Opera A to Z by Liddy Lindsay

Title: Opera A to Z
Author: Liddy Lindsay
Publisher: Pinwheel Books
Expected Release: June 30, 2013
Source: publisher (NetGalley)

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Opera A to Z: A Beginner’s Guide to Opera is an overview of the most famous operas and opera characters of all time; one for each letter of the alphabet. The book was written with children ages eight to twelve in mind, but it is sure to delight young and old alike with its engaging summaries of twenty-six renowned operas. The book is based on a 27 x 40 watercolor that took author and illustrator Liddy Lindsay two years to complete and has become a bestseller as notecards and Giclée prints at The Met Opera Shop in New York.

Opera A to Z begins with a brief history of the art form, followed by 26 synopses of operas from all time periods, one for each letter of the alphabet. Each plot summary is accompanied by a watercolor illustration depicting a scene from that opera. The book concludes with a few pages defining common musical terms.

Liddy Lindsay’s watercolors are incredibly interesting, beautiful, and I loved how colorful they are. But a few of the illustrations simply did not garner as much of my enthusiasm as I expected. This is such a subjective thing, though, so I encourage you to view the images yourself on her website.

This is a brief book which provides a great deal of breadth, impressive considering Lindsay was limited to only 26 selections! Well-loved operas and lesser known works are both covered, and from a balanced variety of time periods and composers.

Opera A to Z is geared for ages 8-12, but it is also appropriate for anyone older than that (I’m not sure it would hold the attention of many younger children). This is a good resource with solid information for anyone looking for an introduction to opera, or for anyone (like myself) who could use a quick reference/refresher of opera storylines.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any other compensation for this review.

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