Opera for Dummies

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Despite the fact that opera is firmly entrenched in our culture, most fans are intimidated by the snob factor often attached to the genre. This fun and friendly reference provides opera-phobes, as well as opera enthusiasts, an accessible and easy-to-understand guide to the world of opera. Includes a companion CD that contains over an hour of music that can be played on any compact disc player, as well as a snippet of an enhanced Windows/Mac compatible multimedia track. Cartoon illustrations.

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QueenMargot

Mar 16, 2007

Accessibility Plus

I loved this book. Still do! Like most of the "Dummies" range, the text is engaging and occasionally hilarious. But under the humor the authors obviously know their stuff. Opera styles, plots, composers, techniques and singers are carefully and precisely described. The stories of famous operas are summarised and the really famous ones get whole sections to themselves.
My favourite aspect is the way the book interacts with the accompanying CD. As you play a track, the book will chattily tell you: "now at 1:36 into the track you will hear the woodwinds" or "at 12:14 into the track, the soprano's voice breaks as though she is sobbing" -- it makes the music live. Make sure you listen to the "Ring Cycle" exerpts -- I got goose-pimples.
If you're interested in opera, or you'd like to be, buy this book. It's terrific.

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