Educational Resources

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AO is deeply committed to serving as an educational resource for the Alaskan community. With resources recommended by OPERA America, any individual can become well-versed in the art of opera.

Below is a list of recommended reading, listening, and viewing links for our patrons to enjoy.

Recommended Reading For Children and Youth
* indicates availability at Anchorage Public Library.

Infant – Pre-K

Ainger-Clark, Julie and Nadeem Zaidi. Baby Einstein: Baby Mozart: Music Is Everywhere. Baby Einstein Co., 2004.

* Weaver, Tess and Andrea Wesson. Opera Cat. Clarion Books, 2002.
West, Jim and Izen, Marshall. The Dog Who Sang Opera. Harry N Marshall, 2004.

Grades K-3

* Auch, Mary Jane. The Bantam of the Opera. Holiday House, Inc., 1997.

* Clement, Gary. The Great Poochini. Groundwood Books, 1999.

Elliott, Donald. Lambs’ Tales From Great Operas. Harvard Common Press, 1984. Mitchell, Janis. The Hamster Opera Company. W W Norton & Co. Inc., 1988.
Neidorf, Mary. Operantics with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Sunstone Press, 1987.

Thee, Christian and Robert Levine. Behind the Curtain: Hansel and Gretel: Your Own Backstage Tour in Look-Through and Pull-Up Panels. Workman Publishing Company, 1994.

Grades 4-8

Bennett, Roy. Adventures In Music: OPERA. Cambridge University Press, 1996. David, Ron. Opera for Beginners. Writers & Readers Publishing, 1995.
Ganeri, Anita and Nicola Barber. The Young Person’s Guide to the Opera: With Music from the Great Operas on CD. Harcourt: London, England, 2001.

* Husain, Shahrukh. The Barefoot Book of Stories from the Opera. Barefoot Books, 1999.

* Siberell, Anne. Bravo! Brava! A Night at the Opera: Behind the Scenes With Composers, Cast and Crew. Frederica von Stade (Introduction) Oxford University Press Children’s Books, 2001.

* The Random House Book of Opera Stories (Random House Story Collections). Random House, 1998.

Grades 9-12

* Bordman, Gerald. American Operetta : from H.M.S. Pinafore to Sweeney Todd. Oxford University Press, 1981.

* Cargher, John. How to Enjoy Opera Without Really Trying. Peregrine Smith Books, 1987.

* Davis, Peter. The American Opera Singer. Doubleday, 1997.

* DiGaetani, John Louis. An Invitation to the Opera. Facts On File Publications, 1986.

* Harewood, George. Kobbe’s Illustrated Opera Book : Twenty-Six of the World’s Best-Loved Operas. Putnam’s, 1989.

* Matheopoulos, Helena. Diva : Great Sopranos and Mezzos Discuss Their Art. Northeastern University Press, 1992.

* Matheopoulos, Helena. Divo : Great Tenors, Baritones, and Basses Discuss Their Roles. Harper & Row, 1986.

Plotkin, Fred. Opera 101: A Complete Guide to Learning and Loving Opera. Hyperion, 1994. Sadie, Stanley, ed. The Billboard Illustrated Encyclopedia of Opera. Billboard Books, 2004.


* Davis, Peter G. The American Opera Singer : The Lives and Adventures of America’s Great Singers in Opera and Concert, from 1825 to the Present. Doubleday, 1997.

* Donington, Robert. Opera and its symbols : the unity of words, music, and staging. Yale University Press, 1990.

* Goldovsky, Boris. Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen! : Intermission Scripts from the Met Broadcasts. Indiana university Press, 1984.

* Grout, Donald J. A Short History of Opera. Columbia University Press, 1965.

* Lindenberger, Herbert. Opera, the Extravagant Art. Cornell University Press, 1984.

* Lyric Opera of Chicago. The Lyric Opera Companion : the History, Lore, and Stories of the World’s Greatest Operas. Andrews and McMeel, 1991.

Recommended Reading For All Audiences
* indicates availability at Anchorage Public Library.

Douglas, Nigel. The Joy of Opera. Andre Deutsch, 2004.

* Goulding, Phil G. Ticket to the Opera : Discovering and Exploring 100 Famous Works, History, Lore, and Singers, with Recommended Recordings. Fawcett Columbine, 1996.

* Kirk, Elise K. American Opera. University of Illinois Press, 2001. Kirk traces the history of American opera through composers born in the United States and longtime U.S. residents. She takes a chronological approach to opera in the years 1730-2000, focusing on cultural contexts, historical development, and production aspects, and including basic musical analysis.

* Osborne, Charles. The Opera Lover’s Companion. Yale University Press, 2004. This engaging guide to the 175 most popular operas will enhance the experience of anyone attending an opera. The book consists of entries that set each opera within the context of its composer’s career, outline the plot, discuss the music, and give relevant background information.

Peattie, Antony, ed. The New Kobbé’s Opera Book. Putnam Publishing Group, 2000. This comprehensive opera resource contains information on composers, performers, and the rich history of opera, from its beginnings in the Baroque period to modern day.

Scherer, Barrymore Laurence. Bravo! A Guide to Opera for the Perplexed. Plume, 1997. Witty and informative, this introduction to opera is a fun, fast read.

* Walsh, Michael. Who’s afraid of Opera? : a Highly Opinionated, Informative, and Entertaining Guide to AppreciatingOpera. Simon & Schuster, 1994.

Recommended Listening and Viewing For Children and Youth
* indicates availability at Anchorage Public Library.

* Baby Neptune. Baby Einstein Co., 2003. An inspiring classical music experience for babies featuring Handel’s Water Music.

* Pavarotti’s Opera Made Easy – My Favorite Opera For Children. Decca, 1994. This volume in the Pavarotti’s Opera Made Easy series includes a variety of selections from operas that are accessible to children, such as Hansel and Gretel and The Magic Flute.

The Classical Child at the Opera. Classical Child, 2001. A selection of well-known arias that will appeal to young children. Easy to follow English translations are provided and bring to life the stories of the operas and the characters who emulate them.

The World’s Very Best Opera for Kids…in English. Children’s Group, 2003. A compilation of vocal and instrumental arrangements of works from well-known operas, this CD includes excerpts from Carmen, The Magic Flute, and The Marriage of Figaro, among others.

* Mozart’s Magic Fantasy: A Journey Through The Magic Flute. Children’s Group, 1995. This CD presents The Magic Flute in a way that is designed to be accessible for children. Shorter than the full-length musical work and translated into English, Mozart’s Magic Fantasy provides an entertaining introduction to this classic opera.

Who’s Afraid of Opera? Kultur Video, 1994. Starring Dame Joan Sutherland and featuring a cast of puppet characters, this four-volume series of videotapes introduces children to both famous and lesser-known operas.