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Quoth the publisher:
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.And the guest reviewer for these books will be Kristin Seikaly. Watch this space in the coming weeks for her reports!
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.