The Opera Lover’s Companion

Charles Osborne

View Inside Format: Cloth
Price: $40.00
Our shopping cart only supports Mozilla Firefox. Please ensure you're using that browser before attempting to purchase.

Also Available in:

Out of Print

This engaging guide to the 175 most popular operas will enhance the experience of every opera lover. Written by a well-known authority, the book consists of entries that set each opera within the context of its composer’s career, outline the plot, discuss the music, and give relevant background information on the libretto, the staging, and the most famous and influential interpreters of the principal roles. In addition, the entries recount details of the first performance and subsequent performance history and provide guidance on the relative quality of available recordings.

Aimed at opera lovers and committed newcomers rather than specialists, The Opera-Lover’s Companion does not set out to cover every opera but only those most frequently encountered in opera houses or on recordings. Although the book is dominated by the five great opera composers—Mozart, Verdi, Wagner, Puccini, and Strauss—fifty-eight other composers are also represented.

It is always more pleasurable to go to the opera with a knowledgeable and experienced companion. If you can’t, you’ll want to take this book.

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.

 "A loving and expert guide to the great operas in the repertoire, written from many years of experience. A must for all opera lovers young and old. I love it."—Dame Joan Sutherland

"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

"He is the informed, enthusiastic companion whose comments will help all opera goers, whether old hands or first timers, to enjoy the experience more."—Richard Fawkes, Classical Music

"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


"This book is exactly what the title claims: an opera lover's companion. Reading it is like going to the opera with a knowledgable 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


“An erudite, instructive and unpretentious guide.”—Michael Kennedy, The Sunday Telegraph

"...this is just the right level for anyone who likes listening to opera and would like to know a bit more or, indeed, a good place for newscomers to opera to start." --- The Good Book Guide

"…lucid, humane, expressive, scholarly without pomposity. The book covers nearly 200 operas, singling out musical high points and placing each work in the context of its composer’s career."---The Sunday Telegraph

Received rating of "Outstanding" from 2005 University Press Books Committee
ISBN: 9780300104400
Publication Date: September 10, 2004
640 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4