-volume operatic guide can possibly compare with it'. Kobbe is the only book which summaries the libretti of the world's opera, describes their music and gives a history of their performance within a single volume. But it is a large and relatively expensive book. The new pocket edition, at a price accessible to the huge new audience for opera, has been redesigned and extended, existing entries have been rewritten, and new operas included. The total number of works covered is now over 200, including important new works like John Adams Nixon in China, Harrison Birtwistle's Gawain and Thomas Ades's Powder Her Face, and a number of half-forgotten works that are now undergoing revival. Unlike the previous edition, it is now simply arranged, alphabetically by composer. Lord Harewood's strongly individual commentaries, together with his unparalleled knowledge of and enthusiasm for opera, make the New Pocket Kobbe a book no opera-goer can afford to be without.