The most recommended opera books

Who picked these books? Meet our 49 experts.

49 authors created a book list connected to opera, and here are their favorite opera books.
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Book cover of Women

Roger Alan Bonner Author Of Milky Way Tango: Volume One of the Belt Stories

From my list on romances in space opera.

Why am I passionate about this?

I fell into writing quite by accident and discovered that I had the single most important tool for it - a vivid and tireless imagination. I have written eight novels; the ninth is expected before January 2022. My readers like my books – my average review on goodreads.com is 4.6 out of 5.0. I don't know what to make of that, since the tastes of readers vary widely. I do know something about getting a reader to the excitement of turning the next page, and to the sadness of turning the last page. It is high art that lasts forever, though we do not. Even as our tech advances and we advance with it, we will always tell stories.

Roger's book list on romances in space opera

Roger Alan Bonner Why did Roger love this book?

This is a fascinating, though quite odd, story about an alcoholic writer of novels and poetry. In middle age, the writer becomes famous. Fame propels him through a succession of increasingly bizarre sexual encounters with women. From this beginning, Bukowski proceeds to a surprising, conventional ending, almost a cliché, which stands out against the bizarre scenes preceding it. The writing in Women is incredibly expressive, compact, direct, and efficient. As a result, the story absolutely flies. Bukowski is the most creative literary stylist I have read; Women, his best work.

By Charles Bukowski,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Women as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

YOU CAN TAKE THE MAN OUT OF THE GUTTER, BUT YOU CAN'T TAKE THE GUTTER OUT OF THE MAN

Low life writer and alcoholic Henry Chinaski was born to survive. Now, at the age of fifty, he is living the life of a rock star, running three hundred hangovers a year and a sex life that would cripple Casanova. Women is a riotous and uncompromisingly vivid account of life on the edge.


Book cover of Eye of the Colossus

J.L. Stowers Author Of Vengeance Lost

From my list on space opera written by women.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve held a burgeoning interest in the stars since I was a young girl. Daydreams of adventure and exploration guided me to the genre. Once I found it, I consumed everything I could find, both on-screen and in the pages of books. There’s something to be said about the vulnerability of being in the vastness of space, oftentimes with strangers who grow to be family. I guess, in a way, it reminds me of that moment when we set out into the world, away from our families, to learn and explore more about our surroundings and the characters we meet along the way (only on a much grander scale). 

J.L.'s book list on space opera written by women

J.L. Stowers Why did J.L. love this book?

Nicole has done something really great with this series. She’s created memorable, detailed characters to build a cast you really care about. I really love seeing how other authors have humans interact with aliens and vice versa. This series was a great blend of everything you need for an epic adventure.

By Nicole Grotepas,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Eye of the Colossus as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

1900 pages of space opera adventure for fans of Firefly, Killjoys, and the Mandalorian... Holly Drake just got out of prison... but that doesn't mean she’s free.

The City of Jade Spires is no paradise, though everything about it says otherwise: the glimmering jade towers, the glow of a gas giant, and the 6 Moons balanced between four supposedly equal races.

Serving an unfair sentence like Holly’s clears up such a gross misconception pretty quick. When she walks free due to the intervention of a mysterious source, she soon realizes they want her to do something: Steal a priceless jewel…


Book cover of The Spirit in Question

Sybil Johnson Author Of Designed For Haunting

From my list on Halloween mysteries to escape into.

Why am I passionate about this?

My love affair with reading began in kindergarten with The Three Little PigsTrips to the library introduced me to Encyclopedia Brown, Nancy Drew, and Agatha Christie. It didn’t take long for me to realize how much I love reading mysteries. I’ve read thousands of them over the years, mainly traditional and cozy. When I decided to try my hand at writing, I knew right away that I’d be creating stories on the cozy end of the mystery spectrum. I particularly like mysteries set around Halloween. I’m not a horror fan. I prefer less gruesome Halloween tales, especially ones involving old legends and ghosts. These gentler Halloween mysteries are the perfect fit for me.

Sybil's book list on Halloween mysteries to escape into

Sybil Johnson Why did Sybil love this book?

In The Spirit in Question, Lila Maclean, English professor at Stonedale University, agrees to consult on a university production of a new musical being staged in a historic opera house with a resident ghost. University politics, a historical society on the warpath, and a crumbling theater are hard enough for Lila to deal with. Then a murder occurs, threatening to derail the production. Bit by bit, the theater and the people Lila encounters give up their secrets. Every new revelation urged me to keep on reading. All of the characters and their conflicts felt real to me. I especially liked spending time with the main character, Lila.

