Opera 101

  • by Fred Plotkin
  • Narrated by Fred Plotkin
  • 18 hrs and 0 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Opera is the fastest growing of all the performing arts, attracting audiences of all ages who are enthralled by the gorgeous music, vivid drama, and magnificent production values. If you've decided that the time has finally come to learn about opera and discover for yourself what it is about opera that sends your normally reserved friends into states of ecstatic abandon, this is the book for you. Opera 101 is recognized as the standard text in English for anyone who wants to become an opera lover. It is a clear, friendly, and truly complete handbook for learning how to listen to opera, whether on the radio, on recordings, or live at the opera house. Fred Plotkin, an internationally respected writer and teacher about opera, who for many years was performance manager of the Metropolitan Opera, introduces listeners, whatever their level of musical knowledge, to all the elements that make up opera. The major part of Opera 101 is devoted to an almost minute-by-minute analysis of 11 key operas, ranging from Verdi's thunderous masterpiece Rigoletto and Puccini's electrifying Tosca to works by Mozart, Donizetti, Rossini, Offenbach, Tchaikovsky, and Wagner, and to the psychological complexities of Richard Strauss's Elektra. Once you have completed Opera 101, you will be prepared to see and hear any opera you encounter, thanks to this book's unprecedented detail and enjoyable method of revealing the riches of opera.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A valuable guide

A very informative and sympathetic approach to invite new opera goers into a brilliant wonderful & enchanting world of music and art that can be so very life enhancing. Though not a newcomer to opera I found Plotkin's book a real plus on many levels. For one thing, his genuine love of the subject is so apparent. This matters. And he "names names"...he has opinions and shares them forthrightly. I haven't been able to take full advantage yet of the accompanying material re the cd examples aspect but hope to be able to do so.. highly recommended.
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- precy "chercheur"

Troppa passione!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, if they REALLY wanted to get into opera.


What was one of the most memorable moments of Opera 101?

The breakdown of each opera was genius


Any additional comments?

Fred Plotkin has the greatest voice I've ever heard. He contributes occasionally to Rick Steves' podcast as an opera/cuisine expert and his lived-life-to-eleven voice is almost edible.

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- Ian

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-07-2004
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.