The Dictionary of the Opera

Charles Osborne
ISBN 9781566491082 (paperback)
Published in December 1999
MSRP $16.95
"A great asset to students and lovers of opera."
- Joan Sutherland, A.C., D.B.E.
The international opera authority Charles Osborne is renowned throughout the world for his writing, broadcasting and lecturing on opera. The freshly updated and revised Dictionary of the Opera is an indispensable tool for enjoying the world's most comprehensive art form: analyses of librettos, performance, and music costume designs, historic productions, and descriptions of the great opera houses will inform and delight opera buffs, newcomers to the art, and everyone in between.

The Dictionary of the Opera features entries on nearly 300 composers, as well as 800 singers, conductors, producers, set designers, librettists, and others. Arranged alphabetically and cross-referenced, the entries include authoritative comments by the author on the composers' careers, historical and technical information, plot summaries of 570 operas, and historical and contemporary critical receptions of the works and performances. 170 photographs and illustrations, spanning the history of opera from its beginnings to the present, accompany the text.

The Dictionary of Opera has been updated to take into account changes in the world of opera since the first edition:

-Entries have been added for performers who have appeared in recent years

-Photos have been updated to reflect productions and signers who have become prominent since the first edition

-Greater attention is given to American productions and singers

-The section on opera houses has been updated with the addition of entries on houses (like the Maryinsky, home of the Kirov) that have become important since the first edition.

Charles Osborne is the author of a number of books on the operas of Verdi, Mozart, Puccini, Strauss, and Wagner, as well as of a biography of W.H. Auden and a volume of memoirs, Giving It Away. He was director of the Arts Council of Great Britain from 1966 to 1985, and then became chief theater critic of the London Daily Telegraph. His distinguished career as a broadcaster on musical and literary subjects began in 1954 at the BBC; he has been a member of the board of Opera magazine since 1950 and is a regular guest on the Metropolitan Opera Quiz.