By Cynthia Kuhn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Spirit in Question as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

English professor Lila Maclean knew drama would be involved when she agreed to consult on Stonedale University’s production of Puzzled: The Musical.

But she didn’t expect to find herself cast into such chaos: the incomprehensible play is a disaster, the crumbling theater appears to be haunted, and, before long, murder takes center stage.

The show must go on—yet as they speed toward opening night, it becomes clear that other members of the company may be targeted as well. Lila searches for answers while contending with a tenacious historical society, an eccentric playwright, an unsettling psychic, an enigmatic apparition, and a…


Tyrone the Tenor Mouse: The Singing Mouse of the Opera House

By Elizabeth B. Splaine,

Book cover of Tyrone the Tenor Mouse: The Singing Mouse of the Opera House

Elizabeth B. Splaine Author Of Devil's Grace

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Before becoming an opera singer, I received my Masters in Healthcare Administration and worked in various healthcare settings, from a community health center to a large teaching hospital. I learned first-hand how the best-intentioned clinicians can make mistakes, and how those mistakes can lead to unintended consequences that can harm patients. Although it’s terrifying to think about, the best defense is to self-advocate as much as possible. It’s your body and your decision. Don’t give away your power.

Elizabeth's book list on medical thriller/mystery with a spiritual twist

What is my book about?

Tyrone the mouse rehearses night and day to improve his singing voice, hoping he’ll earn the spotlight in the opera house where he lives surrounded by animal friends.

Ty secretly practices by hiding in the wings, singing along with the famous tenor, Roland L’Amour. When Roland becomes ill on opening night, Ty sees an opportunity to fulfill his dream. With the royal family in attendance, Ty nervously asks the opera house manager if he might play the lead role.

Although he’s nervous, with the support of his friends Stella, the precocious Persian cat, and Oscar, the mangy mutt, he finds the courage to take the stage and discovers that hard work and friendship can make any dream come true!

Tyrone the Tenor Mouse: The Singing Mouse of the Opera House

By Elizabeth B. Splaine,

What is this book about?

Tyrone the Tenor Mouse has a secret wish--to perform in the opera house where he lives with his animal friends, Stella the precocious Persian cat and Oscar the mangy mutt.

Ty learns the music by secretly singing along with a famous tenor named Roland L’Amour. When Roland becomes ill on opening night, Ty sees an opportunity to make his dream come true. With the royal family in attendance, Ty nervously asks if he can play the lead role.

With the support of his friends, he finds the courage to take the stage and discovers that hard work and friendship can…


Genres
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Book cover of Opera on Record

Nick Limansky Author Of Early 20th Century Opera Singers: Their Voices and Recordings from 1900-1949

From my list on historical opera singers.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having been a professional singer for about five decades and having grown up with, and studied the early recordings of operatic singers for just as long, I feel that I am in an unusual position when it comes to analyzing their art. The ability to describe a singer’s voice on paper is a unique challenge but one that I enjoy solving–especially since each voice is a law unto itself. When done correctly, analysis like this should make the reader want to go and find the recording so that they can listen for themselves. This is especially true for my expanded Kindle version of Early 20th Century Opera Singers.

Nick's book list on historical opera singers

Nick Limansky Why did Nick love this book?

This series of 3 books traces the recordings of various operas from the infancy of recording through modern-day recording and is another fascinting read. Making this even more interesting is the fact that each opera is taken on by a different writer so you always get a fresh view on the works being discussed.

By Alan Blyth,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Opera on Record as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Good Book! Ships direct from Amazon, buy with 100% confidence!


Book cover of The Explorers

Theodore Irvin Silar Author Of Five Moral Tales

From my list on short story novel collections.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have a Ph.D. in English from Lehigh University, where I studied and published articles on Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, one of the greatest short fiction collections. I have written and published a number of short stories myself. I even won a contest for one of them. The tale told around the campfire is probably the oldest literary form there is, much older than the novel. The best short fiction, I believe, can “pack everything that a novel can hold into a story,” as Jorge Luis Borges said, and this is the kind of short fiction I believe I have found.

Theodore's book list on short story novel collections

Theodore Irvin Silar Why did Theodore love this book?

