Masters of Opera

Opera is a unique and lavish art form like no other. When its many elements--solos, ensembles, choruses, lighting, orchestra, design, movement and dance--work together, it can be one of the most dramatic and captivating of all the performing arts.

The library has scores of opera highlights featuring arias from a specific opera, opera singers doing arias from different operas, and various combinations of the above. In our catalog, using a general keword search, type in "opera -- excerpts" will reveal all our opera highlights. Offer your ears and eyes a feast. The library has scores of opera highlights featuring arias from a specific opera, opera singers doing arias from different operas, and various combinations of the above. In our catalog, using a general keword search, type in "opera -- excerpts" will reveal all our opera highlights. Offer your ears and eyes a feast.

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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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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Amadeus

By F. Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce, Elizabeth Berridge, Simon Callow

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Adapted from Shaffer's play, the film presents the life of Antonio Salieri, a mediocre 18th century Viennese composer obsessed with and jealous of the musical genius of the age, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

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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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The Lives and Times of the Great Composers

By Michael Steen

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A grand and panoramic biograhical history of the giants of classical music, The Lives and Times of Great Composers is a new, unique, and lovingly constructed modern reference--and a beguiling read which you will return to again and again. Interlinked yet self-contained, each chapter distills the life of one or more composers, set against the social, political, musical, and cultural background of the time. Read the story of Bach, the respectable burgher, much of whose vast output was composed amidst petty turf disputes in Luteran Leipzig; or the ugly, argumentative Beethoven, obsessed by his laundry; or Mozart, the over-exploited infant prodigy whose untimely death was shrouded in rumor; or the ghastly death of Donizetti and Smetana.

Read about Verdi, who composed against the background of the Italian Risorgimento, or about the family life of the Wagners; and Brahms, who rose from the slums of Hamburg to become a devotee of beer and coffee in fin-de-siecle Vienna, a cultural capital bent on destroying Mahler. Michael Steen paints a vivid portrait of the tumultuous times in which these brilliant, yet flawed, human beings labored--a tour of 350 years of European history.

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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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