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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.

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New York Times Essential Library: Opera, The
1. JOHN ADAMS (b. 1947)Nixon in ChinaAlice Goodman, librettistFirst performance: Houston Grand Opera, October 22, 1987Countless operas have originated with a librettist proposing an idea to a composer. But Nixon in China has got to be one of few operas that began as the idea of a director. In 1983 Peter Sellars approached the composer John Adams with the notion of creating an opera about President Nixon's breakthrough visit to China in February 1972. Adams, who was reared in a liberal Democratic household in New Hampshire and remains proud to have
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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.
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The New York Times Essential Library: Opera

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

Anthony Tommasini

  • e-Book

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Times Books

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