Thursday, May 22, 2008

Best Way to Listen to Opera

(This is also posted on my website forum - to discuss CLICK HERE)

I was just listening to Das Rheingold this weekend, and was struck by how much I enjoy listening to opera in a certain way. I know a lot of my colleagues enjoy listening with a score in front of them, but not me. There is a set of books that go along with The Ring that provide the ultimate experience in my opinion. They are published by Phaidon, and they are translated by Rudolph Sabor. Each book has the libretto, a translation, and then points out specific themes and important background information while you are listening. It is just enough information to aid in listening, and can be used by non-musicians as well.

Unfortunately, these books are very hard to find. Here they are on amazon:

I was just wondering if anyone else had any favorite ways to listen. Personally, I think a DVD is the closest way to get the real experience. But when I am just listening, you cannot beat the Rudolph Sabor books. Anyone know of anything similar for other operas?