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E

North Sydney, NSWAustralia

30
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 2 reviews
  • 2 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • Opera 101: A Complete Guide to Learning and Loving Opera

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs)
    • By Fred Plotkin
    • Narrated By Fred Plotkin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    Opera is the fastest growing of all the performing arts, attracting audiences of all ages who are enthralled by the gorgeous music, vivid drama, and magnificent production values. If you've decided that the time has finally come to learn about opera and discover for yourself what it is about opera that sends your normally reserved friends into states of ecstatic abandon, this is the book for you.

    Vilas Boas says: "unmissable introduction to the world of operas!"
    "A tedious introduction"
    Overall

    Most people coming to opera for the first time feel a calling of some sought- having been taken to an opera by chance or catching a snippet as part of a movie soundtrack etc. This really isn't the book to inspire a lasting passion for the art. The content dwells on particulars which aren't that interesting (eg. how you applaud/ express disapproval at an opera) and suggests kinds of attendance and audience behaviour (all better learnt by going or watching a video of a live performance). Sections looking at the great opera are basic, not revelationary and well, the actual reading/performance of this book makes the content even less engaging. Not particularly inspiring! Money better spent on a good opera recording or a cheap back row ticket would be much more enjoyable. After all opera isn't that scarry.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Susanna Clarke
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble
    Overall
    (231)
    Performance
    (82)
    Story
    (80)

    English magicians were once the wonder of the known world, with fairy servants at their beck and call; they could command winds, mountains, and woods. But by the early 1800s they have long since lost the ability to perform magic. They can only write long, dull papers about it, while fairy servants are nothing but a fading memory.

    Tim says: "An awesome masterpiece"
    "For the love of language"
    Overall

    This is a book for people who like to dwell in language. It is descriptive and the choice of language and phrasing matches perfectly the period of the setting: the early 1800s. It reflects, too, the types and class of people who it describes. The story is compelling, gently unfolding, drawing the listener into the world, both through the description of events, and the weaving in of magical "theoretical" texts which anchor the story into its bigger mythology of lost English magical traditions.

    This is a long audio book and not suited to people who want to be swept along by a fast-paced narrative. If you are the kind of person who claimed that Tolkien's Lord of The Rings was too long or tedious, then you should avoid this book. For those who like deeply formed characters and a narrative that builds momentum steadily then this is a wonderful choice (& extremely well performed in this audio version).

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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