I first read The Explorers when I was a child. I delighted in it then and still do. Its style got to me first. A real literary style. Some of the stories are hard-boiled, Raymond Chandler in space. Some poetic. But so much better than most clunky SF. And also, so unconventional This is not Azimov. Rather than space opera, we get a scientist drunk, bemoaning his “contributions” to space flight. Instead of wondrous inventions, we get cheesy computer art. Brainless generals celebrate nuclear war. Well-written, unusual, simultaneously funny and sad, The Explorers is a masterpiece of 50s SF.

By C.M. Kornbluth,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Explorers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ballantine Books, 1963. Mass market paperback, stated 2nd printing (with cover exactly as shown here, cover code #F708, and 50 cent cover price). Collects 9 stories: Gomez (1954); The Mindworm (1950); The Rocket of 1955 (1939); The Altar at Midnight (1952); Thirteen O'Clock (1941); The Goodly Creatures (1952); Friend to Man (1951); With These Hands (1951); That Share of Glory (1952). Foreword by longtime collaborator Frederik Pohl.


Book cover of Sing With Your Opera Voice: My Journey from Solopreneur to Entrepreneur

Christina Hamlett Author Of Office for One: The Sole Proprietor's Survival Guide

From my list on solopreneurs who want to chart their own course.

Why am I passionate about this?

From the time I first learned to write, I knew this was something in my blood I had to pursue and that I’d one day make a comfortable living at it. Writing is a solitary craft to be sure, and although I worked in other industries for a number of years, I knew I’d eventually have to take a leap of faith and pursue this professionally. I’m passionate about encouraging fellow wordsmiths and dreamers, and the business books I’ve written reflect my expertise in Audience Analysis and Message Design, a specialization I’ve also tapped for my novels and stage plays.

Christina's book list on solopreneurs who want to chart their own course

Christina Hamlett Why did Christina love this book?

When I was growing up, my mother always criticized me whenever I tried to sing. “You’re terrible at this,” she told me. She also criticized my endeavors at dancing, writing, and the arts. It wasn’t until I was much older I realized just how insecure she was and how she feared my failure at any of the things I wanted to do would somehow reflect on her. What attracted me to this book was actually the title. In recent years I’ve taken professional singing lessons (including opera!) and discovered that the only thing holding me back was my lack of confidence in pushing the envelope. Everything is possible—including being your own boss (of anything!) as long as you don’t allow yourself to become overwhelmed or listen to the naysayers more than to your own heart.

By Vicky Brown,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sing With Your Opera Voice as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Congratulations, you are a newly minted entrepreneur. You had a vision, and started a business. Now you are totally overwhelmed. There is just too much to do, all the time. The business isn’t growing as fast as you would like, and you’re beginning to have doubts that you have what it takes to build the business you imagined.

You chose a service business because you wanted to help others. Coaching, counseling, providing professional services. But each day so many things are coming at you from all directions, you’re finding it difficult to stay focused on your vision in the overwhelm.…


Book cover of Saturday Afternoons at the Old Met: The Metropolitan Opera Broadcasts, 1931-1950

Nick Limansky Author Of Early 20th Century Opera Singers: Their Voices and Recordings from 1900-1949

From my list on historical opera singers.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having been a professional singer for about five decades and having grown up with, and studied the early recordings of operatic singers for just as long, I feel that I am in an unusual position when it comes to analyzing their art. The ability to describe a singer’s voice on paper is a unique challenge but one that I enjoy solving–especially since each voice is a law unto itself. When done correctly, analysis like this should make the reader want to go and find the recording so that they can listen for themselves. This is especially true for my expanded Kindle version of Early 20th Century Opera Singers.

Nick's book list on historical opera singers

Nick Limansky Why did Nick love this book?

One of the greatest series of books ever written about the early years of live broadcasting from the Metropolitan Opera. Jackson’s detailed analysis of the existing broadcasts is informative and fascinating. Even better they can be read by themselves, or even better, when listening to the actual broadcast. The amount of information in this series (3) is unbelievably vast and fascinating. All three are recommended.

By Paul Jackson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Saturday Afternoons at the Old Met as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

(Amadeus). In this first of three volumes, Paul Jackson begins a rich and detailed history of the early years of the Metropolitan Opera broadcasts, bringing to life more than 200 recorded broadcasts.


