The Magic Flute (Opera Journeys Mini Guide Series)

 
9781930841130: The Magic Flute (Opera Journeys Mini Guide Series)

A complete guide to Mozart's THE MAGIC FLUTE which includes the STORY SYNOPSIS, PRINCIPAL CHARACTERS in the opera, STORY NARRATIVE with ONE-BAR MUSIC HIGHLIGHT EXAMPLES, and an ESSAY providing background about the opera and its composer, analysis, and insightful commentary.

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Review:

Mozart's last opera, the simultaneously comic and serious fairy tale The Magic Flute (Die Zauberfloete), is as problematic as anything in the medium. Some deplore it for its perceived sexism and racism; some deplore it for its arguably goofy plot. "Depending on your perspective," writes David Foil in his essay in this book, it "is either the silliest opera ever written or a work of profound insight that happens to be dressed in the trappings of a cartoon." That it is Mozart's sublime music that ennobles something meant to be merely a short-lived popular entertainment is not in question.

This volume, issued by Black Dog Opera Library, puts together Foil's essay, lots of pictures, a complete libretto (with running commentary) in English and German, and a classic recording on two compact discs in one comfortably priced hardcover package. It is a fine introduction to what remains a great opera, goofy plot or no. (And Bellini's plots aren't even goofier?) It is worth buying just for the now out-of-print EMI/Angel 1972 (remastered in 1987) recording, contained on two very long-playing CDs, found inside the front and back covers of the book. The dialogue portions work better in this version than in most recordings. Anneliese Rothenberger is an appealing Pamina, and Walter Berry is a delightful Papageno. Edda Moser nails the difficult music of the Queen of Night, while Kurt Moll is our day's definitive Sarastro. Wolfgang Sawallisch, brisk and never lugubrious, conducts his soloists and the Bavarian State Opera Chorus and Orchestra with total certainty.

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Other Opera Journeys Publishing titles ALSO AVAILABLE at amazon.com:

OPERA CLASSICS LIBRARY SERIES:
·Aida ·The Barber of Seville ·La Bohème ·Carmen ·Cavalleria Rusticana ·Così fan tutte ·Don Giovanni ·Lucia di Lammermoor ·Madama Butterfly ·The Magic Flute ·Manon Lescaut ·The Marriage of Figaro ·Otello ·I Pagliacci ·Rigoletto ·Salome ·Tosca ·Il Trittico (Il Tabarro/Suor Angelica/Gianni Schicchi) ·La Traviata ·Turandot and The Ring of the Nibelung (without libretto)

OPERA JOURNEYS MINI GUIDE SERIES:
·Aïda ·Andrea Chénier ·The Barber of Seville ·La Bohème ·Boris Godunov ·Carmen ·Cavalleria Rusticana ·Così fan tutte ·Der Freischütz ·Die Fledermaus ·Don Carlo ·Don Giovanni ·Don Pasquale ·The Elixir of Love ·Elektra ·Eugene Onegin ·Exploring Wagner’s Ring ·Falstaff ·Faust ·Fidelio ·The Flying Dutchman ·Hansel and Gretel ·L’Italiana in Algeri ·Julius Caesar ·Lohengrin ·Lucia di Lammermoor ·Macbeth ·Madama Butterfly ·The Magic Flute ·Manon ·Manon Lescaut ·The Marriage of Figaro ·A Masked Ball ·The Mikado ·Nabucco ·Norma ·Otello ·I Pagliacci ·Porgy and Bess ·The Rhinegold ·Rigoletto ·Der Rosenkavalier ·Salome ·Samson and Delilah ·Siegfried ·The Tales of Hoffmann ·Tannhäuser ·Tosca ·La Traviata ·Tristan and Isolde ·Il Trovatore ·Turandot ·Twilight of the Gods ·The Valkyrie ·Werther

OPERA JOURNEYS LIBRETTO SERIES:
·Aida ·The Barber of Seville ·La Bohème ·Carmen ·Cavalleria Rusticana ·Così fan tutte ·Don Giovanni ·Edgar ·La Fanciulla del West ·Gianni Schicchi ·Lucia di Lammermoor ·Madama Butterfly ·The Magic Flute ·Manon Lescaut ·The Marriage of Figaro ·Otello ·I Pagliacci ·Rigoletto ·La Rondine ·Salome ·Suor Angelica ·Il Tabarro ·Tosca ·La Traviata ·Le Villi

AND A History of Opera: Milestones and Metamorphoses

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