Tales from the Opera

Anthony J. Rudel, Author Simon & Schuster $12.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-45943-7
Rudel, program director for New York classical music station WQXR, feels that the plots of operas, often overwhelmed by the productions, display ""all the elements that go into good short stories, novels and plays.'' His 50 opera tales, recounted in present-tense synopsis form, are aimed at ``people who want to know not so much what the famous arias are, as what the characters say and do.'' Instead of introducing each opera with biographical notes on composers or background on productions, Rudel puts the emphasis on the tales, prefacing each selection with a single line on the date and theater of its first performance. The operas are grouped into three categories: ``Love and Jealousy'' (Aida, La Boheme); ``Religion and the Supernatural'' (Faust, The Magic Flute); ``History and Humanity'' (Falstaff, Boris Godunov). The book is fine for reference, but readers may wish that Rudel had chosen to break from the synopsis tradition to explore the possibilities of the fiction form, employing the past tense and standard prose techniques. Foreign rights: Marcella Berger, S & S. November
Reviewed on: 11/01/1985
Release date: 11/01/1985
Paperback - 978-0-671-61222-1
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