Four hundred years after it began, opera's combination of grandeur and intimacy continues to beguile audiences around the world. Covering subjects as diverse as the opening of La Scala in Milan, the legendary career of Maria Callas, and the extraordinary success of the Three Tenors, The Chronicle of Opera celebrates the great eras of music and performance, mixing fact and anecdote, personalities and stylistic development with hundreds of illustrations.
Opera developed quickly from its modest beginnings as the re-creation of classical Greek drama. By the seventeenth century, the time of Monteverdi, it included all the components of much later operas: choruses, arias, recitatives, instrumental ensembles, and interludes. Toward the end of the eighteenth century, artifice had been replaced by the classical perfection and wit of Mozart. The next hundred years saw the rise of romanticism, with famous masterworks by Rossini, Donizetti, Verdi, and Wagner, while the twentieth century saw the brilliant innovations of Berg, Stravinsky, Britten, and Gershwin, among many others.
A new section brings the story of opera into the twenty-first century.
The comprehensive reference section includes biographies, a timeline, opera house openings and premieres, a glossary, and a discography, making this an essential reference book for all opera lovers. 320 illustrations, 100 in colour.
About the Author
Michael Raeburn is a writer, editor and designer with a special interest in music.
"Sumptuous artwork....The level of scholarship is first-rate, as well as tart and to the point."
"Practical for reference and delightful for browsing....Excellent introduction for the opera novice as well as the more experienced listener."
"Every opera fan needs this book....The sidebars...and succulent visuals make this book one to keep."
"The special treat here is a virtual year-by-year account of international developments....Verdi good price too."