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Opera Production

Opera Production: A Handbook

Copyright Date: 1961
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 288
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  • Book Info
    Opera Production
    Book Description:

    Designed particularly as a reference work for opera producers, students, performers, and writers, this book provides basic production information about more than 500 operas. Anyone planning to produce an opera will find here the essential information he needs in order to judge whether a given opera is appropriate to his resources for production. Information for individual operas is given concerning the number and importance of settings; size of orchestra, chorus, and ballet; number of singers, their relative importance and individual requirements; sources for obtaining musical materials’ previous performances in America; and the opera story, its period, and composer. Extensive information about 150 full-length operas and 109 short operas is provided, with supplementary information about more than 260 other operas. The operas are alphabetized by title for easy reference. In order to condense the information as much as possible, codes and abbreviations are used, with keys and indexes at the back of the book. This book will be invaluable to those working in either amateur or professional companies, in opera workshops, in school, college, or civic opera groups. Those whose interest in opera is confined to the other side of the footlights will find the book absorbing, too, just as a glimpse backstage would be.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-6221-0
    Subjects: Performing Arts

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. iii-xii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. xiii-2)
    (pp. 3-12)

    After many round-robin consultations with members of the supervising committee, it was agreed that this book, if it is to have substantial value, should be a matter of record. The choice of what to include gradually crystallized into a nucleus of time-honored works — those deservedly classed as masterpieces. To this core were added as many representatives of various genres as space permitted.

    In the matter of selection, it will prove impossible to please everyone, as always. I expect any number of accusations of sins of omission. There is sure to be a cry: “Why not more Handel?” Lesser-known works...

    (pp. 15-160)

    Music by George Frideric Handel (1685–1759). A “serenata” combining two of the composer’s works: “Aci, Galatea o Polifemo,” text by a Spanish princess, based on Ovid, commissioned for a duke’s wedding and performed July 19, 1708 ; and a masque to a libretto by John Gay, probably performed at Canons in 1720, published in 1730, to which Handel added lines by Pope (both original and translated from Homer), John Hughes, and Dryden, and fitted new music. Premiere revised version: London, 1732. Vocal line extremely florid over conventional harmonies; set numbers, recitative. Overture (Sinfonia). Setting: Sicily in ancient times. Usually...

    (pp. 163-234)

    Music by Carl Maria von Weber (1786–1826). Libretto in German, after a story from the Arabian Nights. Comedy. Set numbers, dialogue; strong Oriental flavor. Setting: Bagdad. One act (approx 55 min).

    Synopsis. Abu Hassan, the favorite of the Caliph, has lived beyond his means and resorts to trickery to replenish his coffers. His wife, Fatima, aids him in a plot to make the Caliph and his wife, Zobëide, believe that one or the other has died, each receiving bounty. What they do not foresee is that the Caliph and his wife will both come at the same time to...


      (pp. 237-244)