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The Opera Guide: 100 Popular Composers UPDATED 2017 by [Holden, Amanda ]
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The Opera Guide: 100 Popular Composers UPDATED 2017 Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Kindle Edition, 19 Dec 2015
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Length: 1132 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4140 KB
  • Print Length: 1132 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0171YI02W
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #183,978 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Comprehensive and balanced overview.Improves with each edition.
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Very helpful, very well written.
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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars 3 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The heir to Kobbe's as an opera-lover's most-valuable field guide 28 Mar. 2016
By Chris Kaiser - Published on Amazon.com
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I didn't think I would find another opera reference as valuable to me as the 1987 edition of Kobbe's Opera Book, but then I found this one and was really impressed. It is very up-to-date - listing several future works by the composers profiled - and explains very well what you are going to hear when approaching a new opera. The composers and operas chosen are the ones you are most likely to see performed in the 2010s. Although it doesn't cover as many of the lesser-known works of venerated composers like Verdi, it manages to cover a few of the blind-spots of Kobbe's: Cavalli, Rameau, Barber & Bernstein, and of course contemporary works.

One of the great things about Kobbe's was the pseudo-chronological listing, which made it easier to pick up the book and just explore a time-period you were interested in. Holden's lists all the composers alphabetically, and that's very nearly a necessity for the e-book format. Some composers are covered more in depth, and you can definitely tell that many different experts with different writing styles contributed to this. But that isn't really a negative either; each contributor extols the virtues of the composer you are reading about, giving you the best, first impression of them possible before you listen and decide for yourself. For the e-book format anyway, I also appreciated that the synopses were not as detailed as in Kobbe's, and more time was spent on historical background and analysis, letting you know what to listen for. (And an approximate running time!) That's why this book is so valuable and helpful: for whatever opera you might be seeing or listening to for the first time, this is a great field guide that will prepare you for that.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Welcome book, but not optimized for older Kindle devices 19 April 2016
By SkookumPete - Published on Amazon.com
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One of the unfortunate consequences of the rise of the web has been the death of the reference book. It's a pleasure to see that Amanda Holden is keeping alive the work she started in the Viking and Penguin opera guides, now (and presumably forever) outdated and out of print.

As the subtitle indicates, this is not a complete reference; it is based on The Penguin Concise Guide to Opera, with fully half of the composers being active after the turn of the 20th century. While it can be argued that figures like Heggie and Henze can't be called "popular" composers, their inclusion is in keeping with David Pountey's emphasis, in his rather sour foreword, on the importance of creativity in keeping the art alive. And the earlier works are not stinted: fifteen of Verdi's operas, for example, are given full articles.

Just one caveat: the table of contents is visible in the Android app and in the PC Kindle reader, but not on my old Kindle keyboard model, which has no equivalent to the "hamburger" menu available on those devices. A side effect is that the index of operas can only be reached by scrolling forward through chapters to about the 98% point (location 17047 on my device), and then creating a bookmark. This oversight makes the book rather difficult to use for those relying on older Kindle hardware.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 21st Century Opera Guide 11 Mar. 2016
By Ethyl - Published on Amazon.com
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Have previously purchased 2 of Amanda Holden's opera guides. The hardback of 20+ years ago is still my favorite. The paperback update of it was useful. This one is well written. I might have selected different composers/operas to include? Not sure how I feel about the electronic format.
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