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SMITHSONIAN JOURNEYS

Springtime at the Metropolitan Opera

READING AND TRAVEL GUIDE

Eyewitness Guide New York City

Eyewitness Guide New York City

by Eleanor Berman

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 440 PAGES

There are hundreds of guides, of course, but we like this one the best -- and we see more visitors in our neighborhood carrying it around. (NYC02, $25.00)

Opera 101, A Complete Guide to Learning and Loving Opera

Opera 101, A Complete Guide to Learning and Loving Opera

by Fred Plotkin | Placido Domingo

  • MUSIC
  • 1994
  • PAPER
  • 494 PAGES

A well-written introduction to opera, this volume includes a brief history of the art form, a guide to operatic terms and a review of 11 famous operas. (GEN175, $18.00)

100 Great Operas and Their Stories

100 Great Operas and Their Stories

by Henry W. Simon

  • MUSIC
  • 1989
  • PAPER
  • 554 PAGES

A reference to 100 of the best-known operas from the 17th century to today. (MUS04, $17.95)

 
New York City Map

New York City Map


by Popout Maps

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2009
  • MAP
  • CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE
  • >

This convenient map of New York has a clever "origami" fold to prevent fussing with unwieldy re-folding. (NYC26, $6.95)

Fodor's New York City's 25 Best

Fodor's New York City's 25 Best


by Fodor's

  • GUIDEBOOK
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 96 PAGES

A shirt-pocket guide to New York City, featuring a detailed, fold-out map centered on Midtown. With suggested itineraries, walks and top 25 sights. (USE36, $13.99)

The Penguin Concise Guide to Opera

The Penguin Concise Guide to Opera


by Amanda Holden

  • REFERENCE
  • 2006
  • PAPER
  • 530 PAGES

An essential reference for the opera enthusiast. Well organized, with short descriptions of plots, characters, performances and historical background. (MUS01, $22.00)

Here is New York

Here is New York


by E.B. White

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 1999
  • HARD COVER
  • 56 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

Written in a hotel room over two hot days in the summer of 1948, White's timeless love letter (it's easily read in an hour) captures the spirit of New York. It's a swift, lyrical portrait of the city that moves from Broadway to Central Park and the Hudson River to favorite haunts on 3rd Avenue. (NYC28, $16.95)

Classical Music 101, A Complete Guide to Learning and Loving Classical Music

Classical Music 101, A Complete Guide to Learning and Loving Classical Music


by Fred Plotkin

  • MUSIC
  • 2002
  • PAPER
  • 672 PAGES

Plotkin's primer on classical music is geared to the casual, intellectually curious listener and does an admirable job of describing how best to experience and appreciate the great works, both new and old. (MUS15, $18.95)

Puccini Without Excuses: A Refreshing Reassessment of the World's Most Popular Composer

Puccini Without Excuses: A Refreshing Reassessment of the World's Most Popular Composer


by William Berger

  • MUSIC
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 480 PAGES

The popular NPR commentator and radio host gives us the third in his informal, entertaining series on renowned composers. Features a brief biography of the artist and essays on each of his eight operas. (ITL783, $18.00)

The Life of Verdi

The Life of Verdi


by John Rosselli

  • MUSIC
  • 2000
  • PAPER
  • 204 PAGES

Part biography, part musical history, the life story and major operas of the 19th-century composer. (ITL447, $42.00)

The Metropolitan Opera Stories of the Great Operas

The Metropolitan Opera Stories of the Great Operas


by John Freeman | Beverly Sills

  • MUSIC
  • 1997
  • HARD COVER
  • 1017 PAGES

A two-volume, boxed collection of the complete plots for 225 operas, authorized by the Metropolitan Opera. (NYC15, $50.00)

Verdi

Verdi


by Julian Budden

  • MUSIC
  • 2008
  • HARD COVER
  • 448 PAGES

Budden offers a concise, comprehensive portrait of Verdi the man and the artist in this engaging summation of Verdi scholarship. (MUS59, $39.95)

Verdi With a Vengeance,  An Energetic Guide to the Life and Complete Works of the King of Opera

Verdi With a Vengeance, An Energetic Guide to the Life and Complete Works of the King of Opera


by William Berger

  • MUSIC
  • 2000
  • PAPER
  • 497 PAGES

Recommended for its breezy, opinionated overview of Verdi's life and work. (GEN170, $17.95)

Carmen and Other Stories

Carmen and Other Stories


by Prosper Merimee | Nicholas Jotcham

  • LITERATURE
  • 1999
  • PAPER
  • 361 PAGES

A collection of nine stories, including Carmen, memorably set in southern Spain -- and source for the Bizet opera of the same name. (FRN201, $13.95)

More Recommendations

Here are some other groups of books that might be of interest

Longitude provides recommended reading for travelers in partnership with the leading tour operators and travel programs for hundreds of destinations worldwide. We've got the classic, new and hard-to-find books and maps to help you get the most out of your adventures.