The magic flute

by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Paperback, 1980




London : New York : Calder ; Riverrun, 1980.


The English National Opera Guides were originally conceived in partnership with the English National Opera and edited by Nicholas John, the ENO's dramaturg, who died tragically in an accident in the Alps. Most of the guides are devoted to a single opera, which is described in detail--with many articles that cover its history and information about the composer and his times. The complete libretto is included in both the original language and in a modern singing translation--except where the opera was written in English. Each has a thematic guide to the most important musical themes in musical notation and each guide is lavishly illustrated. They also contain a bibliography and a discography which is updated at each reprint. The ENO guides are widely regarded as the best series of their kind and excellent value.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member tripleblessings
A guide to the opera "The Magic Flute" by Mozart, this slim book includes historical background and biographical information about the composer, synopsis of the plot, 3 essays on the opera, a thematic guide, the complete libretto text, and a discography and bibliography. Very useful reference for fans of the opera, or first-time opera goers.… (more)
LibraryThing member the.ken.petersen
Opera can come across as an elitist musical form. Performances are expensive to attend and one is expected to dress and behave in a certain fashion. I find this sad. Mozart did not write Die Zauberflote as an excluding, but as an educational opera. This little book helps to de-mystify the work. It does not patronise, it explains in a way that even an operatic novice, such as myself, can simply comprehend.

In just 128 pages, this book manages to include a synopsis, a history of performances and a libretto. This is such an aid to the understanding of Mozart's last opera that I cannot begin to express my gratitude. This is a book to read, re-read and have to hand every time that one places the disc on to the record deck, or CD player - and let's be honest, that should be frequently!

The back cover of my copy of this book shows that 39 other operas have been given this wonderful treatment: I shall add as many as I am able to my collection!
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