Overture Opera Guide five-book set

    £60.00 £35.00

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    To celebrate the start of the new season at ENO, we’re offering a five-book collection of the Overture Opera Guides – and letting you choose the five guides you want. Simply enter your name, choose the five books you want, and order. Overture 5-book set option Please enter your name and choose your…

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    Overture Opera Guide ten-book set

    £120.00 £60.00

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    To celebrate the release of Rigoletto, we’re offering a ten-book collection of the Overture Opera Guides – and letting you choose the ten guides you want. Simply enter your name, choose the ten books you want, and order. Overture 10-book set option Please enter your name and choose your ten books, t…

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    Simon Boccanegra

    By Giuseppe Verdi

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    Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra exists in two versions: that of the 1857 original and that of the 1881 revision. The texts of the libretto of both versions are included in this guide, with a number of essays which focus on the differences between the two. Rodolfo Celleti provides the story’s historical con…

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    Rigoletto

    By Giuseppe Verdi

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    Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto was first produced at La Fenice, Venice, in 1851 and is generally seen as marking the beginning of his middle period; it was followed in quick succession by Il trovatore and La traviata. The opera is based on Victor Hugo’s play, Le Roi s’amuse, and like its source it faced…

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    Tosca

    By Giacomo Puccini

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    Tosca, one of Puccini’s greatest and most popular operas, is a supreme example of music’s power to enthral the audience. In his introductory essay to this guide, Bernard Williams discusses the enduring quality of its appeal. Bernard Keeffe, in his article, analyses different aspects of the score, no…

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    Parsifal

    By Richard Wagner

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    From its conception in 1857 to its first performances in 1882, Parsifal represented the culmination of the themes that preoccupied Wagner during the latter part of his life. This guide includes a series of articles on Wagner’s profound and complex opera, which the composer preferred to call a Bu¨hne…

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    Otello

    By Giuseppe Verdi

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    Otello, Verdi’s penultimate opera, was composed more than a dozen years after Aida, which he had intended to be his last work for the stage. He was persuaded by his publisher Giulio Ricordi to work with the librettist Arrigo Boito on an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Othello; the resulting work is one…

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    Norma

    By Vincenzo Bellini

    £12.00 £9.60

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    Vincenzo Bellini’s Norma, first produced at La Scala, Milan, in 1831, is widely regarded as the greatest achievement of the bel canto era. Its title role, sung at the premiere by Giuditta Pasta, has been undertaken in more recent times by Maria Callas, Joan Sutherland and Monserrat Caballé and remai…

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    Le nozze di Figaro

    By Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

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    Le nozze di Figaro is one of Mozart’s best-loved and most enduring works. The first of the three operas he wrote with Lorenzo da Ponte and based on Beaumarchais’s play, it established the thirty-year-old Mozart as an opera composer of the very first rank. Its combination of wit, acute psychological…

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    La traviata

    By Giuseppe Verdi

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    La traviata was Giuseppe Verdi’s eighteenth opera and shows him at the height of his middle-period powers. Adapted from La Dame aux camélias by Alexandre Dumas fils, it portrays the love between the courtesan Violetta Valéry and the young Alfredo Germont in fashionable Parisian society, with its ine…

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    La bohème

    By Giacomo Puccini

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    Puccini’s La bohème is one of the most beloved and enduring operas of all time. In this guide, William Ashbrook evaluates the opera’s initial reception, the reasons for its wide appeal and Verdi’s influence on the composition. Nicholas John discusses the tortuous evolution of the libretto over the c…

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    Idomeneo

    By Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

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    Mozart wrote Idomeneo when he was twenty-four years old, and the opera was described by Albert Einstein as ‘one of those works that even a genius like Mozart could write only once in his life’. It is one of most astonishing achievements of an altogether astonishing career. In this newly commissioned…

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