First published in 1996 to great critical and popular acclaim, the Grove Book of Operas, is a collection of synopses and descriptions of over 250 operas. Each succinct yet insightful entry is written by a leading authority on the opera and includes a full synopsis of the plot, a cast list, a note on the singers in the original production, and information on the origins of the work and its literary and social background. Contributions conclude with a brief comment on the particular work’s place in operatic history. A glossary offers brief and accessible definitions of terms that may be unfamiliar to the reader. And indices of role names and of arias and ensembles allow the reader to find operas containing their favorite aria or a well-known character. The second edition brings the book up to date with several recently composed operas and a fascinating introductory essay by David Levin on opera performance in the 21st century. Recent additions to the operatic repertory included for the first time in this edition include Nicholas Maw, Sophie’s Choice; Poul Ruders, A Handmaid’s Tale; John Adams, Death of Klinghoffer; and Mark Adamo, Little Women. Covering all operas in the current repertory along with some less-well-known early and very modern ones, this is an ideal volume for the general opera lover.
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