Learning to love
It; The Greatest
"for all libraries"
"A Passion for Opera is an informative text with the added virtue of being enjoyable to read."
---David L. Kirk
Opera and Poetry Book Reviews
PRAISE FOR A PASSION FOR OPERA
"This is a wonderful book, it is extremely informative, most intelligent, and quite beautifully
Coach of Maria Callas,
Verona Chorus Director
"Peter Fox Smith's book is a must for anyone who has been bitten, or even scratched, by the opera 'bug'.
It has Peter's unique voice and brings a great deal to the student of opera, whether beginner or aficionado."
---Robert De Cormier
Director New York Choral Society,
1970-1987. Founder and conductor of
Counterpoint the acclaimed vocal ensemble
"The author's heartfelt fervor for opera along with his astute observations should entice the most
wary to take the plunge (or deeper plunge) into the world of opera. His writing is full of life, at times
provocative, and above all warm and persuasive. The book is a passionate toast to the multi-hued form
that is opera."
Award-winning composer of numerous
instrumental and vocal compositions
including the prize-winning
opera A Death in the Family
"A Passion for Opera is exceptionally helpful for a new enthusiast like me.
Very down to earth, without all the snobbishness a person might expect. A lively read either page by page,
or by skipping around to titles of interest. Thank you Mr. Fox Smith for creating this wonderful book.
It has to be in your personal library if you have any affection for Opera in your life."
---The Royal Anne
"As a relatively new opera lover (opera has only really been in my heart for a couple of years),
I felt that it was time to take my love to a new level and really get to know opera better.
I've read several other books writen on the subject (so-called guides), and so far this is the one
I will most be recommending to fellow enthousiasts. The first reason is that it is written by someone
who genuinely loves opera, and you can feel him smiling as he writes. The composers, librettists,
characters, and singers are all old friends that he can't wait to introduce you to.
The second reason is that, despite the length of the book, it is delightfully readable.
Smith acts as your tour guide through the world of opera, and along the way he invites you to explore
the landscape with him in a tone that makes you feel like you are walking side by side. Along the way
he takes many interesting detours which do nothing but enhance the trip. His prose is sometimes
conversational, always intelligent and thoughtful. He never throws a bunch of jargon at you, nor
does he try to show too much at once. Everything unfolds in a very natural progression.
Finally, the last reason to make this your opera guide is its scope. Of course, for an author to
cover everything in opera history would take many volumes, but Smith does a good job of giving
adequate attention to the major players in his 700 page book. As Smith himself notes in the preface,
it is a book that you can use as a resource to prepare yourself for going to see, say,
"Der Rosenkavalier". But it's much more than just a resource book because it's one you'll enjoy
reading cover to cover.
I stated that this is an opera guide for the heart and mind, and I meant it.
You'll build a pretty solid foundation of knowledge about the opera while simultaniously having the
flames of your passion for it fanned. You'll find yourself running out to build your library of cds
and libretti, and maybe even checking out the price of season tickets at your local opera house."
Poetry Book Reviews
NORTH POMFRET POEMS
"I have been reading your poems evenings. Very enjoyable. A wonderful mix of erudition,
whimsy, and gloom. Thanks for making them available."
---W. W. , M. D.
Harvard Medical School
"North Pomfret Poems reveals an astonishing array of personalities, and all those
puckish word plays and twists...What a treat."
---M. Bouchard, Author
"The poems are wonderfully various---some robust and daring, others melancholy
and contemplative, and some downright funny."
VOICES OF THE MILLENNIUM
"I was thrilled, almost overwhelmed by the gift of your latest poetry book. Your multi-faceted
creative gifts are a continuous blessed presence in my life."
---B.L. Hanover, NH
"You've captured an essence of nature and rural life that I envy. I shall continue to recall
your images of leaves in senseless swirls as we enter the fall season with 'birds locked in flight'."
---S. W. Darien, CT
PIDDLE DOODLE MEMOIR
"I had been charmed, delighted, shocked, and inspired."
---Chuck Gunderson, Author
"I read the entire book from cover to cover. The drawings are perfectly delightful. It was a clever,
inventive idea and I am enjoying it immensely."
---John Paulus Semple
Internationally Famous Artist
SISTERS OF EVE
"This is Peter Fox Smith's finest volume of poetry to date. A splendid balance between the somber and
---W. Travis Watkins, Barrister
"I so much enjoy reading Peter's poems when I design his books it takes me much longer to get my work done."
"I love reading my grandfather's poems. I just finished SISTERS OF EVE and have shared my favorites."
---Andrew Fox Smith
George Mason University
"There are little ditties that tease and please, while others bring us aching images like
"Cassandra's Dust," a loving paean to his wife Joanne's 37th birthday (and beyond), a call to arms for
ecological sanity in "Dominique's Daffodils," looking death in the eye in "Clara's Lament," or skewering
war monger George Bush in "Women United Against War Crimes."
But the book would not be complete without Peter swooning, spooning, and crooning about
sex: "May Day" is short and sweet, "Nan" is down and dirty; there's plenty more to whet your
---Donald Mahler, Journalist