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The Bluffer's Guide to Opera: Bluff Your Way in Opera (The Bluffer's Guides) by [Hann, Keith]
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The Bluffer's Guide to Opera: Bluff Your Way in Opera (The Bluffer's Guides) Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Length: 92 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Review

An essential pre-season read for anyone attempting to navigate the pitfalls of post-performance drinks. --David Ross, Founder, Nevill Holt Opera

About the Author

Born in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1954, Keith Hann grew up in a household devoted to the music of the two Maxes, Jaffa and Bygraves, but luckily introduced himself to opera shortly before leaving school. Over the last 40 years he has watched the curtain rise on more than 1,000 operatic performances, and waited until it fell on 997 of them. In order to fund this addiction, he has been variously employed as an unsuccessful stockbroker and an incompetent but occasionally entertaining public relations consultant. Decades of skilful bluffing brought him to the brinks of retirement without any lasting romantic entanglements, until a momentary lapse of concentration one evening at Covent Garden led to his marriage at the age of 54, and the subsequent arrival of two children. Keith currently devotes most of his time to not writing a novel and staring forlornly at his bank statements. In consequence, he values his now strictly rationed excursions to opera houses more than ever.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1249 KB
  • Print Length: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Bluffer's Guides; Revised edition (1 Aug. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BSDNSWA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #186,501 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Katherine TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 14 Nov. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
This really is a delightful little pocket guide for anyone who feel rather baffled by the world of opera, but who would like to know more. I felt reassured and informed as I read through this cute little book, which would fit perfectly into a small handbag or a jacket pocket. It is light and witty as well as informative and for those who like to keep literature at hand in the smallest room of the house - this would be a perfect little addition - along with others in the series.

If there is one thing that would have improved this - it would have been a soundtrack to accompany it - but I simply searched online and found the selected tracks when they were mentioned and felt fully versed in the basics of opera by the end of the book.
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By Benjamin TOP 500 REVIEWER on 5 Nov. 2013
Format: Paperback
This is the first of these guides I have come across, and great fun it is too. The title is self explanatory, but to leave it at that would be to do this little book a disservice, for it also a succinct survey of the history of opera along with a brief coverage of the most significant facts pertaining to opera today. All this is done with more than a touch of humour and wit along with the occasional critique.
As an music lover (including opera) of very many years, I found this most interesting, for as much as I like opera, my love is simply for the music, I have never taken much note of what it is all about; after reading this admittedly tongue-in-cheek offering I am rather better informed.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I usually enjoy these bluffer's guides but this is my least favourite: it's certainly knowledgeable but the wit and humour feels rather forced in comparison with The Buffer's Guide to Poetry, say, and some of the information is very basic: where are operas performed in the UK, what should you wear, how much tickets cost and how to make sense of the seating arrangements. There are also chapters full of lists: the 'big' composers, the 'also rans', explaining who everyone is from the director to the prompts.

There are bits that are more in keeping with this series: the list of arias, for example, with 'what to say' and 'what not to say' made me giggle - but whereas the guide to poetry is really a set of insider jokes for poetry lovers, this really does seem to be pitched at people new to opera. Which is a shame because as fabulous as opera is, it does leave itself open to some good jokes - sadly, though, they're not here.

Read this if you really are a newcomer wanting to find your feet in opera.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Quite witty, and informative in a limited way. Can anyone really want to just bluff their way, and not immerse themself? I enjoyed it and read it from cover to cover in no time. Maybe keep in the loo.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Small volume with pithy and humourous observations of opera styles and composers. Made a wonderful present for a opera buff friend of mine. Also have the Bluffer's Guide to Music; equally as amusing. Many thanks
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Format: Kindle Edition
Whether or not you're an opera fan, I recommend you buy this excellent little book. In common with the best of the series, this is a small masterpiece. It gives would-be opera bluffers concise, hilarious nuggets of information to equip them for sounding as if they know what they are talking about, and guide them through potential conversations and pitfalls. Of course, the whole point about Bluffer's Guides is that, once you've mastered the thumbnail-sketch kind of overview they provide, you're not really bluffing any more. On page 100 of this pocket-sized book, Hann comes clean on the nature of bluffing: "What you do now with this information is up to you, but here's a suggestion: be confident about your new-found knowledge, see how far it takes you, but above all have fun using it. You are now a bona fide expert in the art of bluffing about the world's most arcane and enigmatic musical art form."

Hann has a passion for his subject, insisting opera represents one of the highest pinnacles of human civilisation. He argues: "Taking the opposite view is the first step on the road that leads to smashing stained glass windows, defacing icons or directing artillery at 1500-year-old giant Buddhas".

That's his style: the man's a genius.
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Format: Paperback
'I know what I like and I like what I know' is often the premise for occasional opera goers. As a result, a Bluffers Guide is the almost perfect accompaniment. Well written, informative and laugh out loud funny. Who would not leave the following entry not better informed as to both the artist and a medium-well known opera, as well as amused for days?
"Anne-Sofie von Otter (1955- ) Swedish mezzo-soprano particularly noted for her trouser parts. Tragically the title role in Janacek's The Cunning Little Vixen calls for a full soprano, as who would not pay good money to see an otter playing a fox?"
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