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The Grove Book of Operas Paperback – 1 Mar 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 770 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 2 edition (1 Mar. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195387112
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195387117
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 3.8 x 15.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 508,837 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

"The Grove Book of Operas, Second Edition offers more detail for the seasoned operaphile... A versatile tool for research."--Opera News"The Grove Book of Operas, Second Edition, should be on every opera-lover's short list of indispensable reference books. Highly recommended."--Gary Hoffman, Opera Today.PRAISE FOR FIRST EDITION: "Make no mistake: This will be the definitive reference work in opera for many, many years to come."--The Chicago Tribune.PRAISE FOR FIRST EDITION: "This work will significantly affect not only the way opera is enjoyed in the future, but the way it is made."--The Washington Post.PRAISE FOR FIRST EDITION: "All inquiries into Opera begin there from now on."--The San Francisco Examiner Chronicle.PRAISE FOR FIRST EDITION: "For once the hype is right on the money... This may well be the best English-language opera reference available."--Amazon.com

About the Author

Stanley Sadie served as President of the Royal Music Association and the International Musicological Society. He was appointed Commander of the British Empire in 1982. Laura Macy is an authority on the Italian madrigal, and has published and lectured on opera performance and the roles of women in music.

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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By edd_walker@yahoo.co.uk on 4 Sept. 2001
Format: Hardcover
A professional's view is as essential to one's understanding of the history and meaning behind the music/staging of opera as in any other academic subject. The Grove guide is in effect a cut-down version of the 4 volume Grove dictionary. It contains all the material that the majority of people would most frequently consult in the aforementioned work, while leaving out content that only the most committed afficionado would demand and actually use. The result is one is left with a far more user-friendly reference tool and at a fraction of the cost. Each entry is concisely written, and includes an history of the production, the original cast and detailed plot synopsis. Reading time is around 15-20 minutes per opera. This proves ideal if one wants to quickly brush-up on a plot before going to see a perfomance or become readily acquainted with a new opera when deciding whether to purchase a new recording. The range of operas covered is impressive yet this does not lead to a compromising on the detail supplied of each. It is certainly superior to most other guides of a similar nature/price. For myself the hard-back cover was also an attraction.
My one major criticism was the lack of a time-line/chronology of works in one place. This may seem a rather small detail, indeed most people would find the alphabetical ordering of the book more accessible. However, when one wishes to see where an individual work fits in to an individual composer's overall list of works (or into a particular musical period) this can only be done through lengthy cross-referencing. Another welcome addition would have been a recommended recording for each opera - especially for some of the lesser known works that are often not readily available.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Filippo Secondo (aka AB) on 29 Feb. 2008
Format: Hardcover
The book distinguishes itself with the unusual inclusion of rare works (eg I DUE FOSCARI), which almost all other guides of the same size totally ignore: it isn't - as the previous reviewer claims - 'leaving out content [ie lesser-known works] that only the most committed afficionado [sic] would demand and actually use'. I just wish that the editorial board got rid of the indices: the 60 pages wasted on merely role names and excerpts could have covered many other unfamiliar operas (eg DIE AEGYPTISCHE HELENA). One slightly bothersome inconsistency is that (for some strange reason) only particular roles are mentioned in connection with their famous interpreters: eg while there are long lists of well-known performers of Parsifal, Brunnhilde, and Wotan, we're not told which singers made parts like Leonora (IL TROVATORE), Don Giovanni, and Falstaff their own. Another inconsistency is that the Introduction focuses only on contemporary production: what about the pre-modern periods? The absence of a discography isn't a disadvantage: like the indices, it is as unnecessary as the missing chronology. But the cover is depressing, so are the accompanying pictures taken from 'updated' productions. Though this is a welcome addition to any opera library, I can't part with KOBBE'S COMPLETE OPERA BOOK (Harewood and Lascelles), THE VIKING OPERA GUIDE (Holden, Kenyon, and Walsh), THE PAN BOOK OF OPERA (Jacobs and Sadie), OPERA GUIDE (Westerman), 50 FAVORITE OPERAS (England), 100 GREAT OPERAS AND THEIR STORIES (Simon), as well as THE OPERA COMPANION and THE COMPANION TO 20th-CENTURY OPERA (Martin).
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I’m not a great opera fan; opera for me tends to stop at Mozart. However, I did want a publication that gave me a concise synopsis of plot and story line that covered, not just the most popular pieces, but the less well known works as well. This does it and enables me to select operas that might appeal to me before going out and buying them. It’s also quite good for dipping into at random . Very good.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Tells you all you want to know about nearly all the operas you are likely to see. A book which should be on every opera lovers bookcase and adds that other dimension to enjoyment of your visits to the opera whether at the theatre or the cinema, and, of course, your dvds...
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