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Subject: Re: favorite opera books
From: "Max D. Winter" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Max D. Winter
Date:Mon, 12 Feb 2018 11:48:01 -0500

text/plain (33 lines)

I don't know if this book has been mentioned - skimming through the posts I did not see it - 
but Phillip Gossett's "Divas and Scholars" is magnificent - erudite, informative, and 
consistently entertaining and readable.  It deals with a wide variety of subjects but is 
primarily concerned with issues of performing editions and performance practice in Italian 
opera, particularly the bel canto operas.  One of my favorite chapters is entitled, "Serafin's 
Scissors," and discusses the issue of cuts in Italian opera.  Anyone seriously interested in 
Italian opera should read this.  

Gossett has an entire chapter devoted to putting together the Met's 1990 production of 
"Semiramide" which is being revived this season and which used the Rossini Critical Edition of 
"Semiramide," which Gossett was involved with; anyone planning to see "Semiramide" this 
season should read Gossett's account before seeing a performance or the HD.

On the more humorous side, two books I have loved for some time are Alan Rich's "Prima 
Donnas and Other Wild Beasts" (I first read this in High School, many moons ago), and Ethan 
Mordden's "Demented: The World of the Opera Diva."  

So many great books on opera.


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