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Thread: Article: New book - Opera Lively - The Interviews

          
   
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  1. #1
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Happy Birthday Opera Lively + Our first book

    Today Opera Lively is having its first anniversary. It was created on December 4, 2011. I would like to express my thanks to our hardworking staff, and to all our members and contributors.

    To mark the occasion, the newly created Opera Lively Press has just released our first book: "Opera Lively, The Interviews."






    It is already available for purchase in our e-store with secure protocol.

    Click [here] to get it from us - Opera Lively members in good standing can request a 20% discount code by sending a Private Message to Almaviva, and the code will be PM's back to them. The list price is $19.95 (508 pages), before discount.

    It is also available on Amazon.com, including, with Prime shipping. Click [here] to get it from them in Paperback, or Kindle edition ($8.99). Here is the link for the Kindle: [here] Even if you don't intend to buy the Kindle, this link is interesting because you can "Look Inside" the content in the Kindle store. The "Look Inside" feature will be ofered a couple of weeks ahead also for the paperback.

    Unfortunately at this time we can only offer a discount if you buy it from our own e-Store. On Amazon, though, you'll probably get it shipped faster.

    It is also available on Amazon branches in the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Germany, and France, in both paperback and Kindle edition, and in Japan and Brazil in Kindle edition only. Here are the links for these:

    United Kingdom:
    Paperback - [here]
    Kindle – [here]

    Spain:
    Paperback - [here]
    Kindle – [here]

    France:
    Paperback - [here]
    Kindle – [here]

    Germany:
    Paperback - [here]
    Kindle – [here]

    Brazil:
    Kindle only - [here]

    Japan:
    Kindle only - [here]


    A second book will follow in a few weeks, in our "The Opera Lively Guides" series: "Les Troyens"

    Here is the description of the book:

    This book released by Opera Lively Press is a pleasure to read for everybody who cares about opera (beginners are also welcome). It contains the best of one year of journalism from Opera Lively. Singers, conductors, stage and video directors, scholars, educators, opera company managers, and composers describe in eloquent terms the entire gamut of the operatic experience. Profound insights about characters and works are side by side with discussions of controversial topics such as Regietheater, critical editions, the cult of image, and the future of the art form.

    Singers include Anna Netrebko, Joyce DiDonato, Danielle de Niese, Deborah Voigt, Anna Caterina Antonacci, Piotr Beczala, Matthew Polenzani, Thomas Hampson, Luca Pisaroni, Erwin Schrott, Vivica Genaux, Saimir Pirgu, Leah Crocetto, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Bryan Hymel, Paulo Szot, Amanda Echalaz, and others. Maestro Daniele Gatti, Maestro Leon Botstein, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, stage director Thaddeus Strassberger, video director François Roussillon, musicologist Philip Gossett, veteran singer Sylvia Sass, contemporary composer Robert Ward, educator Marilyn Taylor, opera company director James Meena, and many other operatic professionals and thinkers complete the roster of 39 interviewees.

    Opera journalist Luiz Gazzola, MD, PhD, the senior editor at Opera Lively, uses his three decades of experience as a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, and opera lover to engage with the artists in a pleasant and conversational manner, while asking musically well-informed and intellectually challenging questions, in unusually deep interviews.

    From a reader: "I've read each and every one of the interviews, and I can say that, in my opinion, this is high-quality stuff. Of course, there are many interviews being offered, both online and in print, with opera singers, conductors, composers,... but these interviews are at the same time insightful, profound and entertaining, a rare combination."
    Last edited by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva); December 8th, 2012 at 07:47 AM.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  2. #2
    Banned Top Contributor Member
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    WHO'S LUIZ GAZZOLA, COOL NAME

    Like Gas-cola, some kind of drink. Can I have one glass, please.

    I won't buy the book though. I'm too poor and too far from Amazon. Anyway, is it accomplishment? These days anybody can put his "book" on sale via amazon. I wonder if it will sell and reach some serious recognition.

  3. #3
    Staff Writer & Reviewer - Life-time Donor Veteran Member Jephtha's Avatar
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    I am lucky and happy to be a member of Opera Lively on her one-year anniversary. Many happy returns of the day!

