Thursday, April 21, 2016

Ooh! New books!

I got a message from a lovely marketing diva at Oxford University Press, asking me to share information about two newly published books my readers might find interesting:  Understanding Italian Opera by Tim Carter and The Real Traviata: The Song of Marie Duplessis by Rene Weis.

Quoth she:
Ever since its invention in Florence around 1600, opera has exerted a peculiar fascination for creative artists and audiences alike. A "Western" genre with a global reach, it is often regarded as the pinnacle of high art, where music and drama come together in unique ways, supported by stellar singers and spectacular staging. Yet it is also patently absurd--why should anyone sing on the stage?--and shrouded in mystique. In this engaging and entertaining guide, renowned music scholar Tim Carter unravels its many layers to offer a thorough introduction to Italian opera from the seventeenth to the early twentieth century. Complete with synopses, cast lists, and suggested further reading for each opera discussed, Understanding Italian Opera is a must-read for anyone with an interest in and love for opera.

The Real Traviata is the rags-to-riches story of a tragic young woman whose life inspired one of the most famous operas of all time, Verdi's masterpiece La Traviata, as well as one of the most scandalous and successful French novels of the nineteenth century, La Dame aux Camelias, by Alexandre Dumas fils.
Your faithful reporter has no time to review books, so I am offering a review copy of either in exchange for posting your guest review of the book in these pages.  Send me a message privately telling me of your interest, and I'll arrange with the marketing diva to get you a copy.

If I get no responses from guest reviewers, I will still have a copy of each book to give away, so here is the second-chance contest:
Tell me in either the form of a Haiku or in a 140-byte tweet about your very first live opera.
Guest reviewers and/or contest winners will be chosen by me.  There is nothing random or objective about this contest, and gifts of cash or liquor might--might--increase your chances of winning. Gifts of real estate would definitely increase your chances of winning.

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