What is opera and how does it work? How has this dramatic form developed and what is its relevance in the modern world? Perfect for music students and opera-goers, this introductory guide addresses these questions and many more, exploring opera as a complete theatrical experience. Organised chrologically and avoiding technical musical termilogy, the book clearly demonstrates how opera reflected and reacted to changes in the world around it. A special feature of the volume is the inclusion of illustrative tables throughout. These provide detailed, easy to follow analysis of arias, scenes and acts; visual guides to historical movements; and chrologies relating to genres and individual composers' works. Overall, the book fosters an understanding of opera as a living form as it encounters and uses material from an ever expanding repertoire in time, place and culture.
Robert Cannon is an independent music critic and writer and runs dedicated courses on opera and theatre. He designed and created the first Degree in Opera Studies, which is offered as Distance Learning by Rose Bruford College and is validated by the University of Manchester.