Monday, December 18, 2006

Nico Castel Libretti Series

Someone left a comment this afternoon on the fact that I hadn't yet mentioned Nico Castel's Libretti Series in my list of 10 ways to translate a song or aria into English. I recall mentioning the books somewhere along the line in earlier posts this year, but only in a list of useful books rather in a marquee posting where a resource of this importance belongs.

With many apologies on my tardiness (inexcusable, as I am the proud owner of several well-used volumes in this series) I would like to highly recommend Nico Castel's Complete Libretti Series. These books feature complete line-by-line literal and idiomatic translations and IPA transcriptions of entire operas and are an invaluable resource for anyone venturing into the field of opera, whether singer, pianist/coach, or conductor.

The series includes the following volumes:
  • The Complete Puccini Libretti (2 volumes)
  • The Complete Verdi Libretti (4 volumes)
  • The Libretti of Mozart's Completed Operas (2 volumes)
  • French Opera Libretti (3 volumes)
  • Belcanto Opera Libretti (3 volumes)
  • Italian Verismo Opera Libretti
  • Four Strauss Opera Libretti
  • Wagner's "Der Ring des Nibelungen"
  • German Miscellaneous Opera Libretti
  • Wagner: The Big Three

Ordering info

They ain't cheap, but if you consider the breadth of information in each volume, they're actually a bargain for the money, and compiled by Nico Castel himself, the world's leading expert on lyric diction.

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