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Arizona Opera Book Club

Opera is all about telling compelling stories through music. Most of the stories you see on stage are inspired by great literary works, historical events, legendary people, or better yet, current issues. Whether you are a Book Club regular or joining the group for the first time, we are excited to introduce you to our new ONLINE format.

 

How to Join: 

All book club activities, announcements, meetings, and more will be announced via our new Facebook group. We invite you to participate, post, and discuss each book with us as we discover these new titles together.

  

 

Need Help?

Don’t know how to join our group? It’s easy! Follow the steps below:

     

If you do not have Facebook and do not wish to join, we will also be posting information and updates to this page so stay tuned!

 

Book Club Meetings:

All Book Club activities, announcements, meetings, and more will be announced via our new Facebook group. If you are not part of Arizona Opera's Book Club Facebook Group and would still like to participate in our virtual book club meetings, please fill out the webform below and you will receive a link 24 hours prior to the meeting.

   


2020/21 Book Club Selections:
 

Book 1: "Bel Canto" by Ann Patchett
Bel Canto

Reading: October 19 – December 3, 2020
Meeting Date: December 3, 2020 @ 6 PM

Where to buy:
    
  

*If you purchase at changing hands and indicate you are part of Arizona Opera's Book Club you get 20% off hardcover and 10% of paperback.

Already read this book, but still want to participate? CLICK HERE to access this month's Bonus Book!

 

Somewhere in South America, at the home of the country’s vice president, a lavish birthday party is being held in honor of the powerful businessman Mr. Hosokawa. Roxane Coss, opera’s most revered soprano, has mesmerized the international guests with her singing. It is a perfect evening – until a band of gun-wielding terrorists takes the entire party hostage. But what begins as a panicked, life-threatening scenario slowly evolves into something quite different, a moment of great beauty, as terrorists and hostages forge unexpected bonds, and people from different continents become compatriots. Friendship, compassion, and the chance for great love lead the characters to forget the real danger that has been set in motion….and cannot be stopped.

 

 

Book 2: "Sing for Your Life" by Daniel Bergner
Sing for Your Life

Reading: January 11 – February 11, 2021
Meeting Date: February 11, 2021 @ 6 PM

Where to buy:
    
    

*If you purchase at changing hands and indicate you are part of Arizona Opera's Book Club you get 20% off hardcover and 10% of paperback.

 

 

Ryan Speedo Green had a tough upbringing in southeastern Virginia: his family lived in a trailer park and later a bullet-riddled house across the street from drug dealers. At the age of twelve, he was sent to Virginia’s juvenile facility of last resort. He was placed in solitary confinement. He was uncontrollable and uncontainable, with little hope for the future. Today he is a rising star performing major roles at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City and at prestigious venues around the world. Sing for Your Life chronicles Ryan’s suspenseful, racially charge, and artistically intricate journey from solitary confinement to stardom. Daniel Bergner takes readers on Ryan’s path toward redemption, introducing us to a cast o memorable characters, including the two teachers who reshaped Ryan’s life, and shedding unique light on the enduring and complex realities of race in America.

 
 

Book 3: "Cold Mountain" by Charles Frazier
Cold Mountain

Reading: February 15 – March 25, 2021
Meeting Date: March 25, 2021 @ 6 PM

Where to buy:
    
    

*If you purchase at changing hands and indicate you are part of Arizona Opera's Book Club you get 20% off hardcover and 10% of paperback.

 

 

Charles Frazier’s debut novel Cold Mountain made publishing history in 1997 when it stood at the top of the New York Times awards, including the National Book Award, and the Sue Kaufman Prize and went on to sell over four million copies. This extraordinary tale of a soldier’s perilous journey back to his beloved at the end of the Civil War is at once an enthralling adventure, a stirring love story, nominated movie starring Nicole Kidman and Jude Law, and a 2015 opera co-commissioned between Santa Fe Opera, Opera Philadelphia, and the Minnesota Opera, Cold Mountain re-creates a world gone by that continues to speak eloquently to our time.

