A History of Opera

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  • Edition: 00
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2012-11-17
  • Publisher: W W NORTON
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Why does opera continue to attract new audiences at a time when the stream of original works that was once its lifeblood has dried to a trickle? Carolyn Abbate and Roger Parker answer this question in their modern retelling of the history of opera, examining its evolution over several centuries and its continued appeal to generations of audiences. Integral to this nuanced and engaging narrative is the ongoing exploration of the tensions that have sustained opera over four hundred years: between words and music, character and singer, the surreal and the believable. As this pair of experts argue, though the genre's most popular and enduring works were almost all written in a distant European past, opera continues to change the viewer-physically, emotionally, and intellectually-with its enduring power.

Table of Contents

List of illustrationsp. ix
Preface and acknowledgementsp. xiii
Introductionp. 1
Opera's first centennialp. 36
Opera seriap. 68
Disciplinep. 91
Opera buffa and Mozart's line of beautyp. 117
Singing and speaking before 1800p. 145
The German problemp. 167
Rossini and transitionp. 188
The tenor comes of agep. 215
Young Verdip. 241
Grand Operap. 261
Young Wagnerp. 290
Opéra comique, the cruciblep. 315
Old Wagnerp. 341
Verdi - older stillp. 373
Realism and clamourp. 397
Turning pointp. 425
Modernp. 456
Speechp. 488
We are alone in the forestp. 516
Referencesp. 549
Bibliographyp. 568
Indexp. 579
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