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Opera as Drama

Fiftieth Anniversary Edition

Joseph Kerman (Author)

Not available in British Common; Available in Canada

Paperback, 249 pages
ISBN: 9780520246928
December 2005
Passionate, witty, and brilliant, Opera as Drama has been lauded as one of the most controversial, thought-provoking, and entertaining works of operatic criticism ever written. First published in 1956 and revised in 1988, Opera as Drama continues to be indispensable reading for all students and lovers of opera.
Joseph Kerman, Professor Emeritus of Music at the University of California, Berkeley, is the author of The Art of Fugue: Bach Fugues for Keyboard, 1715-1750 (California, 2005) among many other books.

“If you are for opera, this book is for you.”—New York Times Book Review

“The most influential recent book on opera criticism…in the English-speaking world”—New Grove Dictionary of Opera

“Affords the serious reader and listener an absorbing encounter with a sensitive and superbly trained intelligence in the act of thinking about music and music criticism…. We come away remembering the sound of Kerman’s prose voice, mellifluous, elegant, eminently civilized, beneath its cool control a ground bass of urgent feeling.”—San Francisco Chronicle Book Review

"The author's clarity and pungency...make for enjoyable, challenging reading. It is a collection that can tease the person who is primarily interested in opera into wanting to explore the song literature of the English Renaissance or to listen more knowledgeably to Mozart's piano concertos and Beethoven's symphonies."—William Ashbrook, Opera Quarterly

"Kerman's musicological activity is technical without neglecting the importance of text, cultural context, meaning, expression, and value, and is likely to appeal to educated lay people.... Kerman's scholarship is careful and sensitive, and often subtle and witty. Yet this subtle scholarship has evoked strong and widespread reaction and provided significant leadership within musicology and beyond."—Renée Cox Lorraine, Notes

"Lucid, lively.... Many aspects of his work can provide inspiration."—Oliver Neighbour, Music and Letters

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