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    Senior Member Veteran Member Aksel's Avatar
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    YAY US!

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    Senior Member Top Contributor Member HarpsichordConcerto's Avatar
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    Congratulations.

    I think I shall buy a copy of the book as my token of support when it comes out. I would have preferred an autographed copy, hehe ...

    What's the Les Troyens series?

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  9. #6
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HarpsichordConcerto View Post
    Congratulations.

    I think I shall buy a copy of the book as my token of support when it comes out. I would have preferred an autographed copy, hehe ...

    What's the Les Troyens series?
    That's very kind of you, HC, thank you.
    It's not a Les Troyens series. It's a series of opera guides. The first one will be about Les Troyens. It will be about 100 pages (therefore, much cheaper than the interview book).

    By the way, when you say "when it comes out" - it's out already. The link above, and our e-Store link on top of all pages, takes you to a fully functioning, encrypted sales point.

    But yes, once it comes out on Amazon a week from now, it will be easier to get from them, I suppose. However I'm not sure if we can offer a discount when they are the ones selling it. I'll look into that. For sure, we can offer the 20% discount in our e-Store.
    Last edited by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva); December 4th, 2012 at 08:31 PM.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  10. #7
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anne of Green Gables View Post
    Anyway, is it accomplishment? These days anybody can put his "book" on sale via amazon. I wonder if it will sell and reach some serious recognition.
    Well, Aramis, given that the 39 interviews in the book required each some 20 hours of work, counting from contacting agents, scheduling, conducting the interview and recording, transcribing, formatting, and publishing, that's 780 hours of work (and I'm not even counting the traveling part, which adds hundreds of hours, not to forget the expenses).

    Also, these interviews don't come out of nowhere. They require preparation, research, listening to audio media and watching video media of the artists, looking up the artist's background and history, reading related sources (e.g., reading the 600-page book by Dr. Gossett, reading books on Mr. Richard Ward's compositions, etc.). Add some more hundreds of hours.

    Then, I spent the entire month of November working on the book itself (the interviews have been reformatted, changed in various points, edited; introductions were written, preface was written, then there was proofreading, preparation of the general index, preparation of the PDF, pagination, etc.) about 4-5 hours every evening and pretty much 12-16 hours every weekend day. The last weekend I slept 3 hours in one of the nights, and none the next one, trying to meet the Opera Lively one-year anniversary publication date (a neat symbolic fact).

    So, yes, I believe that all this hard work is an accomplishment. Sure, anybody can publish a book. It's gotta have some content, though. Putting together the content is not as easy. We have 508 pages of content. Yes, getting it done is an accomplishment, in this sense. (And I didn't do it alone, but counted on the outstanding help of the Opera Lively staff members, especially MAuer and Soave_Fanciulla who also spent several hours working on this - others helped as well). I'm very thankful to all who generously contributed with their time, effort, and support.

    Now, regarding the quality of the book and possible recognition it may or may not gather, it's not for me to say. I certainly hope that whoever buys it, will enjoy it. Some people will be likely to criticize it and find it weak. Others are likely to appreciate it. That's life.
    Last edited by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva); December 4th, 2012 at 08:28 PM.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Och, but I don't question the interviews themselves as achievement, I'm amazed how you, coming out of nowhere, just as opera lover with no background in the industry, managed to reach so many famous artists within a year from starting your project. What I was asking about is if releasing them in form of this book is another achievement in intself. You can publish stuff online and attract some good amount of readers but the paper industry is, I belive, much more difficult to get into, to sell 1000 books is much more than to get 1000 views of your page. So I was wondering if you have somehow managed to get fruits of your amazing work into that other market, that book being sign of it, or you're just trying some other idea.

