A Short History of Opera

Front Cover
Columbia University Press, 2003 - Music - 1030 pages
3 Reviews

When first published in 1947, A Short History of Opera immediately achieved international status as a classic in the field. Now, more than five decades later, this thoroughly revised and expanded fourth edition informs and entertains opera lovers just as its predecessors have.

The fourth edition incorporates new scholarship that traces the most important developments in the evolution of musical drama. After surveying anticipations of the operatic form in the lyric theater of the Greeks, medieval dramatic music, and other forerunners, the book reveals the genre's beginnings in the seventeenth century and follows its progress to the present day.

A Short History of Opera examines not only the standard performance repertoire, but also works considered important for the genre's development. Its expanded scope investigates opera from Eastern European countries and Finland. The section on twentieth-century opera has been reorganized around national operatic traditions including a chapter devoted solely to opera in the United States, which incorporates material on the American musical and ties between classical opera and popular musical theater. A separate section on Chinese opera is also included.

With an extensive multilanguage bibliography, more than one hundred musical examples, and stage illustrations, this authoritative one-volume survey will be invaluable to students and serious opera buffs. New fans will also find it highly accessible and informative. Extremely thorough in its coverage, A Short History of Opera is now more than ever the book to turn to for anyone who wants to know about the history of this art form.

  

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Review: A Short History of Opera

User Review  - Cordelia - Goodreads

I read this for a class, but I think it would be an excellent reference book for any opera enthusiast to read a chapter or two before seeing something new. I do not recommend trying to read it through ... Read full review

Contents

The lyric Theater of the Greeks
9
Medieval Dramatic Music
13
The Immediate Forerunners of Opera
21
The Seventeenth Century
39
The BeginningsOpera in Florence and Mantua
41
Other Early SeventeenthCentury Italian Court Operas including the First Comic Operas in Florence and Rome
60
Italian Opera in the Later Seventeenth Century in Italy
83
SeventeenthCentury Italian Opera in GermanSpeaking Lands
107
Grand Opera
353
Opera Comique Operetta and Lyric Opera
369
Italian Opera of the Primo Ottocentro Rossini DonizettiVerdi and Their Contemporaries
383
The Romantic Opera in Germany
417
The Operas of Wagner
436
The Later Nineteenth Century FranceItalyGermany and Austria
473
Other National Traditions of Opera from the Seventeenth to the Early Twentieth Centuries
505
National Traditions of Opera
507

Early German Opera
121
Opera in France from Lully to Charpentier
132
Opera in England
147
The Eighteenth Century
163
Masters of the Early Eighteenth Century
165
Opera Seria General Characteristics
203
Opera Seria The Composers
225
The Operas of Gluck
253
The Comic Opera of the Eighteenth Century
272
The Operas of Mozart and His Viennese Contemporaries
305
The Nineteenth Century
333
The Turn of the Century
335
The Twentieth Century
575
IntroductionOpera in France and Italy
577
Opera in the GermanSpeaking Countries
611
National Opera in Russia and Neighboring Countries Central and Eastern Europe Greece and Turkeythe Netherlands Denmark Sweden and Finland S...
662
Opera in the British Isles Canada Australia and New Zealand
708
Opera in the United States
729
Appendix
787
Abbreviations
795
Bibliography
797
Sources and Translations of Musical Examples
897
Index
911
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Donald Jay Grout was, until his death in 1987, Given Foundation Professor of Musicology Emeritus at Cornell University. He was author of the classic A History of Western Music, and Alessandro Scarlatti: An Introduction to His Operas, as well as general editor of The Operas of Alessandro Scarlatti.Hermine Weigel Williams is Scholar-in Residence at Hamilton College. She has contributed to The New Grove Dictionary of Music, The Operas of Alessandro Scarlatti, and The Symphony: 1720--1840. She is author of Francesco Bartolomeo Conti: His Life and Music, Sibelius and His Masonic Music, and co-author of Giovanni Battista Pergolesi: A Guide to Research. She is also co-editor of Facts Behind the Songs: A Handbook of American Popular Music from the Nineties to the 90's.

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