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Weep, Shudder, Die: A Guide to Loving Opera



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"Weep, Shudder, Die" is an insightful and accessible guide to the grand art of opera for both new and longtime fans. For too long opera was relegated to high society and perceived as stuffy and remote. But now that has changed. A new generation of opera lovers has emerged, inviting a wave of extraordinary new productions and revivals the world over. Robert Levine has written an illuminating guide for this growing audience. With his signature wit, he examines the most famous composers and operas, from Wagner's "Der Ring des Nibelungen" to Mozart's "Le nozze di Figaro" and Tchaikovsky's "Eugene Onegin," giving a sense of each opera's history and celebrating its enduring greatness. "Weep, Shudder, Die" will inspire anyone who has ever been curious about opera but never knew where to start to discover one of the world's most entertaining and satisfying art forms.

Author Biography

Robert Levine is a classical music and opera critic and senior editor at He is the author of Maria Callas: A Musical Biography and the children's book The Story of the Orchestra, among others.

Table of Contents

Author's Notep. ix
Introduction: No Need to Wear Your Jewelryp. 1
German Opera: Who's Afraid of Wagner (and His Friends)?p. 29
Mozart's Operas: No Comparison Possiblep. 83
Opera in English: If You Think It's Easier to Understand, Think Againp. 100
Italian Opera: If You Can Hum It, It's Probably Italianp. 111
French Opera: Demons, Gypsies, Biblical Epicsp. 202
Russian Opera: Choruses, Nationalism, and Tchaikovskyp. 221
Epilogue: And Finally …p. 233
Indexp. 236
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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