Mozart’s Operas: A Companion


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Mary Hunter

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Up-to-date, authoritative, and accessible, this is the best Mozart opera guide available

This wise and friendly guide to Mozart’s operas encompasses the full range of his most popular works—Figaro, Don Giovanni, Così, Magic Flute, Seraglio, Clemenza di Tito—as well as lesser known works like Mitridate and Il re Pastore. Music historian Mary Hunter provides a lively introduction to each opera for any listener who has enjoyed a performance, either on the stage or in a video recording, and who wishes to understand the opera more fully.

The Companion includes a synopsis and commentary on each work, as well as background information on the three main genres in which Mozart wrote: opera seria, opera buffa, and Singspiel. An essay on the “anatomy” of a Mozart opera points out the musical conventions with which the composer worked and suggests nontechnical ways to think about his musical choices. The book also places modern productions of the operas in historical context and explores how modern directors, producers, and conductors present Mozart’s works today. Filled with factual information and interesting issues to ponder while watching a performance, this guide will appeal to newcomers and seasoned opera aficionados alike.

Mary Hunter is A. Leroy Greason Professor of Music, Bowdoin College, and author of The Culture of Opera Buffa in Mozart’s Vienna. She lives in Lewiston, ME.

“The book achieves its aims wonderfully and easily betters any other work I know on the subject” – Cliff Eisen, King’s College London


“… full of insights.” — RI, Classic FM Magazine

“[An] illuminating book … [Hunter’s] style is brisk and no-nonsense, but at the same time gracefully evocative: she manages to juggle a seemingly heterogeneous series of essays into a highly satisfying whole.” — Michael Church, Classical Music

"The word 'companion' in this book's title seems particularly apt, for this is a genial, inviting treatment that will be useful to a broad audience. Each of the complete Mozart operas receives the full treatment: summary, synopsis, and description of composition and reception. . . . Covering so much in so little space, Hunter's book will be a boon to students, musicians, music lovers, opera fans, and prospective opera fans. Highly recommended. Lower- and upper-division undergraduates, faculty, professionals, general readers."—Choice

'This book should be a useful addition to music and general reference libraries for music students and the amateur musician or opera-lover.' — Stella Thebridge, Reference Reviews
ISBN: 9780300246513
Publication Date: November 27, 2018