The Drama of Opera

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More About This Title The Drama of Opera


This book is about the drama that takes place within the world of opera and provides an insight into how opera has evolved and functions. Describing the various ways that composers use the language of music and liaise with their librettists, this work also touches on the functions everyone involved with an opera, including conductors, producers, designers, repetiteurs, the chorus and orchestra, singers, understudies, and the prompter. Training, the audition process, competitions, and the rehearsal schedule are covered as well as a look at how opera has adapted to changing social conditions from Monteverdi to the present day. A discussion on what the future of opera may hold, humorous incidents and cautionary tales, and a comprehensive glossary that unravels the jargon of the most frequently used operatic terms are also included.


Myer Fredman is an adjunct professor at the University of Tasmania’s Conservatorium of Music. He was an acclaimed symphonic and operatic conductor for more than 50 years who was awarded a Maestro Fredman a medal by the Italian government.


“Fredman's book has an almost encyclopedic arrangement … The book includes an extensive glossary of terms and 12 pages of plates of performances by the Glyndebourne Touring Opera Company. An entertaining read.”  —Choice

“Fredman brings 40-plus years of experience as an international conductor to this text. Rather than focusing on individual operatic plots, Fredman describes the drama that has taken place in the world of opera itself over the past 400 years. His insights into the backstage, preparation, sets, costumes, producers, conductors, singers – and their foibles – are intended to give members of the opera-going public – from the novice to the seasoned aficionado – a greater sense of the complexity of staging an opera, and an enhanced appreciation of the art fom.”  —Book News