  12. #9
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anne of Green Gables View Post
    Och, but I don't question the interviews themselves as achievement, I'm amazed how you, coming out of nowhere, just as opera lover with no background in the industry, managed to reach so many famous artists within a year from starting your project. What I was asking about is if releasing them in form of this book is another achievement in intself. You can publish stuff online and attract some good amount of readers but the paper industry is, I belive, much more difficult to get into, to sell 1000 books is much more than to get 1000 views of your page. So I was wondering if you have somehow managed to get fruits of your amazing work into that other market, that book being sign of it, or you're just trying some other idea.
    Thanks for the clarification. Our plan is to make of Opera Lively Press a fully functioning publishing house. We are set-up for it, business-wise. As any other small start-up, certainly we'll have initial trouble, but I'm a hard worker, so are my collaborators, therefore I'm hopeful that eventually we'll succeed.

    Yes, we have several marketing strategies lined-up. We have contacted distributors. After this initial phase on our e-Store and Amazon, we'll make any sort of corrections that may need to be made to the master printing file, and then we'll release the book to one of the big distribution conglomerates so that at least theoretically, it will be available everywhere (Barnes & Noble, etc.).

    How many copies we will sell? It's a mystery. I just know it won't be zero, since we've just sold one (and not to HC - someone else). With HC's, two, hehehe. So from two to these 1,000 you are mentioning, is a long, long, long way, and whether we'll ever reach that, I don't know. But we can certainly try. And as we publish more books with the Guides series, in the future a volume two of interviews, etc., our still small publishing house may little by little earn a reputation. So, fingers crossed.
    Last edited by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva); December 4th, 2012 at 08:55 PM.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  13. #10
    Schigolch
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    I've read each and every one of the interviews, and I can say that, in my opinion, this is high quality stuff. Of course, there are many interviews being offered, both online and in print, of opera singers, conductors, composers,... but those interviews are at the same time insightful, profound and entertaining, a rare combination.

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  15. #11
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Happy Birthday to us!

    Looking forward to the Simon Boccanegra guide
    "The world calls them its singers and poets and artists and storytellers; but they are just people who have never forgotten the way to fairyland."
    Lucy Maud Montgomery

  16. #12
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schigolch View Post
    I've read each and every one of the interviews, and I can say that, in my opinion, this is high quality stuff. Of course, there are many interviews being offered, both online and in print, of opera singers, conductors, composers,... but those interviews are at the same time insightful, profound and entertaining, a rare combination.
    Oh wow, getting this opinion from you, my friend, is very precious. Given your incredible operatic knowledge, I'm humbled and happy with your assessment of what we've tried to accomplish. Thanks!

    Edit - I've actually included this opinion in our description of the book for the e-Store.
    Last edited by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva); December 4th, 2012 at 10:07 PM.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    So in order to keep it up, you're going to the Met's Comte Ory in Januray and get interview with Zanzarone.

    Ok, don't answer, all is settled.

    Can't wait.

    And thanks.

    What's that you're mumbling?

  18. #14
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anne of Green Gables View Post
    So in order to keep it up, you're going to the Met's Comte Ory in Januray and get interview with Zanzarone.

    Ok, don't answer, all is settled.

    Can't wait.

    And thanks.

    What's that you're mumbling?
    We do have an interview with him, already. Very short, but exclusive. [here]

    And yes, we'd like to have a longer one. It would be similar to what we did with Anna Netrebko. She gave us a short email interview first, then a long in-person interview.

    I confess that I'm rather exhausted...

    We already have a very good interview with an emerging tenor, Michael Spyres, and I've been working so much on the book, that I haven't even transcribed it yet. So, the idea of getting on the road again for another batch of high-profile interviews is a bit discouraging... I'll probably just finish working on the Les Troyens guide, and get a good nice Christmas break... then in January I'll see what I'll do for new interviews. Or February, because in January I'll probably be busy promoting and marketing the book.

    We have Maestro Riccardo Muti firmly scheduled for April (I'll have to travel to Chicago to meet him) and also have a firm commitment for an interview with Giuseppe Filianoti.

    But I haven't tried a fresh batch of interview requests yet. It is likely that we'll have a lull for a while since like I said I'm currently very tired, and will need some weeks working on marketing, until I can turn my full attention to interviews again.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Senior Member Top Contributor Member HarpsichordConcerto's Avatar
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    Thanks. I shall order a copy via Amazon.co.uk.

    Thank you for all the hard work associated with the book.

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