A History of Opera: The Last Four Hundred Years

Author(s): Roger Parker

Music Books

This definitive work tells the entire story of the world's most extraordinary artistic medium of the last four hundred years. Opera paints the human passions with astonishing power and drama. This book, the first new, full-length, single-volume "History of Opera" for more than a generation provokes in-depth discussions of many works by the greatest opera composers, from Monteverdi, Handel and Mozart, to Verdi and Wagner, to Strauss, Puccini, Berg, and Britten. There are lively discussions of opera's social, political and literary background, its economic circumstances and the almost continual polemics that have accompanied its development through the centuries. Abbate and Parker examine the problems that opera has faced in the last half century, when new works - which were once opera's life-blood - have shrunk to a tiny minority, have largely failed to find a permanent place in the repertoire. Yet the book's final message is one of celebration. Opera as an art form remains extraordinarily buoyant and challenging. It continues to transform people physically, emotionally, and intellectually, and to articulate human experience in ways no other art form can match.

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Carolyn Abbate is the author of Unsung Voices (1991) and In Search of Opera (2001). Her research focuses on opera from its beginnings through the twenty-first century. She also writes on philosophy, music as performance, ephemeral art, and film and sound technology. Her work has been translated into many languages. She is herself a translator, most recently of Vladimir Jankelevitch's La musique et l'ineffable, and has been involved in theatre, as a dramaturge and director. Roger Parker is the author of Leonora's Last Act (1997) and Remaking the Song (2006). His research has mainly focused on opera, particularly Italian opera of the nineteenth century. He is founding co-editor of the Donizetti critical edition, published by Ricordi, and editor of The Oxford Illustrated History of Opera (1994).

General Fields

  • : 9780713996333
  • : Penguin Books Ltd
  • : Allen Lane
  • : 1.114
  • : October 2012
  • : 234mm X 153mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : December 2012
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Roger Parker
  • : Hardback
  • : 1
  • : 782.1
  • : 624
  • : 24pp colour inset