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Night at the Opera

The Opera was immensely popular in the nineteenth century, people hummed and whistled the famous aria’s on the streets. In fact the opera in those days compares to the pop music in our days.

Many people could not afford to visit the famous opera theatres in Europe, s a market emerged for arrangements of opera melodies. In this way people could play them at home or perform them in clubs on their own instruments.

Johann Kaspar Mertz (1806 - 1856) responded to this trend with his Opera Revue Op. 8 and various fantasies on opera melodies. These works require a high level of technical skill on the guitar.

Mertz did compose some more easy arrangements in his Kukuk oder Musikalische Rundschau, a collection of 12 compilations of short performance pieces for the guitar. This collection contains a large number of arrangements of opera melodies, amongst others by Bellini, Verdi, Meyerbeer.

The opera melodies are the subject of this book. Besides the scores, this book contains brief descriptions of the opera composers and the relevant operas themselves. The book has 84 pages. Click here for a leaf-through.

Mertz was a quite prolific composer that presented some very demanding repertoire. His early works, however, are easier to play. These pieces are included in the collection Dame’s Violet. The book includes Mertz’ first four opus numbers and a number of pieces from Kukuk oder Musikalische Rundschau and Bärdenklange. The book has 70 pages. Click here for a leaf-through.

The price of Night at the Opera is € 22.50, excluding shipping cost. Dame’s Violet has a price of € 22.00, excluding shipping cost.

If you would like to purchase a copy: send an email to in order to discuss the details of the order.