Operetta: A Theatrical History (Routledge Studies in Musical Genres) by Traubner, Richard (2003)

Book Operetta: A Theatrical History (Routledge Studies in Musical Genres) by Traubner, Richard (2003)

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- Language: Unknown
- Format: PDF - Djvu
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- Publisher: Routledge (1800)
- Bestsellers rank: 3
- Category: Other books
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  • By Lew Troop on October 4, 2006

    This newly revised ( from 1984 ) book will be a treat to those who are not familiar with operettas but are interested to learn about them. Traubner is absolute accurate in his comments about each one (as I learned to my cost once in Munich. I saw "Tzar und Zimmerman" but had I paid attention to the book, I would not have.) His eye and ear for scores and librettos is spot on though, as he concedes, many of these have not been seen in perfomance in decades.The book is arranged to take the reader on an entertaining tour of the genre and never forgets this is being written for the viewer and not the musicologist. But this later group will not feel slighted. Along with historical data, original casts, performances etc. are comments on the musical construction of each one and its' relationship to the time and audience in which it played.The reader may find themself wishing some of the pieces might be revived, they sound interesting, tuneful and with careful performance might do well in repetoire. However, the majority of operettas are now period pieces, fascinating in Mr. Traubner's text but probably stultifying on stage.Well written, amusing in it's recollections of nights in the theatre past, even if the topic is not your favorite, it's a good read as it traces the sociology of taste and how it varies.As a reference source this is an invaluable book. As we get further from the time in which these pieces were written, material about them, indeed the pieces themselves (witness Gilbert and Sullivan's "Thespis") simply become non-existent. They will always exist in Traubner's OPERETTA; A THEATRICAL HISTORY. We should be grateful.

  • By John H. Flannigan on December 10, 2004

    Richard Traubner's "Operetta: A Theatrical History" is probably the best theatre history book I have encountered. It covers a huge topic in an orderly, clear manner by dividing the subject chronologically and geographically. As a result, a reader can follow it from start to finish and learn a great deal about changing fashions in entertainment and music. But the book is an extraordinarily useful reference work as well: it has a superb index and treats even lesser-known figures of the world of operetta fairly and thoroughly. Moreover, it is generously (and beautifully) illustrated.Traubner's musical taste is first-rate, too, and his engaging writing style brings to life some of the long-forgotten gems of this once-wildly popular entertainment. There are thorough treatments of impresarios, singers, composers, and lyricists. Traubner also keeps an eye on the bigger picture by locating operetta's roots in 19th-century poltical satire and following its progress through the more romantic "silver" period of Lehar and Kalman to the modern Broadway musical. It also is the only English language text I know of that supplies a history of the Spanish zarzuela, so it is a necessary companion to the delightful recordings by Pilar Lorengar, Montserrat Caballe, and Placido Domingo of zarzuela hits. This is a landmark text, and any theatre, opera, or musical comedy fans should reward themselves by securing a copy.(I encountered Traubner's text in its original--1984--edition and was unaware that he had produced a revised version in 2003. Needless to say, I will purchase that edition, too.)


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