The Collins Guide to Opera and Operetta

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9780004720616: The Collins Guide to Opera and Operetta

This guide covers 180 operas and operettas, from Monteverdi's "Orfeo" to John Adam's "Nixon in China", via the works of Mozart, Verdi, Wagner and Puccini, all arranged in alphabetical order. The entry for each opera includes: composer, librettist and first performance; principal characters, plot synopsis, musical approach and highlights; a "Did You Know?" section of facts and recommended recording. Potted biographies of the composers and lists of their output, plus an introduction on the history and development of the opera and operetta and a glossary of terms, are also provided.

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From Library Journal:

These upbeat, useful home references have similar formats, with entries for each opera, operetta, or musical listing composer, librettist, date of first performance, principal characters, plot, critical commentary, musical highlights, a random fact about the composer or production, and at least one recommended recording. Musicals lists 180 shows alphabetically, with an appendix of composer and lyricist biographies. It occasionally recommends filmed versions of the shows and includes information about original casts, both American and British. Opera and Operettas is arranged alphabetically and includes 77 composers, from John Adams to Bernd Alois Zimmermann, more than half having lived at least part of their lives in the 20th century. It includes biographical information at the beginning of each composer entry. Principal operas by each composer are listed, though only selected major operas are described at length. An essay on the history of each genre opens each book. British pride comes through in the opera book?and with 20th-century operas by Britten, Tippett, Walton, Birtwistle, Maxwell Davies, and others, it would be hard for a British publication on opera not to show pride. Naturally, the shows in Musicals are mostly by Americans. Well designed, reasonably priced, and written in lively styles by informed British music critics who respect their audiences, these books will delight lovers of opera and musicals. They are, however, perfect-bound and will probably not stand up to hard use. Libraries should regard them as supplementary items.?Bonnie Jo Dopp, Univ. of Maryland Lib., College Park
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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