The Gilded Stage

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04Maestros And Movies20070407

For many, the history of opera conjures up great composers, works and singers. Daniel Snowman, who is writing a book about the social history of opera, suggests it also has a less familiar story: of patronage, money, audiences, architecture, and political, technological and social change. He examines opera's rising popularity in the early 20th century via the celebrity conductor and such novelties as recording and film.