 

 

Book 4: "The Ghosts of the Copper Queen Hotel" by John and Jean Krygelski
The Ghosts of the Copper Queen Hotel

Reading: March 29 – April 22, 2021
Meeting Date: April 22, 2021 @ 6 PM

Where to buy:
    
    

*If you purchase at changing hands and indicate you are part of Arizona Opera's Book Club you get 20% off hardcover and 10% of paperback.

 

 

Bisbee’s Historic Copper Queen Hotel was finished in the year 1902. Originally built to accommodate investors for the copper mine, the Copper Queen’s luxurious rooms and its proximity to the entrance of the infamous Brewery Gulch, a rowdy and raucous street, jam-packed with saloons and houses of ill repute, attracted many of this area’s denizens of the night. Through its over 100-year history, the Copper Queen has had countless guest check in…but a few have never checked out. This book is an eerie collection of hundreds of real-life experiences at the Copper Queen Hotel – written by the guests…in their own words!

 

 

Book 5: "The Toughest Show on Earth" by Joseph Volpe
The Toughest Show on Earth

Reading: April 26 – May 27, 2021
Meeting Date: May 27, 2021 @ 6 PM

Where to buy:
    
    

*If you purchase at changing hands and indicate you are part of Arizona Opera's Book Club you get 20% off hardcover and 10% of paperback.

 

 

The Toughest Show on Earth is the ultimate behind-the-scenes chronicle of the divas and the drama of New York’s Metropolitan Opera, by the remarkable man who rose from apprentice carpenter to general manager. Joseph Volpe gives us an anecdote-filled tour of more than four decades at the Met, an institution full of vast egos and complicated politics. With stunning candor, he writes about the general managers he worked under, his embattled rise to the top, the maneuverings of the blue-chip board and his masterful approach to making a family of such artists-stars as Luciano Pavarotti, Plácido Domingo, Teresa Stratas, and Renée Fleming, and such visionary directors ad Franco Zeffirelli, Robert Wilson, and Julie Taymor. Intimate and frank, The Toughest Show on Earth is not only essential for music lovers, but for anyone who wants to understand the inner workings of the culture business.

 


Bonus Books:

 

Bonus Book 1: "Beethoven's Hair: An Extraordinary Historical Odyssey and a Scientific Mystery Solved" by Russell Martin
Beethoven's Hair

Reading: October 19 – December 3, 2020

Where to buy:
    
  

*If you purchase at changing hands and indicate you are part of Arizona Opera's Book Club you get 20% off hardcover and 10% of paperback.

 

 

 

When Ludwig van Beethoven lay dying in 1827, a young musician named Ferdinand Hiller came to pay his respects to the great composer, snipping a lock of Beethoven’s hair as a keepsake–as was custom at the time–in the process. For a century, the lock of hair was a treasured Hiller family relic, until it somehow found its way to the town of Gilleleje, in Nazi-occupied Denmark. There, it was given to a local doctor, Kay Fremming, who was deeply involved in the effort to help save hundreds of hunted and frightened Jews. After Fremming’s death, his daughter assumed ownership of the lock, and eventually consigned it for sale at Sotheby’s, where two American Beethoven enthusiasts, Ira Brilliant and Che Guevara, purchased it in 1994. Subsequently, they and others instituted a series of complex forensic tests in the hope of finding the probable causes of the composer’s chronically bad health, his deafness, and the final demise that Ferdinand Hiller had witnessed all those years ago. The results, revealed for the first time here, are the most compelling explanation yet offered for why one of the foremost musicians the world has ever known was forced to spend much of his life in silence. In Beethoven’s Hair, Russell Martin has created a rich historical treasure hunt, a tale of false leads, amazing breakthroughs, and incredible revelations. This unique and fascinating book is a moving testament to the power of music, the lure of relics, the heroism of the Resistance movement, and the brilliance of molecular science.

Upcoming Book Club Events