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Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Jan 07, Valerie Denney rated it really liked it.

A Short History of Opera | Alexander Street, a ProQuest Company

I read this for my Opera Literature. Informative and must for anyone trying to understand the world and history of opera. Aug 13, Kathleen rated it it was ok Shelves: music , musicology. While I am in no doubt that the research is comprehensive, there is too much information to cover in sixteen weeks.

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The book, A Short History of Opera is in its fourth edition and is neither short nor an exhaustive history of opera. Jan 24, Cordelia rated it liked it Shelves: non-fiction , history , academic.


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  • I read this for a class, but I think it would be an excellent reference book for any opera enthusiast to read a chapter or two before seeing something new. I do not recommend trying to read it through because it is close to a thousand pages and much of it is not relevant to the modern opera viewer other than for context.

    But this is a very thoroughly researched text and I learned a lot from it. Apr 14, Eric rated it liked it Shelves: outside-reading. Very comprehensive and detailed account of the history of opera. Complete with musical examples and the story of the development of an art form. I would only recommend this for people who are seriously trying to learn everything they possibly can about opera history. Probably best saved for reading in a college course.

    I wish I had sold this book back to the bookstore before it was outdated. But since I didn't, I'll keep it and use it as a resource. Franky rated it it was amazing May 22, Steven rated it really liked it Sep 06, Jonathan rated it liked it Oct 09, Burcu rated it it was amazing Jan 31, Sanah Garling rated it liked it Mar 25, Joanne rated it really liked it Mar 19, Erica rated it really liked it Jun 04, John rated it it was amazing Oct 16, Chloe rated it liked it Feb 11, Robert Loewen rated it really liked it Mar 02, Rachel Eisenburg rated it really liked it Jul 16, Marianna rated it really liked it Sep 13, Martin Grg rated it liked it Oct 04, Christy rated it it was ok Aug 17, Trevor Babb rated it liked it Sep 08, David Elliott rated it liked it Jun 13, Jenny Odhnoff rated it it was amazing Mar 20, Xain Mubashir rated it it was amazing Nov 12, Mar 01, Cheyenne.

    Had to read for my Theaters Arts class. Not quite my thing, but it was educational and different. Lisa rated it liked it Mar 16, Merietta rated it liked it Jan 03, Katie rated it liked it Jul 08, Vaughan Hennen rated it it was amazing Jul 15, In the second edition, this statement was changed to read: "But public or no public, the work ought to be produced regularly at state expense until conductors, singers and audiences are brought to realize its greatness" p.

    The History of Opera

    This statement was retained in the third edition, with the words "at state expense" removed p. Even though audiences in most major opera centers have now had the opportunity to judge the opera for themselves, and at least three commercial recordings and countless pirates of live performances are available, 3 this statement can still be found on page , where it seems both out of place and behind the times.

    Another Day in History: Opera

    Also in the first edition, Grout displayed a much less understandable disdain for Flotow's once extremely popular Martha. This disdain is apparently shared by many operatic opinion leaders, but it makes little sense to those ordinary operagoers who know the work well from live performances or recordings and have found much to enjoy in it. The almost identical wording "which" having been changed to "that" can be found in the present edition p.

    For a book aiming to give a basic grounding in opera, A Short History of Opera demonstrates a peculiar, or at least highly individual, sense of proportion. Thus the coverage of Verdi in the fourth edition is quite a bit less than I expected fourteen pages for Verdi, versus nineteen for Gluck and thirty-six for Wagner.

    A comparison of the treatment afforded to Verdi and Wagner illustrates this point dramatically. Each of the three early Wagner operas— Die Feen , Das Liebesverbot with only cosmetic changes between the first and fourth editions , and Rienzi —gets at least a full paragraph. Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide.

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