First Nights at the Opera

Thomas Forrest Kelly

View Inside Format: Paper
Price: $30.00
YUP
Our shopping cart does not support Safari. Please use another browser before attempting to purchase.

Also Available in:
Cloth

A behind-the-scenes look at the premieres of five extraordinary operas

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, personalities, conventions, expectations, critical responses, gossip. . . . This book is readable. Addictively.”—Michael White, Opera Now

“This thoroughly enjoyable and informative book will delight all opera lovers; highly recommended.”—Library Journal

Thomas Forrest Kelly is Morton B. Knafel Professor of Music at Harvard University.

“Kelly did his homework for this interesting book. . . . This well-written and thoroughly documented volume will be valuable and enjoyable for readers at all levels. Essential.”—Choice

"The recounting of the plots is enlivened by the insertion of many interesting anecdotes and asides; numerous illustrations bring the texts to visual life. . . . This book is history from a unique perspective."—David L. Kirk, Fanfare

“This is instructive cultural history—and wonderful fun.”—Harvard Magazine

“This thoroughly enjoyable and informative book will delight all opera lovers; highly recommended.”—Library Journal

"The research is leavened by fascinating anecdotes and glorious first-hand accounts, and the five sections, each dealing with a single opera, are almost like novellas in themselves, peopled by temperamental prima donnas, sharkish entrepreneurs, stress-fuelled composers, wheedling critics and incredibly demanding audiences."—Ashutosh Khandekar, Music Teacher

 

 

"An absorbing tangle of minutiae about perfomring circumstances, personalities, conventions, expectations, critical responses, gossip. . . . This book is readable. Addictively."—Michael White, Opera Now

"Kelly's approach . . . is determinedly innovative."—Christopher Hatch, Opera Quarterly

“This remarkable detailed social history, written by a Harvard professor of music, is filled with the drama of opening nights, behind the scenes and in the audience, with sketches of the citys and the concert hall milieus, the impresarios, the composers and the conductors, and the singers charged with performing the music for the first time, followed by reports of the critical response, both popular and journalistic. The text is augmented by copious black-and-white illustrations, selections from relevant correspondence and a discography of recommended recordings.”—Linda Rosenkrantz, San Diego Union-Tribune

"First Nights at the Opera takes us into territory many of us enjoy exploring."—Theatre Notebook

"A rare and wonderful cultural history."—Philip Kennicott, Washington Post

"An important addition to the literature on operatic history. Kelly creates an appealing resource with a wealth of material. His painstaking work with numerous primary sources is commendable, and his efforts will increase our knowledge of these operas for years to come."—Keith E. Clifton, The Opera Journal

"A book to keep going back to, it contains everything you ever wanted to know about the operas and much more besides.  By the end, you appreciate just what everyone involved in putting on each opera had gone through.  It's an addictive page-turner that will delight all opera-lovers."  - Richard Fawkes, Classical Music

“A well-organized, highly readable volume that is difficult to put down. . . . [Having all the information] in one volume is something any reasonably knowledgeable follower of opera, world and social history, and geography, among the numerous subjects covered, will think a fine thing indeed. . . . The many personalities represented . . . come across strongly. . . . Informative and entertaining.”—Michael Mark, American Record Guide

Chosen as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2006 by Choice Magazine
ISBN: 9780300115260
Publication Date: May 28, 2006
464 pages, 7 x 10
88 b/w illus.
First Nights

Five Musical Premieres

Thomas Forrest Kelly

View details