Oxford Illustrated History of Opera

ISBN-10: 0192854453
ISBN-13: 9780192854452
Edition: 2001
Authors: Roger Parker
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Description: In this lavishly illustrated volume the history and social context of opera is explored by a group of leading British and American scholars, under the editorship of Roger Parker. The core of the book is a historical survey of opera, from its  More...

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Book details

List price: $29.95
Copyright year: 2001
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 6/28/2001
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 572
Size: 7.44" wide x 9.69" long x 1.26" tall
Weight: 3.036
Language: English

In this lavishly illustrated volume the history and social context of opera is explored by a group of leading British and American scholars, under the editorship of Roger Parker. The core of the book is a historical survey of opera, from its beginnings in Florence four hundred years ago, up to opera in the 1990s. The greatest coverage is given to the nineteenth century, the time during which most of the operas performed today were composed. There are also chapters on the history of staging, on opera singers, on opera as a social occasion through the ages, and a chronology. Although all major composers of opera are mentioned, and their works discussed, the various chapters concentrate less on simple historical narrative and more on the complex development of opera, especially on its relationship with the other arts and its place within the broader world of culture and politics. The numerous illustrations -- nearly three hundred, some thirty of which are in colour -- serve the vital purpose of underlining the richly visual nature of opera: the manner in which it communicates so vividly through staging and costume, and the spectacular way in which it often reflects the cultural concerns of the age. Rather than simply illustrating the text, the pictures work as a kind of parallel history, supplementing and enriching the verbal narrative. The contributors are all experts in their chosen areas, but all of them have remained alive to the basic attraction of opera: its extravagant appeal to both the senses and the intellect, and its seemingly inexhaustible power to move and astonish us.

List of Colour Plates
Notes on the Contributors
Foreword, Roger Parker
The Seventeenth Century, Tim Carter
The Eighteenth Century: Serious Opera, Thomas Bauman
The Nineteenth Century: Comic Opera, Thomas Bauman
The Nineteenth Century: France, David Charlton
The Nineteenth Century: Italy, William Ashbrook
The Nineteenth Century: Germany, Barry Millington
Russian, Czech, Polish, and Hungarian Opera to 1900, John Tyrrell
The Twentieth Century: to 1945, Paul Griffiths
The Twentieth Century: 1945 to the Present Day, Paul Griffiths
The Staging of Opera, Roger Savage
Opera Singers, William Ashbrook
Opera as a Social Occasion, John Rosselli
Further Reading
Chronology, Mary Ann Smart
Acknowledgements
Index

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