Getting Opera is divided into two parts. In the first part, author Dobkin explains why he enjoys opera and why others should try it, exploding a few myths along the way. He relates a brief history of opera and discusses operatic singing, including comments on each voice (soprano, tenor, etc.), and provides a list of current opera singers with comments. He concludes the first part with suggestions about how to choose an opera for a first night at the opera house. The second part of the book contains comments and summaries for fifty operas representing different types of opera from various time periods and written by a variety of composes.
Dobkin states that his target audience consists of educated theater, film, television and music fans in their twenties and thirties, but it isn't necessary to be in that age range to benefit from this entertaining introduction to opera. The author uses humor and plain English to entice his contemporaries to give opera a try. Dobkin is a former classical music editor at Time Out New York and his work continues to appear there. He is a freelance music and travel writer and also writes and records original rock music.
Reviewed by mc, 2/01. Other reviews by mc.