In Ticket to the Opera, Phil G. Goulding finally makes the magic and mystique of opera accessible to all. Here he offers a complete operatic education, including history, definitions of key musical terms, opera lore and gossip, portraits of famous singers and the roles they immortalized, as well as pithy introductions to the greatest operas of Europe and America and their composers. The book's centerpiece is what Goulding terms "the collection"--85 classics, among them Aida, The Marriage of Figaro, Carmen, and Madama Butterfly, that have been packing the world's opera houses for years. This entertaining, meticulously researched book also includes a fascinating chapter on American opera from George Gershwin's Porgy and Bess to Philip Glass's Einstein on the Beach and a discussion of the gems of twentieth-century opera featuring works like Leos Janácek's The Cunning Little Vixen, Alban Berg's Lulu, and Serge Prokofiev's The Love for Three Oranges.
Whether you're a curious neophyte, a music lover interested in branching out, or an aficionado eager to compare notes with a brilliant fellow opera buff, you'll prize Ticket to the Opera as an essential volume in your music library.
These two works take a fresh look at opera-the works, singers, composers, and recordings. Both succeed in making opera accessible and interesting for the adult opera newcomer. Avoiding the elitist attitudes sometimes found in books on the subject, the authors rely instead on humor and fresh perspectives to enliven opera as a viable, modern entertainment. Goulding (Classical Music: The 50 Greatest Composers and Their 1000 Greatest Works, Fawcett Columbine: Ballantine, 1992) writes the more comprehensive guide, covering 100 works with plot summaries, discussions of the music, and recommended recordings and videos, all with wit and marvelous economy of language. With this book, a reader could become an instant expert on all the operas likely to be heard today. Waugh, an opera critic and author of other books on recorded music, examines eight masterworks in detail here, with 50 additional thumbnail sketches. Lavish use of graphics helps make Opera: A New Way of Listening a multimedia presentation, similar to what one might encounter in a well-taught opera appreciation course. The book must be used in conjunction with the accompanying 72-minute CD, which includes excerpts (linked to the text) of 43 recordings by some of opera's best-known performers. These opera books succeed in presenting solid musical information for the uninitiated and also have much to offer connoisseurs. For most libraries with opera collections.-James E. Ross, WLN, Seattle