If you think a Soprano is an American mobster, you should buy this book. Whether you’re an opera Maestro or an opera micro, this is the guide that lifts the curtain on the music, the great composers and the classic opera plotlines. So, take your seat and let the music begin!
“The opera craze swept Venice like a plague, though with somewhat happier results. ”
“‘If you can’t sit quietly through 90 minutes in a theatre without noisily slurping on a bottle of water, consider returning to your mother and asking to be properly weaned.’”
“‘You may show your appreciation by applauding and uttering a few words in Italian – not including ‘Mamma mia’ and ‘spaghetti alle vongole’.”
Born in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1954, Keith Hann grew up in a household devoted to the music of the two Maxes, Jaffa and Bygraves, but luckily introduced himself to opera shortly before leaving school.
Over the last 40 years he has watched the curtain rise on more than 1,000 operatic performances, and waited until it fell on 997 of them.
In order to fund this addiction, he has been variously employed as an unsuccessful stockbroker and an incompetent but occasionally entertaining public relations consultant. Decades of skilful bluffing brought him to the brinks of retirement without any lasting romantic entanglements, until a momentary lapse of concentration one evening at Covent Garden led to his marriage at the age of 54, and the subsequent arrival of two children.
Keith currently devotes most of his time to not writing a novel and staring forlornly at his bank statements. In consequence, he values his now strictly rationed excursions to opera houses more than ever.