Richly textured, extravagantly colorful, and filled with larger-than-life characters, the history of opera is as mesmerizing and commanding as opera itself. And no art form benefits more from being seen from the inside out--through eye-witness accounts of singers, composers, librettists, critics, historians, patrons, satirists, impresarios, ...Read MoreRichly textured, extravagantly colorful, and filled with larger-than-life characters, the history of opera is as mesmerizing and commanding as opera itself. And no art form benefits more from being seen from the 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 carefully researched tour of operatic history. The chronologically organized primary sources include 115 passages--private letters, portions of libretti, literary criticism, satire, and poetry--from opera's late Renaissance infancy through modern times. This first-hand testimony allows readers to experience the history of opera as eyewitnesses, offering an immediacy and validity unmatched by standard histories. Opera lovers will be transported to a Medici wedding in sixteenth century Florence, to the Haymarket Theatre for a performance of Handel's Rinaldo, to Mozart at work on Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail, and to Bertolt Brecht's writing desk, among many other landmarks in opera's history. Weiss expertly guides readers, providing highly accessible introductions to each section that both contextualize the excerpts and position them within the broader historical narrative. In addition, Weiss offers original translations of more than half of the material in the book, many of them appearing in English for the first time. Stage settings, costumes, portraits, contemporary playbills, and other illustrations enliven the text and help to recreate the feel of the era under discussion. Perfect for opera aficionados, Opera: A History in Documents offers a uniquely exciting entree into the origins and development of one of our most enduring art forms."Read Less
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