"Scott Speck is a great communicator of classical music...Concert audiences and readers alike can't help getting caught up in the joy of his subject." --David Styers, American Symphony Orchestra League
Opera is weird. Everybody wears makeup and sings all the time. Even when they're singing your language, which is rare, you still can't understand the words. Women play men, men play women, and 45--year--olds play teenagers. All the main characters seem to get killed off. And when somebody dies, he takes ten minutes to sing about it. Yet, for all its weirdness, an operatic experience is an experience in breathtaking beauty. When you hear a soprano float a soft high C, or a tenor singing a love song, or a full--throated chorus in the climax of a scene's dramatic finale, you can't help getting goosebumps.
Want to experience all that beauty for yourself, but don't know where to begin? Opera For Dummies is an excellent place to start. Written by an acclaimed conductor and a musical director, this friendly guide tells you what you need to know to: * Understand opera from the Baroque and Roman periods through today * Interpret characters, orchestra, chorus, and other players * Understand what's happening, both on stage and off * Choose the best seats * Identify famous operas * Build a great collection of opera recordings * Locate opera sites and chat groups online
Whether you're interested in attending a live opera, want to build a collection of recordings, or just want to be able to talk about opera intelligently, Opera For Dummies is for you. Among other things, you'll explore: * The words, the music, and the people who sing it * The history of opera and the lives of the great composers * Going to the opera including tips for getting tickets, preparing for the opera, dressing for the opera, and more * Musical and theatrical conventions used in opera * In--depth synopses of the world's most beloved operas.