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A Mad Love


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About the Author

Vivien Schweitzer is a writer and pianist based in New York. She worked for ten years as a classical music and opera critic for the New York Times. She has also written for the BBC, the Moscow Times, and The Economist.


"A wonderful and welcoming introduction to an art form that can seem elusive and forbidding. A Mad Love is engaging and entertaining for anyone from the opera newbie to the cognoscenti. I was drawn in by Schweitzer's intimate conversational style, and you will be as well."--Francesca Zambello, artistic and general director of the Glimmerglass Festival and artistic director of the Washington National Opera
"Opera composers often spin out just a thought or two into expansive arias. Vivien Schweitzer does the opposite, deftly packing centuries of music and a profusion of astute observations into this lean delight of a book. If you think you might like opera, but have no idea where to start, the answer is: right here."--Justin Davidson, Pulitzer Prize-winning classical music critic for New York Magazine
"Finally, a book that shines a spotlight on opera, making it accessible and relevant without dumbing it down. A Mad Love shows why opera is an art form for everyone."--Lawrence Brownlee, tenor
"Dynamic. Passionate. Searing. ALIVE! Vivien Schweitzer's A Mad Love: An Introduction to Opera captures everything I love about this often misunderstood art form. She connects the stories and musical treasures from across the centuries of opera to go straight to the heart of why opera is addictive and life-affirming. This is the perfect starting point if you're a beginner, and an ideal landing point if you need to be reminded of why you fell in love with opera in the first place!"--Joyce DiDonato
"A lively and engaging introduction to an art form that belongs to us all, whether or not we know it yet. Welcome in."--Tim Page, Pulitzer Prize-winning critic and professor of music and journalism, University of Southern California
"What emerges clearly is Schweitzer's profound passion for opera, her determination to explain the elements of the art so that others might embrace it, and her deep belief that opera is both flourishing now and certain to continue doing so. Affection is the subterranean river that frequently bursts through the surface to splash readers and, perhaps, convince them to put down the money for tickets."--Kirkus Reviews
"A delightfully informative ticket to the world of opera."--Anthony Gottlieb, All Souls College, Oxford
"Schweitzer brings both expertise and passion to her guide to the essential elements of opera. For readers ready to engage with opera more deeply and more enthusiastically, this book will be a delight and an eye-opener."--Christian Science Monitor
"A Mad Love provides such a breezy yet thorough introduction to opera that die-hard fans may want to read it first before gifting it to nieces or nephews. An experienced critic, Schweitzer has a knack for concision, and she covers plenty of ground here, hitting major points about repertoire while tucking in musical terminology, historical developments, cultural movements, and the social aspects of operagoing."--Opera News
"Vivien Schweitzer is also under opera's spell, and in her delicious history, A Mad Love: An Introduction to Opera, she regales us with all you need to know..."--New York Times

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