This book contains the definitive treatment of the stories, texts, and music of Turandot, Gianni Schicchi, The Barber of Bagdad, Thaïs, Eugen Onegin, Prince Igor, The Golden Cockerel, Elektra, Orfeo ed Euridice, Lakmé, Les Huguenots, Così fan tutte, The Seraglio, Les Troyens, Don Pasquale, La Juive, Manon, Falstaff, Louise, Pelléas and Mélisande, The Bartered Bride, Die Fledermaus, Romeo and Juliet, Der Rosenkavalier, Cavalleria Rusticana, I Pagliacci, Wozzeck, L’Heure Espagnole, and Boris Godounov. The foremost authority on opera presented in the comprehensive volume all that the opera-goer, radio listener, music-lover, and confirmed operamane will wish to know about them. It is unique as both guide and armchair companion.
Ernest Newman’s gigantic grasp of his subject is clear at every turn, as are his sheer writing ability and wit. He larded his treatment of the operas with biographical and historical materials acquired in a long lifetime of study and writing.
This is the first volume of the trilogy of books (the other two being The Wagner Operas and Seventeen Famous Operas) with which Ernest Newman wished to replace his much earlier book, Stories of the Great Operas.