Opera: A History in Documents
Richly textured, extravagantly colorful, and stuffed with larger-than-life characters, the historical past of opera can be as mesmerizing and commanding as opera itself. And no talent benefits more from being seen from inside out–through eye-witness accounts of singers, composers, librettists, critics, historians, patrons, satirists, impresarios, designers, performers, and others–than opera.
Now, in Opera: A History in Documents, Piero Weiss presents a sweeping, vivid, and punctiliously researched tour of operatic history. The chronologically organized primary sources include 115 passages–private letters, servings of libretti, literary criticism, satire, and poetry–from opera’s late Renaissance infancy through present times. This first-hand testimony allows readers to experience the historical past of opera as eyewitnesses, offering an immediacy and validity unmatched by standard histories. Opera lovers will likely be transported to your Medici wedding in sixteenth century Florence, to your Haymarket Theatre for any performance of Handel’s Rinaldo, to Mozart at the office on Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail, and Bertolt Brecht’s writing desk, among a number of other landmarks in opera’s history. Read the rest of this entry »