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Opera in America:
A dozen years in the making, Dizikes' work, which won the 1993 National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism, is a milestone achievement. He begins his chronicle in the early 19th century, tracing the expansion of opera in the United States while exploring its influences at the hands of politics, war and immigration. The staging of "The Bohemian Girl" in 1844, writes Dizikes, marked the birth of modern opera in the U.S. He fills out his research with rich detail about the singers, conductors, composers, patrons and fans who collectively have shepherded opera into every corner of the country--from large urban centers to rural backwaters. [via]