Carmen

    By Georges Bizet

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    Bizet describes himself as ‘pagan’, and Carmen has a savage Mediterranean beauty quite unique in music. The essays included in this guide suggest some reasons for its legendary theatrical appeal. Martin Cooper describes the traditional mixture of spoken words and song that stimulated Bizet to exclai…

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    Così fan tutte

    By Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

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    “It was a treat so truly intellectual that every ear and every breast, susceptible of harmony and of impression, was gratified to a degree beyond our power to describe.” Thus reads one of the first London reviews of Così fan tutte. Its enigmatic mixture of a detached experiment in human foibles and…

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    Der fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman)

    By Richard Wagner

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    ‘A Landmark in Musical History’ is John Luke Rose’s title for the introduction to this extraordinary piece of theatre. It belongs to the German tradition of mystical writing, and a short note on the poem itself by Martin Swales and Timothy McFarland elucidates some of Wagner’s literary techniques. A…

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    Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

    By Richard Wagner

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    This opera has been described as “the longest single smile in the German language”. But Roland Matthews indicates that violence is not far beneath the surface of this portrait of medieval Nuremberg. Arnold Whittall’s analysis gives a bird’s-eye view of the complexity of the score. Timothy McFarland …

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    Don Giovanni

    By Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

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    These Opera Guides are ideal com-panions to the opera. They provide stimulating introductory articles together with the complete text of each opera in English and the original. This famous opera ends, after the hero is dragged down to hell, with a warning that evil shall not go unpunished. ‘Hardly’,…

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    Eugene Onegin

    By Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

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    This tender, lyrical and passionate story of unrequited love holds a special place in Russian hearts. Tatyana’s letter scene and the Polonaise are two much loved glories of the score; each act is tightly constructed around an antithesis of public and private scenes, and the dances are integral to th…

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    La bohème

    By Giacomo Puccini

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    These Opera Guides are ideal com-panions to the opera. They provide stimulating introductory articles together with the complete text of each opera in English and the original. Italian opera expert William Ashbrook asks why this love story attracted new audiences to the opera house when it was first…

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    Le nozze di Figaro

    By Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

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    John Wells introduces the opera with a high-spirited account of the action-packed career of the author, in many respects the prototype of Figaro himself. Basil Deane explores the score: he shows that Mozart’s characters are illuminated here not so much in soliloquies but in their reactions to each o…

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    Otello

    By Giuseppe Verdi

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    Winton Dean relates how Otello came into being as much because of the persistence of Verdi’s publisher as of the composer’s lifelong passion for Shakespeare, and the collaboration of the brilliant poet Arrigo Boito. Benedict Sarnaker argues that this magnificent large-scale opera rivals Shakespeare…

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    Parsifal

    By Richard Wagner

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    These Opera Guides are ideal companions to the opera. They provide stimulating introductory articles together with the complete text of each opera in English and the original. More than any other work in the operatic repertory, Parsifal demands a personal commitment and response. As the culmination…

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    Rigoletto

    By Giuseppe Verdi

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    “The subject cannot fail!” exulted Verdi, when recommending Victor Hugo’s play Le Roi s’amuse to his librettist. But the censors made every effort to stop it, and the baritone was not easily convinced that a hunchback role would suit him. Jonathan Keates gives a vivid insight into the composition of…

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    The Complete Calder Opera Guides Collection

    £480.00 £240.00

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    A very special collection: the entire Calder Opera Guides series – all 48 books – for only £250 (RRP £480). Includes all of the original texts:

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