The History of Opera

  • by Richard Fawkes
  • Narrated by Robert Powell
  • 5 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Opera, said MoliƩre, is the most expensive noise known to man. From its beginnings in the 16th Century, through to today when there are as many musical styles as there are composers, opera has fascinated, infuriated, delighted, been censored, been banned, excited riots, even won a nation its freedom. Here is the colorful story of sometimes temperamental composers and even more temperamental singers working in an art form which has produced some of man's noblest artistic creations. This absorbing history is illustrated by over 100 musical examples by Naxos artists as well as some of the greatest singers of the 20th century including Enrico Caruso and Fyodor Chaliapin.


What the Critics Say

Indie Award Winner


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

somewhat disappointing

I would recommend this volume to anyone with little or no knowledge of the history of opera, but not to anyone moderately familiar with this musical genre. The last half-hour consists of opera anecdotes, which, for the most part, are disposable. Also, many times, a musical illustration is announced, only to not be actually played. An alternate recommendation is 'The History of Classical Music', by the same author, which held my attention throughout. It even has an excellent section on opera.
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- Walter

Missing the music

Many of the musical illustrations appear to be either missing or cut out, making it a poor listen, and the history itself, while covering the major names with brief biographical detail and few technical terms, offers little depth or insight.
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- Alexandra

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-01-2000
  • Publisher: Naxos AudioBooks