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A Book of Operas Their Histories, Their Plots, and Their Music   By: (1854-1923)

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First Page:







"Old friends are best." SELDEN.

"I love everything that's old, old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wine." GOLDSMITH.

"Old wood to burn! Old wine to drink! Old friends to trust! Old authors to read!" MELCHIOR.


Chapter I "Il Barbiere di Siviglia"

First performance of Italian opera in the United States Production of Rossini's opera in Rome, London, Paris, and New York Thomas Phillipps and his English version Miss Leesugg and Mrs. Holman Emanuel Garcia and his troupe Malibran Early operas in America Colman's "Spanish Barber" Other Figaro operas How Rossini came to Write "Il Barbiere" The story of a fiasco Garcia and his Spanish song "Segui, o caro" Giorgi Righetti The plot of the opera The overture "Ecco ridente in cielo" "Una voce poco fà," Rossini and Patti The lesson scene and what singers have done with it Grisi, Alboni, Catalani, Bosio, Gassier, Patti, Sembrich, Melba, and Viardot An echo of Haydn.

Chapter II "Le Nozze di Figaro"

Beaumarchais and his Figaro comedies "Le Nozze" a sequel to "Il Barbiere" Mozart and Rossini Their operas compared Opposition to Beaumarchais's "Marriage de Figaro" Moral grossness of Mozart's opera A relic of feudalism Humor of the horns A merry overture The story of the opera Cherubino, "Non so più cosa son" Benucci and the air "Non più andrai" "Voi che sapete" A marvellous finale The song to the zephyr A Spanish fandango "Deh vieni non tardar."

Chapter III "Die Zauberflöte"

The oldest German opera current in America Beethoven's appreciation of Mozart's opera Its Teutonism Otto Jahn's estimate Papageno, the German Punch Emanuel Schikaneder Wieland and the original of the story of the opera How "Die Zanberflöte" came to be written The story of "Lulu" Mozart and freemasonry The overture to the opera The fugue theme and a theme from a sonata by Clementi The opera's play "O Isis und Osiris" "Hellish rage" and fiorituri The song of the Two Men in Armor Goethe and the libretto of "Die Zauberflöte" How the opera should be viewed.

Chapter IV "Don Giovanni"

The oldest Italian operas in the American repertory Mozart as an influence What great composers have said about "Don Giovanni," Beethoven Rossini Gounod Wagner History of the opera Da Ponte's pilferings Bertati and Gazzaniga's "Convitato di Pietra" How the overture to "Don Giovanni" was written First performances of the opera in Prague, Vienna, London, and New York Garcia and Da Ponte Malibran English versions of the opera The Spanish tale of Don Juan Tenorio Dramatic versions The tragical note in the overture The plot of the opera Gounod on the beautiful in Mozart's music Leporello's catalogue "Batti, batti o bel Masetto" The three dances in the first finale The last scene Mozart quotes from his contemporaries The original close of the opera.

Chapter V "Fidelio"

An opera based on conjugal love "Fidelio," "Orfeo," and "Alceste" Beethoven a Sincere moralist Technical history of "Fidelio," The subject treated by Paër and Gaveaux Beethoven's commission The first performance a failure A revision by the composer's friends The second trial Beethoven withdraws his opera A second revision The revival of 1814 Success at last First performances in London and New York The opera enriched by a ballet Plot of "Fidelio" The first duet The canon quartet A dramatic trio Milder Hauptmann and the great scena Florestan's air The trumpet call The opera's four overtures Their history.

Chapter VI "Faust"

The love story in Gounod's opera Ancient bondsmen of the devil Zoroaster, Democritus, Empedocles, Apollonius, Virgil, Albertus Magnus, Merlin, Paracelsus, Theophilus of Syracuse, The myth making capacity Bismarck and the needle gun Printing, a black art Johann Fust of Mayence The veritable Faust Testimony of Luther and Melanchthon The literary history of Dr... Continue reading book >>

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