Every opera lover enjoys a performance more when accompanied by a knowledgeable friend. In this indispensable guide, well-known opera critic Charles Osborne provides exactly that. Osborne fills in the details on 175 of the world's most frequently performed operas, including facts about the composer and the music, a plot outline, accounts of famous performers, and much more.
"This book is exactly what the title claims: an opera lover's companion. Reading it is like going to the opera with a knowledgeable friend who tells you enough to make you want to see the piece but not so much you're drowned in superfluous detail."-Richard Fawkes, Opera Now
"What this invaluable book contains is the ideal rundown on 175 operas from Auber's Fra Diavolo to Zimmerman's Die Soldaten, in each case putting the work in context within the composer's development, with a list of characters, a short synopsis and pointers towards the most imortant arias, duets and ensembles, all in a personal congenial tone, like unto an operatically wise and loving uncle."-Denby Richards, Musical Opinion
"An erudite, instructive and unpretentious guide."-Michael Kennedy, The Sunday Telegraph
"It's hard to imagine any other book on the subject more informative and helpful to the average enthusiast. . . . This book is one you'll cherish."-Books in Canada
Charles Osborne is a well-known writer, critic, and opera specialist who has been London music critic of the New York Times and chief drama critic of the London Daily Telegraph. The author of many books on operas, he lectures regularly in the United States, attends the major opera festivals around the world, sits on award panels, and broadcasts extensively.