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Subject: favorite opera books
From: k youngmann <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:k youngmann <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 9 Feb 2018 11:27:04 -0600

text/plain (32 lines)

Has this ever been discussed? I’m thinking about my favorite books about opera. 

At the top of my list is Peter Conrad’s “A Song of Love and Death.” It’s been years since I read it so now might be a good time to dust it off again. From the Amazon page: “A Song of Love and Death: The Meaning of Opera
Graywolf's updated edition of this classic book on opera includes a new afterword by author Peter Conrad.

Arguing that opera's deepest roots lie in our most fundamental human rituals, Peter Conrad shows us the faces of the gods that still hover over the pageant--gods of music, abandon, evil, love. then, with the dizzying skill of a practiced literary and cultural critic, the author takes us on a ride through the repertoire of operas past and present. Finally, he brings us to the climactic moment of the form: the performance. We meet the great personalities—from Puccini to Bernstein to Domingo—in their element, and see anew how their celebrity and their artistry affect us all." There’s a lot more to read about it so here’s the link: <>

Also up near the top of my list is Lanfranco Rasponi’s “The Last Prima Donnas.” 

William Weaver’s “The Puccini Companion” ranks high as does Julian Budden’s monumental 3-volume “The Operas of Verdi.”

These are the ones that pop into my mind right away.

I’d like to hear what books other Opera L folk recommend so I can see if I’m missing anything.

Kurt Youngmann

"Nothing is so firmly believed as what is least known." - Michel de Montaigne

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