Book look: Siegert’s opera, Schmöe’s suspense and soccer supporters

The romantic, gripping, dramatic but also entertaining world of operas seems to be shielded by an 1invincible wall, keeping potentially interested fans of art away from discovering its beauty. Many appear to be scared and intimidated by the works’ complexity and importance. A new guide into the opera cosmos could become a door opener for those who have not yet dared to enter. Stefan Siegert not only tells and explains the plots of 17 famous operas. Siegert also created cartoons to illustrate his new book, “Bravo, bravissimo! Oper für Einsteiger”, which is out now by Reclam. Siegert writes about Giacomo Puccini’s “La Boheme”, Gioachino Rossini’s “Il barbiere di Siviglia” (The Barber of Seville) and several works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and other famous composers. His concept of funny illustrations and competent explanations might bring operas – and all their drama of love and war, romance and betrayal – closer to the people.

Bravo, bravissimo! Oper für Einsteiger
By Stefan Siegert
Published by Reclam (

Those who doubt claims that Austria’s literature scene is prospering should take schaurigea closer look at the range of releases of Gmeiner Verlag. The German publishing house has specialised on novels by German and Austrian writers. Their stories take place on the countryside or in Vienna and other cities. One of the most successful authors presented by Gmeiner is Friederike Schmöe. The Coburg-born novelist started writing crime stories in 2000. Her new book “Schaurige Weihnacht überall” – which tells from a not very idyllic Christmas time – is already the 20th book released by Gmeiner. Among previous Gmeiner publications, there are her crime novels “Maskenspiel (2005)”, “Schockstarre” (2007) and “Wernievergibt” (2011).

Schaurige Weihnacht überall
By Friederike Schmöe
Published by Gmeiner (

After noticing how many books are released about the greatest goals, pspieltaglayers and matches of the German Football Bundesliga since its foundation in 1963, Hardy Grüne decided to create a picture book dedicated to the fans. The 400 photographs featured in “Wenn Spieltag ist. Fußballfans in der Bundesliga” present the fantastic fan culture in Germany. However, Grüne and his co-authors Nicole Selmer and Christoph Ruf did not ignore the dark sides of the game either. They describe how a majority of fans fight emerging far-right and nationalist propaganda on the stands. Furthermore, they write about the different kinds of soccer enthusiasts, violence, fashion aspects, food and booze, choreographies and hooligans. “Wenn Spieltag ist. Fußballfans in der Bundesliga” offers a comprehensive look on the simple and complex world of fans of the popular sport – from supporting their favourite team to thinking about being buried in a coffin designed in the club colours.

Wenn Spieltag ist. Fußballfans in der Bundesliga
By Hardy Grüne, Nicole Selmer and Christoph Ruf
Published by Verlag Die Werkstatt (

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