When first published in 1947, A Short History of Opera
immediately achieved international status as a classic in the
field. Now, more than five decades later, this thoroughly revised
and expanded fourth edition informs and entertains opera lovers
just as its predecessors have.
The fourth edition incorporates new scholarship that traces the
most important developments in the evolution of musical drama.
After surveying anticipations of the operatic form in the lyric
theater of the Greeks, medieval dramatic music, and other
forerunners, the book reveals the genre's beginnings in the
seventeenth century and follows its progress to the present
A Short History of Opera examines not only the standard
performance repertoire, but also works considered important for the
genre's development. Its expanded scope investigates opera from
Eastern European countries and Finland. The section on
twentieth-century opera has been reorganized around national
operatic traditions including a chapter devoted solely to opera in
the United States, which incorporates material on the American
musical and ties between classical opera and popular musical
theater. A separate section on Chinese opera is also included.
With an extensive multilanguage bibliography, more than one
hundred musical examples, and stage illustrations, this
authoritative one-volume survey will be invaluable to students and
serious opera buffs. New fans will also find it highly accessible
and informative. Extremely thorough in its coverage, A Short
History of Opera is now more than ever the book to turn to for
anyone who wants to know about the history of this art form.
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