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The Opera-Lover's Companion [Hardcover]

Charles Osborne
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

29 Sep 2004
This is a work on 175 operas by 63 different composers. The selected operas are those most frequently encountered in opera houses or on recordings. Each entry will set the opera within the context of its composer's career, outline the plot, discuss the music and give relevant background information on the provenance of the libretto, for example. Details of the first performance, and subsequent performance history will be given, as well as guidance on the relative quality of available recordings. The Yale Companion to Opera targets the regular opera-goer and the committed newcomer, rather than the academic specialist or the oneoff attender. It is not an encyclopaedia, covering every known opera, but only those with a realistic chance of public performance. It is equally concerned with the music, the plot, the libretto and the staging, and seeks to enhance the appreciation of the intelligent opera-goer.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (29 Sep 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300104405
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300104400
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 16 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 548,281 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


' erudite, instructive and unpretentious guide' -- The Sunday Telegraph, September 26 2004

' erudite, instructive and unpretentious guide' -- The Sunday Telegraph

'He is the informed, enthusiastic companion whose comments will help all opera goers' -- Classical Music Magazine

...this is just the right level for anyone who likes listening to
opera and would like to know a bit more or, indeed, a good place for
newcomers to opera to start. -- The Good Book Guide, May 2007

About the Author

Charles Osborne is a very well-known and experienced writer, critic and opera specialist, formerly London music critic of the New York Times, and chief drama critic of the London Daily Telegraph, from 1986-1991. He has published widely on opera.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Guide to the World of Opera 1 Feb 2009
By Paul D
Charles Osborne has already written detailed accounts of the operas of Mozart, Verdi, Puccini, Wagner, and Richard Strauss, and here he gives us an overview of around two hundred operas, from Adriana Lecouvreur to Zigeunerbaron, and including the major works of all the main opera composers, as well as many lesser-known works. For each entry, Osborne provides full cast-list, date and place of first performance, detailed synopsis and recommended recordings. Whether planning a night at the opera house, or an evening in with the stereo, The Opera Lover's Companion is the ideal guide.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars opera-lovers companion 18 Feb 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
my wife received this book from me last xmas - she is delighted with it - just what she wanted - a succinct description of all our favourite operas - no flannel - an excellent companion indeed !
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable 16 Feb 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I keep dipping into this as a fan of Beethoven, much of the information can be found elsewhere but this book has it all.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 2 July 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I find this book invaluable. I am a latecomer to opera.
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