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Designed for music students and opera-goers, this book enables a thorough understanding of what opera is and how it works, with an emphasis on its dramatic experience. Organised chronologically, the book shows how the many different kinds of opera have developed and explores specific examples using accessible illustrative tables.
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'Cannon's passion for the topic shines through - each chapter is peppered with little details that a more detached author may have thought unnecessary. Even a novice who has never seen a particular production will suddenly feel oddly familiar with it. Students of music and opera will find the uncluttered and jargon-less yet still erudite tone of this book invigorating, and are sure to be reaching for it as a first port of call. And there's certainly no room to doubt Cannon's authority - he created the first ever degree in opera studies. One for your reading lists, class.' Laura Sylvester, Muso
'I liked the way that a strong connection was established between historical events and contemporary cultural achievements, the shared themes and the close relationship between music, poetry, painting and theatre ... Also included are an extensive 12-page bibliography, a table of major opera, artistic and political developments from 1899 to 2008, and a glossary of key terms. Throughout the text there are illustrative tables, providing detailed easy to follow analysis of arias, scenes and acts, visual guides to historical movements, and chronologies relating to genres and individual composers' works ... As a work of reference and of study, its 400 pages provide a thorough grounding which the well-informed enthusiast will relish and be pleased to have on the shelf.' The Bookbag
'... masterly ... a highly recommendable guide to the history of opera.' Classical Music
'I would certainly want to own a copy.' Opera
Robert Cannon is an independent music critic and writer and runs dedicated courses on opera and theatre. He designed and created the first Degree in Opera Studies, which is offered as Distance Learning by Rose Bruford College and is validated by the University of Manchester.
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