Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Non-Fiction
Bravo! Brava! A Night at the Opera

Bravo! Brava! A Night at the Opera

Fall 2002 Non-Fiction
Ages: 8 & Up
Author: Anne Siberell
Illustrator: Anne Siberell
ISBN: 0-19-513966-6
Hardcover Price: $19.95
Although there may be only a handful of people who do most of the singing in an opera, there are often dozens of people backstage and many dozens more associated with the enterprise. Author and illustrator Anne Siberell brings that behind-the-scenes world to vivid life in this information-packed, charmingly illustrated exploration of the team of directors, orchestral players, designers, stagehands, make-up artists, wig masters, dressers, and countless others who bring this particular brand of magic to the stage.

Bravo! Brava! A Night at the Opera includes a suggested reading list for the fledgling devotee, as well as a glossary of terms bandied about in opera houses without a second thought, but perhaps new to the young and uninitiated. And any book that can appealingly describe the difference between recitative and an aria, simply stated, gets my vote. Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade provides an introduction that draws you into the book with a breathless account of her introduction to opera at the age of fifteen: a performance of Der Rosenkavalier. A personal note-it always cheers me to see someone use bravo and brava correctly, a rare occurrence even among opera-going regulars. It's great to get the kids started on the right linguistic foot.

Erich Parker, APR   ©2002 Parents' Choice
Erich Parker has sung with opera companies and in recital programs around the world and regularly performs under the aegis of The Smithsonian Institution. In addition, he is a frequent guest speaker at schools and student organizations.

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