When first published in 1947, A Short History of Opera immediately achieved international status as a classic in the field. Now, more than five decades later, this thoroughly revised and expanded fourth edition informs and entertains opera lovers just as its predecessors have.
The fourth edition incorporates new scholarship that traces the most important developments in the evolution of musical drama. After surveying anticipations of the operatic form in the lyric theater of the Greeks, medieval dramatic music, and other forerunners, the book reveals the genre's beginnings in the seventeenth century and follows its progress to the present day.
A Short History of Opera examines not only the standard performance repertoire, but also works considered important for the genre's development. Its expanded scope investigates opera from Eastern European countries and Finland. The section on twentieth-century opera has been reorganized around national operatic traditions including a chapter devoted solely to opera in the United States, which incorporates material on the American musical and ties between classical opera and popular musical theater. A separate section on Chinese opera is also included.
With an extensive multilanguage bibliography, more than one hundred musical examples, and stage illustrations, this authoritative one-volume survey will be invaluable to students and serious opera buffs. New fans will also find it highly accessible and informative. Extremely thorough in its coverage, A Short History of Opera is now more than ever the book to turn to for anyone who wants to know about the history of this art form.
Whether it be Monteverdi or Gluck or Wagner, no saner guide than Grout can be recommended
Combines learning with a grace of expression seldom encountered in works of this kind. The subject is treated in greater detail than the word 'short'might indicate.
A Short History of Opera is perhaps one of the best known and most widely circulated texts on the history of this art form...This is a vitally important book, and it is likely to be one of the first places students, researchers, and fans will consult.
Preface to the Fourth Edition
Part I Music and Drama to the End of the Sixteenth Century
The Lyric Theater of the Greeks
Medieval Dramatic Music
The Immediate Forerunners of Opera
Part II The Seventeenth Century
The Beginnings: Opera in Florence and Mantua
Other Early Seventeenth-Century Italian Court Operas, Including the First Comic Operas in Florence and Rome
Italian Opera in the Later Seventeenth Century in Italy
Seventeenth-Century Italian Opera in German-Speaking Lands
Early German Opera
Opera in France from Lully to Charpentier
Opera in England
Part III The Eighteenth Century
Masters of the Early Eighteenth Century
Opera Seria: General Characteristics
Opera Seria: The Composers
The Operas of Gluck
The Comic Opera of the Eighteenth Century
The Operas of Mozart and His Viennese Contemporaries
Part IV The Nineteenth Century
The Turn of the Century
Opera Comique, Operetta, and Lyric Opera
Italian Opera of the Primo Ottocento: Rossini, Donizetti, Verdi, and Their Contemporaries
The Romantic Opera in Germany
The Operas of Wagner
The Later Nineteenth Century: France, Italy, Germany, and Austria
Part V Other National Traditions of Opera from the Seventeenth to the Early Twentieth Centuries
National Traditions in Russia and Neighboring Countries; Central and Eastern Europe; Greece and Turkey; the Low Countries; Denmark, Scandinavia, and Finland; Spain, Portugal, and Latin America; the British Isles and the United States
Part VI The Twentieth Century
Introduction / Opera in France and Italy
Opera in the German-Speaking Countries
National Traditions in Russia and Neighboring Countries; Central and Eastern Europe; Greece and Turkey; the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland; Spain, Portugal, and Latin America
Opera in the British Isles; Canada; Australia and New Zealand(r)MDBRØ (r)MDNMØ
Opera in the United States
Appendix Chinese Opera