An Invitation to the Opera, Revised Edition

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About the Book

In its revised third edition, this volume argues that an appreciation of opera is based on understanding of several key aspects: history, language, theatrical production, the power of the conductor, vocal tradition and standard repertory. This unique approach is intended for the newcomer curious about the art form. The author discusses how opera has changed in the last three decades and how it is now more easily enjoyed than ever before. Originally published in 1986, this book has been translated into four languages and has been used as an “Introduction to Opera” text in college classrooms around the world.

About the Author(s)

John Louis DiGaetani, an English professor at Hofstra University, is the author of numerous books about opera and theater.

Bibliographic Details

John Louis DiGaetani
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 268
Bibliographic Info: 35 photos, glossary, discography, videography, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9519-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1954-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments vi

Preface 1

Introduction: Why Opera? 3

One A History of Opera: The Early Years 15

Two A History of Opera: The Modern Period 31

Three The Operatic Voice 51

Four Opera as Theater: The Revolutionaries 61

Five The Current Opera Scene: Production Since World War II 84

Six How the Conductor Controls What We Hear 111

Seven The Great Singers: Opera’s Vocal Tradition 128

Eight The Standard Repertory: The Fifty ­Most Often Performed Operas 181

Conclusion: An Ancient Art Eternally Renewing Itself 227

A Glossary of Terms 231

Sources 243

For Further Reading: A Bibliography 247

For Further Listening: A Discography 249

For Further Viewing: A Videography 253

Index 255