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The New York Times Essential Library: Opera

The New York Times Essential Library: Opera

A Critic's Guide to the 100 Most Important Works and the Best Recordings

Anthony Tommasini

Times Books




An insightful, provocative selection of the best opera performances, chosen by The New York Times's chief classical music critic in one hundred original essays

Opera intertwines the drama of the theater with the powerful emotionality of music. In this magical and illuminating guide to the best opera recordings, Anthony Tommasini delves into the ways story and music interweave to create the subtle but telling moments that move us.

Tommasini brings to life the rich history of opera performance and the singers and conductors who, over the past century, have come to own the music. He chooses masterworks, such as Arturo Toscanini's La Boheme, captured for posterity fifty years after he conducted the opera's 1896 premiere for Puccini, and Leontyne Price's Leonora in Il Trovatore, an encapsulation of the ideal Verdi soprano. For aficionados and newcomers alike, Tommasini is the perfect guide to the passions and playfulness of the opera.


New York Times Essential Library: Opera, The

1. JOHN ADAMS (b. 1947)
Nixon in China
Alice Goodman, librettist
First performance: Houston Grand Opera, October 22, 1987
Countless operas have originated...


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About the author

Anthony Tommasini

Anthony Tommasini is the chief classical music critic of The New York Times, author of an acclaimed biography of the composer Virgil Thomson, and a pianist. He lives in New York City.

Anthony Tommasini

From the Publisher

Times Books

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