Opera for Libraries

A Guide to Core Works, Audio and Video Recordings, Books and Serials

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About the Book

Opera is a unique expression of the human mind and spirit—a play that communicates plot, characterization and story almost entirely through music. Unfortunately, because of restraints of time, location and income, few people have the opportunity to see operas performed on a regular basis. Public libraries are an easily accessible alternative for gaining operatic knowledge and exposure, offering the public a chance to hear, see, and develop an appreciation of opera.
This work is a two-part guide for libraries that want to assemble a comprehensive collection of operatic materials. Part I is a list of recommended operas ranging over four hundred years of operatic history and including a variety of different styles and languages. The goal of Part I is to provide recommendations for a comprehensive library collection of video and sound operatic recordings. Part II suggest books, periodicals, and online resources that could be an integral and important part of a library’s opera collection. This section also discusses the care and maintenance of sound and video recordings, offers suggestions for locating hard-to-find operatic material, and explores the library’s role in sparking patron interest in opera.

About the Author(s)

Clyde T. McCants is the author of several opera books. A retired minister, he lives in Winnsboro, South Carolina.

Bibliographic Details

Clyde T. McCants
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 204
Bibliographic Info: appendix, index
Copyright Date: 2003
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1442-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface     1

PART I: RECOMMENDED OPERAS
1 Core Collection     7
2 Beyond the Basics     115

PART II: ROUNDING OUT AND MAINTAINING AN OPERA COLLECTION
3 Opera and the Printed Word     145
4 Keeping Current     159
5 Finding the Recorded Needle in the Haystack     165
6 Putting the Collection to Work     169
7 A Note on Maintenance     177

Appendix: Important Operas and Their Composers     179
Index     183

Book Reviews & Awards

“especially strong are the audio recordings recommendations with succinct and well-written descriptive/evaluative annotations. Recommended”—Library Journal; “extremely readable and informative…this is a very good book”—Against the Grain; “this is a book for plain, everyday libraries that would like to make opera available to their patrons”—Public Library Quarterly.