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The History of Opera | [Richard Fawkes]

The History of Opera

Here is the colorful story of sometimes temperamental composers and even more temperamental singers working in an art form which has produced some of man's noblest artistic creations. This absorbing history is illustrated by over 100 musical examples by Naxos artists as well as some of the greatest singers of the 20th century, including Enrico Caruso and Fyodor Chaliapin.
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Publisher's Summary

Opera, said Moliére, is the most expensive noise known to man. From its beginnings in the 16th Century, through to today when there are as many musical styles as there are composers, opera has fascinated, infuriated, delighted, been censored, been banned, excited riots, even won a nation its freedom. Here is the colorful story of sometimes temperamental composers and even more temperamental singers working in an art form which has produced some of man's noblest artistic creations. This absorbing history is illustrated by over 100 musical examples by Naxos artists as well as some of the greatest singers of the 20th century including Enrico Caruso and Fyodor Chaliapin.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

(P)1999 NAXOS AudioBooks Ltd.;©1999 NAXOS AudioBooks Ltd.

What the Critics Say

  • Indie Award Winner

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (32 )
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4.6 (14 )
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  •  
    Walter Sharon, PA, USA 02-01-04
    Walter Sharon, PA, USA 02-01-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
    "somewhat disappointing"

    I would recommend this volume to anyone with little or no knowledge of the history of opera, but not to anyone moderately familiar with this musical genre. The last half-hour consists of opera anecdotes, which, for the most part, are disposable. Also, many times, a musical illustration is announced, only to not be actually played. An alternate recommendation is 'The History of Classical Music', by the same author, which held my attention throughout. It even has an excellent section on opera.

    19 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alexandra Ardmore, PA, United States 02-24-06
    Alexandra Ardmore, PA, United States 02-24-06 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
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    45
    13
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    2
    Overall
    "Missing the music"

    Many of the musical illustrations appear to be either missing or cut out, making it a poor listen, and the history itself, while covering the major names with brief biographical detail and few technical terms, offers little depth or insight.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Timothy Rock Creek, OH, United States 05-28-12
    Timothy Rock Creek, OH, United States 05-28-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "loved it"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The History of Opera to be better than the print version?

    yes the print version couldn't have the music


    What did you like best about this story?

    The musical examples


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    no


    Any additional comments?

    I would recommend this for anyone interested in opera or history in general

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Helen Norfolk, VA, USA 05-07-06
    Helen Norfolk, VA, USA 05-07-06 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    1
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    "Missing Music Ruins This One"

    Probably would have been a favorite if it didn't skip a lot of the music! Very irritating to have a piece of music introduced and then skipped. I wouldn't recommend this one to anyone as a result.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah Oreland, PA, United States 03-21-14
    Sarah Oreland, PA, United States 03-21-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
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    Performance
    Story
    "Great Material Horrible Chapter Organization"

    I liked the material and the reading of thus book. I also found the music examples very useful. Unlike other reviewers, I had no trouble with the music samples. My major gripe about this audiobook is that it is organized into 6 sections which make no logical sense. It would have been much better if the audiobook was divided by chapters that matched the accompanying PDF. Navigation between the chapters would have been much better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Flaminia
    Rome, Italy
    11/6/12
    Overall
    "Very enjoyable read"

    This book is a pleasure to listen to. Musical extracts are nicely chosen and makes you feel like you want to listen to more music, which in fact I did, buying some operas I knew of but never rally listened to carefully.

    I recommend this book especially to those who love opera but are no musicians since it will give them a key to better enjoy their listens.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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