Synopsis

Simon Boccanegra - English National Opera Guide 32 (includes libretto)

$22.99

Giuseppe Verdi

Published by John Calder Publications

English National Opera Guides are ideal companions to the opera, providing stimulating introductory articles together with the complete text of each opera in English and the original

Verdi's Simon Boccanegra exists in two versions: that of the 1857 original and that of the 1881 revision

The texts of the libretto of both versions are included in this guide, with a number of essays which focus on the differences between the two

Rodolfo Celleti provides the story's historical context, setting the events of the real life of Simon Boccanegra against the unification of Italy, which formed the political backdrop to the composition of both versions of Verdi's opera

James A Hepokoski gives a detailed synopsis of the 1881 score, and indicates the ways in which Verdi radically revised the original and reworked it to fit his late style

Lastly, Desmond Shawe-Taylor discusses Verdi's attitude to his singers, and the critical reception that performances of both versions of the opera received

This edition contains over twenty illustrations, a thematic guide and the texts of the libretti in the original with literal translations

There is also a bibilography, discography and DVD guide, together with a list of websites that will allow the reader to explore the opera further.

REVIEWS

'Simon Boccanegra is an initially baffling work, unless you have first read something as useful as the Overture Opera Guide, the latest in this extremely helpful series this is an indispensable volume' ~ BBC Music Magazine

'Neat little volumes they are, handy for carrying around, clearly printed and well set-out, complete with libretto and translation, discography and a generous selection of illustrations' ~ Gramophone

'Brilliantly produced and superb value' ~ The Sunday Times

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