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First Nights at the Opera

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  21 Ratings  ·  3 Reviews
What was it like at the opening night of Mozart’s Don Giovanni or Wagner’s Das Rheingold? This glittering introduction to the world of opera takes us behind the scenes during premiere performances of five extraordinary operas.
"A rare and wonderful cultural history."—Philip Kennicott, Washington Post
“An absorbing tangle of minutiae about performing circumstances, personalit
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Paperback, 464 pages
Published May 28th 2006 by Yale University Press (first published September 10th 2004)
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Carol
Dec 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: music
This is kind of a sequel to Kelly's First Nights, but focusing on opera. He again takes five major works and gives a detailed accounting of their premieres: Handel's Giulio Cesare in Egitto, Mozart's Don Giovanni, Meyerbeer's Les Huguenots, Wagner's Das Rheingold, and Verdi's Otello. This book has all of the strengths of the earlier volume: hitting the sweet spot of content and tone to appeal to both non-musicians and musicians, making extensive use of primary sources, and good structure. It was ...more
Carol
Jul 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Brings to life the life and times of the productions reviewed
Denise
Jul 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: opera
Well illustrated and handsomely laid out, historically informative but easily readable, this opera pop-history publishing at its best.
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An American musicologist, musician, and scholar. He is the Morton B. Knafel Professor of Music at Harvard University.
More about Thomas Forrest Kelly...