”Opera, combining as its does music and drama, is a particularly exciting experience and can rightly be considered great art. And yet opera is so often regarded as rather specialised interest which can be enjoyed only by a fortunate few. Robin May’s enthusiastic introduction dispels this image and shows how opera is, in many countries, very much a ’popular’ art form. He traces the history of opera from its beginnings in Italy, through the development of the Romantic movement and its full flowering in Wagner and Verdi, to the importance of opera as a focus of nationalism and to the realism of Puccini and its followers. Finally, Robin May looks at opera and its future round the world today. This is the ideal book for the newcomer to the opera-house and for all those who want a perspective on what they have seen and an understanding of what contributes to a great performance.”
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