Book cover of Crisis in Silstrand

J.L. Stowers Author Of Vengeance Lost

From my list on space opera written by women.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve held a burgeoning interest in the stars since I was a young girl. Daydreams of adventure and exploration guided me to the genre. Once I found it, I consumed everything I could find, both on-screen and in the pages of books. There’s something to be said about the vulnerability of being in the vastness of space, oftentimes with strangers who grow to be family. I guess, in a way, it reminds me of that moment when we set out into the world, away from our families, to learn and explore more about our surroundings and the characters we meet along the way (only on a much grander scale). 

J.L.'s book list on space opera written by women

J.L. Stowers Why did J.L. love this book?

I don’t typically read military sci-fi or hard science fiction, but these two incredible authors have pulled me in. This series is part of a bigger universe called Aeon 14 and all of it is a joy to read. The authors work together to weave a story full of well-developed characters, flawless character interactions, along with conflict and resolution. 

By Chris J. Pike, M. D. Cooper,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Crisis in Silstrand as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Silstrand Alliance lies at the intersection of vast empires.
And they're losing ground...
Kylie Rhoads, one-time officer in the Silstrand Space Force, is now a junker. Captain of the Dauntless, she plies the black at the edge of the Gedri System, looking for derelict hulls to pull in and sell for salvage. So that she can bring Maverick his cut of the take...

But the Silstrand Alliance hasn't forgotten Kylie, and Maverick has something they desperately need.

Kylie finds herself caught up with old friends, enemies, and a rather terrifying new technology that will make or break whatever future…


Book cover of Speak with Impact: How to Command the Room and Influence Others

Joel Schwartzberg Author Of Get to the Point! Sharpen Your Message and Make Your Words Matter

From my list on improving your presentation prowess.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began my journey in communications as a competitive public speaker in high school and college, culminating in a national championship. That experience inspired me to help others develop their public speaking and presentation skills, especially effective point-making, which is fundamental to communication success but rarely addressed by trainers. Nowadays, I’m thrilled to combine my skill, experience, and passion in my work as a speechwriter and speech coach for organizations ranging from American Express to State Farm Insurance, as well as a speechwriter for a major nonprofit and contributor to media outlets including Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, and Newsweek.

Joel's book list on improving your presentation prowess

Joel Schwartzberg Why did Joel love this book?

I’ve always been a fan of Allison and her work, and Speak with Impact is the best way to access all of her terrific insight.

If anyone can prove that public speaking is a skill and not a talent, Allison does, serving up practical advice on everything from effective storytelling and breathing techniques to body language and conquering fear. She also leverages her varied experiences as a CEO, Harvard lecturer, Ted Talk speaker, and opera singer (!).

This book is simply a must-have for everyone from jobseekers to CEOs who want to impact and influence others through their communications.

By Allison Shapira,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Speak with Impact as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When you know what to say and how to say it, people listen. Find your powerful voice, and step into leadership. Speak with impact. 

Every day, you have an opportunity to use your voice to have a positive impact -- at work or in your community. You can inspire and persuade your audience -- or you can distract and put them to sleep.

Presentation styles where leaders are nervous, ramble, and robotic can ruin a talk on even the most critical topics. As your performances become weak, your career prosects start to dim. To get ahead and make an impact,…


Book cover of Bravo! Brava! a Night at the Opera: Behind the Scenes with Composers, Cast, and Crew

Mark A. Robinson Author Of The Magical Mice of Broadway

From my list on theatre written for children.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a longtime arts educator who has worked predominantly with kids ages 3 to 12, I initially set out to find books that could inspire them about theatre. For many years I have searched for the perfect books that achieve this and have used all of these books in my teaching.

Mark's book list on theatre written for children

Mark A. Robinson Why did Mark love this book?

There are many jobs in theatre, from the performers on stage, to all of the people like the writers, directors, and designers who make their magic behind the scenes. This book makes the excellent case that there is a place for anyone in the theatre, taking kids by the hand walking them through how it requires a team effort to make a production happen.

By Anne Siberell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bravo! Brava! a Night at the Opera as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A delightful introduction to opera, Bravo! Brava! A Night at the Opera teaches elementary school children what opera is by showing how it is made. "Who writes the words?", "Who makes an opera happen? "Who is backstage?"--these questions and more are answered with easy-to-understand explanations and are illustrated with whimsical watercolors by the author. From composer, choreographer, and costume designers to the conductor, lighting and special effects
crew, and, of course, the singers, the excitement builds as Anne Siberell explains each person's role in producing an opera. Bravo! Brava! A Night at the Opera reveals details of the most famous…