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Operas Every Child Should Know Descriptions of the Text and Music of Some of the Most Famous Masterpieces   By: (1870-1934)

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Operas Every Child Should Know, written by Mary Schell Hoke Bacon, is a delightful and informative book that serves as an excellent introduction to the world of opera for young readers. With vivid descriptions of both the text and music of some of the most famous masterpieces, Bacon successfully transports her readers to the enchanting world of these timeless works.

One of the key strengths of this book is Bacon's ability to distill complex operatic plots into easily comprehensible summaries. She not only captures the essence of each story but also manages to retain the magic and allure that makes operas so captivating. By providing brief but engaging synopses, the author ensures that young readers can follow along with the narratives as they learn about the music.

Furthermore, Bacon seamlessly weaves musical descriptions throughout the book, effectively bringing the compositions to life for her readers. Through her vivid depictions, she allows children to imagine the sounds, tones, and emotions that are inherent in each opera. Her explanations of various musical motifs and themes add depth and understanding to the experience, giving young readers a strong foundation in musical appreciation.

The author's love and passion for opera are evident throughout the book, which adds to its overall appeal. Her enthusiasm is contagious and is likely to ignite a similar passion in her young readers. Bacon continually emphasizes the emotions and stories conveyed through the music, emphasizing how opera appeals to people from all walks of life, regardless of age.

Although the book primarily targets children, it is valuable for readers of all ages who have an interest in operatic music. Bacon's writing style strikes a perfect balance between being accessible for young readers and informative for older ones. As such, this book can be enjoyed by the entire family, making it an excellent resource for introducing opera to a broader audience.

In summary, Operas Every Child Should Know is a captivating and educational book that introduces young readers to the intricate world of opera. Mary Schell Hoke Bacon's eloquent descriptions of the text and music of famous masterpieces effortlessly transport readers to enchanting worlds filled with drama, passion, and beautiful compositions. This book is a must-read for any child or adult seeking to explore the magic of opera and develop a deeper understanding and appreciation for this timeless art form.

First Page:


Descriptions of the Text and Music of Some of the Most Famous Masterpieces




New York Grosset & Dunlap Publishers

All Rights Reserved

Copyright, 1911, by Doubleday, Page & Company

Printed in the United States at the Country Life Press, Garden City, N.Y.

[Illustration: Brünnhilde the Valkyrie]


In selecting a few of the operas every child should know, the editor's greatest difficulty is in determining what to leave out. The wish to include "L'Africaine," "Othello," "Lucia," "Don Pasquale," "Mignon," "Nozze di Figaro," "Don Giovanni," "Rienzi," "Tannhäuser," "Romeo and Juliet," "Parsifal," "Freischütz," and a hundred others makes one impatient of limitations.

The operas described here are not all great compositions: Some of them are hopelessly poor. Those of Balfe and Flotow are included because they were expressions of popular taste when our grandfathers enjoyed going to the opera.

The Nibelung Ring is used in preference to several other compositions of Wagner because the four operas included in it are the fullest both of musical and story wonders, and are at the same time the least understood.

"Aïda" and "Carmen" belong here as do many which are left out because of their beauty and musical splendour... Continue reading book >>

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