Spanning 400 years of musical drama, from the late Renaissance and including such classical masters as Verdi, Puccini, and Bizet, this is the complete visual guidebook to the great operas, their composers and performance history.
"Packed into every page of this book is the excitement of discovery, knowledge, taste and visual beauty. In some way, it all gives the reader the illusion of being at an actual performance." -- Placido Domingo
"Opera is a beautiful guide for opera enthusiasts as well as the perfect welcome for converts to this ancient rite. It offers today's and tomorrow's audiences a delightful 'navigation system' along an avenue that leads from Monteverdi to Bob Wilson. -- Stephane Lissner, Director of the Teatro alla Scala
"Richly illustrated and beautifully written, this book captures the art, lyricism, passion and excitement of opera through the ages. It is an ideal companion for opera newcomers and devotees alike." -- Daniel Barenboim
"This guide is essential for serious opera buffs and newcomers alike. From basic explanations of the history of opera to details of classic scores - all told in a witty, conversational tone and accompanied by hundreds of full-color photos - Alan Riding and Leslie Dunton-Downer prove themselves, in this engaging account, to be eyewitness companions with clear vision." -- Peter Gelb, General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera
"I am delighted to recommend this book to anyone who is, or thinks they may be, interested in opera. It is wonderfully illustrated and contains just the right amount of information on each composer and an insight into their operas. It's the kind of book to place on your coffee table to enjoy when you have a quiet moment. My guess is that your coffee consumption will increase!" -- Bryn Terfel