opera

Richard Wagner: The Man, His Mind, and His Music

By Robert W. Gutman

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The turbulent personal and professional life of the musical genius Richard Wagneris a subject that has intrigued many writers. In this biography, Robert W. Gutman has related Wagner's life and work to the history of ideas and the many currents of thought that converged in this fascinating man. Wagner's art reflected the finest and worse elements of the nineteenth century, many of which exercised a fateful influence on our own times. This book examines the darker regions of nationalism and racism from which Wagner drew his most powerful symbols.

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Puccini: His International Art

By Michele Girardi

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Puccini's operas are among the most popular and widely performed in the world, yet few books have examined his body of work from an analytical perspective. This volume remedies that lack in lively prose accessible to scholars and opera enthusiasts alike. Although the emphasis is on the compositions there is a full examination of Puccini's life, family, musical influences and society.

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Cosima Wagner, Extraordinary Daughter of Franz Liszt

By Alice Hunt Sokoloff

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Cosima was a child of the passionate and stormy union between Franz Liszt and Marie d'Agoult. She married her father's brilliant pupil Hans von Bulow, but her husband's devotion to the "master" he idolized, Richard Wagner, led Cosima to a great passion for Wagner. Scandel and divorce followed, but it was as Cosima Wagner that her life found fulfilment. She gave Wagner the total devotion that he needed, making possible the completion of the Ring cycle of operas and the realization of his dream that became Bayreuth.
The author was a student of Alexander Siloti who was a pupil of Liszt.
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Mozart's Women: His Family, His Friends, His Music

By Jane Glover

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"Throughout his life, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was enchanted, amused, aroused, and betrayed by women—his mother, sister, wife, sisters-in-law, female patrons, friends, lovers, and fellow artists—and he was equally complex to them. But ultimately the great composer loved and respected the women he knew intimately and those whom he admired from afar. In this fascinating, evocative, and compellingly readable biography, Jane Glover, acclaimed conductor and acknowledged expert on Mozart's life and work, brings these remarkable ladies vividly to life—the real women who shared the composer's tumultuous world and inspired some of his greatest musical achievements, as well as those he dramatized in his magnificent operas."

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The Magic Flute

By Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

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The tale of Prince Tamino's quest for love, truth and beauty is set in a mysterious forest and features wild, exotic beasts.
Sung in English
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Don Giovanni

By Ruggero Raimondi, John Macurdy, Edda Moser, Kiri Te Kanawa

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This is the screen adapatation of Mozart's greatest opera. Don Giovanni, the infamous womanizer, makes one conquest after another until the ghost of Donna Anna's father, the Commendatore, (whom Giovanni killed) makes his appearance. He offers Giovanni one last chance to repent for his multitudinious improprieties. He will not change his ways. So, he is sucked down into hell by evil spirits. High drama, hysterical comedy, magnificent music!

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The World's Very Best Opera for Kids--in English!

By Various composers and performers

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"Features 14 best-loved arias performed in English by the world's finest opera stars and rising stars and including works from some of the most popular -- and important - operas across a wide range of genres, eras and composers. In addition to 14 stellar performances in English, this CD includes five instrumental-only karaoke-style tracks so that anyone can sing along and be an opera star. The CD includes a synopsis of each opera, performers' biographies and complete lyrics so the whole family can enjoy singing along. Producer Mark D. Goldman and librettist Daniel Libman have taken care to ensure that each translation retains the original language's rhyme scheme, meter and rhythm and that each performance is perfectly articulated and imaginatively interpreted. The result is highly-singable, child-appropriate opera 'songs' the whole family will enjoy."

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Tosca

By Giacomo Puccini

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"Floria Tosca, a beautiful opera diva, tries to save her lover’s life by giving herself to the dreaded chief of police, Baron Scarpia. The situation turns deadly, and even Scarpia’s murder may not stop his diabolical plan."
(Washington National Opera)

Available on CD in our collection.

 

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Porgy and Bess

By George Gershwin

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In this legendary Gershwin opera set among the black residents of a fishing village in 1912 South Carolina, Bess - a woman with a disreputable history - tries to break free from her brutish lover Crown after he becomes wanted for murder. The only person willing to overlook her past and offer her shelter is the crippled Porgy. Their relationship is threatened by the disapproval of the townspeople, the presence of her old drug supplier Sportin' Life - and the threatened return of Crown.

Available on DVD and CD.

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Otello

By Giuseppe Verdi

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In 15th-century Cyprus, beautiful Desdemona is married to Otello, the Commander of the Venetian Army. Old officer Iago is plotting against Otello and his lieutenant Cassio. By planting Desdemona's handkerchief on Cassio, manipulative Iago convinces Otello of his wife's infidelity.

Available on VHS and CD in our collection.

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