There's no theatrical spectacle like opera, especially the first time you see one. On stage, singers inspire the audience to cry or to cheer. Sometimes an opera includes a ballet; in some, dancers share the stage with chariots and even live animals. Behind the scenes, hidden people—sometimes hundreds—are working to transform the stage into exotic places such as ancient Egypt, Renaissance Italy, imperial Japan, or even the Fairy Kingdom. They create incredible scenes of disaster from shipwrecks to explosions to battle scenes, exciting fireworks, mysterious fog, dreary rain, peaceful snowfalls, and just about any other special effect imaginable.
Who composes the music? Who writes the story? Who builds the sets? Who designs the lighting? Who makes the wigs? Who sews the costumes? Who are the stars? In Bravo! Brava! A Night at the Opera, Anne Siberell introduces the hardworking people who make the magic happen. Though only four or five people may do most of the singing, Siberell shows that it takes directors, musicians, designers, stagehands, and many other people to put on an opera. By working as a team, they create a performance that is unforgettable to watch.
Opera singing can be hard to understand at first, but the stories of 27 operas retold at the back of the book will help you to follow the plot so you can enjoy the show. You can also read funny true stories about opera productions like the time a horse ran off the stage and went flying into the orchestra pit. One thing is for certain—the more you know about opera, the more you'll cheer "Brava! Bravo!"
Did you find this review helpful?