Prev. ed. published as: Who married Figaro? : a book of opera characters
9780199550395 (pbk.); 0199550395 (pbk.)
Operas--Characters--Dictionaries. Operas--Stories, plots, etc.
ML 102 .O6 K46 2010
Bourne, Joyce. A Dictionary of Opera Characters. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.
Opera enthusiasts may use this encyclopedia as a tool for integrating character names they see in unfamiliar operas into their appropriate plots and contexts.
Descriptions of major characters from operas written from as early as the 17th century to as late as 2008. Intention is “not to analyze anything musically, but rather to concentrate on the people in the operas – how they relate to each other, how they affect the events in the opera, what happens to them, how they develop throughout the work,” etc. Over 2,500 characters are covered from about 280 operas. Operas were selected for inclusion based on their importance, lastingness, and worldwide popularity.
Character entries are listed alphabetically by character last name and include composer name, opera title, appropriate voice range, brief character description, relevant plot points, initial performance date, and original performer of the role. Interspersed with more extensive essays describing a few select characters. 4 appendices provide (1) Biographies of contributors (listed alphabetically by last name and include birthdate, debut details, and a list of important performances). (2) Composers and operas (alphabetical by composer last name; multiple works for one composer also listed alphabetically; dates included). (3) Synopses, cast lists, and premier information for operas from 1998 to 2008 (no apparent organization).