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Vissi d'arte - Love and Music Kindle Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Length: 451 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 835 KB
  • Print Length: 451 pages
  • Publisher: Popham Gardens Publishing (3 Feb. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004NNVWDE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #352,223 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Another great book by Joanna Stephen-Ward. Set predominantly in Australia, the story takes the reader into the world of opera training in Melbourne. The story itself is "operatic" in the high drama that takes place among the students and their choices in life and love. As in her book Eumeralla, much of the story pivots around a secret. The author makes interesting choices and introduces plot twists that take the reader by surprise. Just when you think you've got it all figured out, the story moves in an unexpected direction, but one that makes sense, as if you should have seen it coming all along.
The story weaves the ordinary with the extraordinary, old age with youth, success with failure. Gawky youths become magnificent divas, transformed by the magic of art, music, costumes - and rigorous discipline; then off-stage they once again become young people who must deal with their insecurities, doubts, and day to day concerns.
Reading about the main character alone makes this book worthwhile. Harriet Shaw, the fictional founder of the National Theatre, captures our attention by her forceful personality, her commitment to art, and the power her secret has over her (I love reading about older heroines and they're not that easy to come by). Ward's books have a movie-like quality to them: rich in drama, incredibly visual, and inhabited by engaging characters who are strong and unpredictable, yet always identifiable.
Comment 15 of 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Kindle Edition
Some live for art. Not everyone can. We, as readers, however, are able to lose ourselves by and by in the richness of its world, to submerge therein and resurface with an uplifted spirit. As stress and strife intensify at crazier levels around the globe, how refreshing it is to find a book worthy of our full attention, especially when it is one that rewards us down to the core.
At the outset of Vissi d'arte, we are intrigued by Nicholas, as charismatic but sad young man. Soon, we become utterly fascinated by his mysterious Aunt Harriet, a gifted relative who had left England and later founded (fictionally) Melbourne's National Theatre, a lady whom Nicholas is driven to meet in hopes of unraveling a family mystery. Colorful characters with their operatic (and romantic) aspirations and disappointments, captivating atmosphere and surprising plot twists maintain our interest throughout the story.
Need an escape? Need a boost? Can't sing? Check out Joanna Stephen-Ward's Vissi d'arte.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I really enjoyed this book. Set in Melbourne against a background of opera and theatre, the story is about Harriet Shaw, the founder of an opera and theatre school, its teachers and pupils, their successes, failures, loves and obsessions.

The narrative is rich, the characters wonderfully drawn and the mystery, the unfolding of which brings the story to a dramatic climax, very cleverly constructed. I particularly like the way the author handles the complexities of the relationships between the students at the school.

This story, an original concept set against an intriguing backdrop, is very well-written and highly recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Once again Joanna has written a story full of intrigue. Twists and turns in the plot keeping you wanting to read on til the end. An excellent book which I highly recommend
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x99b46f00) out of 5 stars 10 reviews
46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99cb9a98) out of 5 stars Beautiful andf perfectly-paced 30 Mar. 2011
By Dan Holloway - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
This is an utterly exquisite experience for anyone who wants to lose themselves in a world of the senses. But, for all it is set in a world where music is the air the characters breathe, it never gets bogged down, never lets up the beautifully-paced narration. A joy
38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99ba55ac) out of 5 stars A Fascinating Read 14 July 2011
By Agnes Irene - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Another great book by Joanna Stephen-Ward. Set predominantly in Australia, the story takes the reader into the world of opera training in Melbourne's National Theatre. The story itself is "operatic" in the high drama that takes place among the students and their choices in life and love. As in her book Eumeralla, much of the story pivots around a secret. The author makes interesting choices and introduces plot twists that take the reader by surprise. Just when you think you've got it all figured out, the story moves in an unexpected direction, but one that makes sense, as if you should have seen it coming all along.
The story weaves the ordinary with the extraordinary, old age with youth, success with failure. Gawky youths become magnificent divas, transformed by the magic of art, music, costumes - and rigorous discipline; then off-stage they once again become young people who must deal with their insecurities, doubts, and day to day concerns.
Reading about the main character alone makes this book worthwhile. Harriet Shaw, the fictional founder of the National Theatre, captures our attention by her forceful personality, her commitment to art, and the power her secret has over her (I love reading about older heroines and they're not that easy to come by). Ward's books have a movie-like quality to them: rich in drama, incredibly visual, and inhabited by engaging characters who are strong and unpredictable, yet always identifiable.
43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99ba2b28) out of 5 stars Promising new author! Characters you'll love! 15 Feb. 2011
By Rhonda Parker - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
This is a great Kindle read! The novel follows the progress of five young singers from their auditions to the start of their professional careers.

The lives of the characters entwine. Love affairs begin and end. Friends and enemies are made. Arguments about Australia's involvement in the Vietnam War erupts. Convention competes with change. Harriet's secret is in danger of being made public. Past and present collide as the forces from the past wreak their destruction.
A promising Aussie author with a fresh voice and a knack for brilliant characterization! I highly recommend!
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99ba54b0) out of 5 stars Excellent behind the curtain characterization 23 Aug. 2011
By Katherine L. Holmes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
For anyone who has enjoyed viewing opera, for anyone who has attempted the discipline of the performing arts, Vissi d'arte starts out with the stepping stones - the individuals who enroll in opera school, the lessons they must learn, and the teacher who is an enigma. For anyone who likes a slow build to passion, Vissi d'arte portrays a group of people who, in working together, find themselves in turnabouts of attraction and discovery.

The characters lead the reader on, Max the banker who has always desired to show off his voice on stage, the young women vying for lead roles, some unsure and one insidious, a director whose favorites wait on his choice, a journalist who uncovers the intrigue behind the curtain, and an opera coach whose past is veiled after her move to Australia.

It's entrancing to identify with a student in the opera school. Their language lessons and their acting practice are carefully depicted while the author shows how the intensity of this art and its student circle can develop into destructive passion. The knives in rehearsal, the parts that are assigned become prelude to a desperate singer's scheme to obtain a lead singer's life. But the most operatic of all pasts is that of the teacher, Harriet Shaw, not known to have sung since she left England.

Realistic dialogue, details about the restaurants and leased houses the opera students inhabit, their days off at the ocean are all redolent of the performing artist's life. If a person wonders how much these lives have to do with the stage's stories, Vissi d'arte portrays both the discipline and the off-hours release of this demanding lifestyle.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x99ba5498) out of 5 stars UNPUTDOWNABLE 25 Feb. 2012
By Magellan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Leaving the summarising to previous posters, I will just say that this is one of the most enjoyable books I've read in a long time. I would have blitzed through it non-stop, but had to frequently pause in order to slap on my iPod and relisten to a piece of music mentioned by one of the characters in the story - oh, the bliss.
Please, Joanna, another like this.
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