Eyewitness Companions: Opera (EYEWITNESS COMPANION GUIDES)

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Spanning 400 years of musical drama, from the late Renaissance and including such classical masters as Verdi, Puccini, and Bizet, this is the complete visual guidebook to the great operas, their composers and performance history.
"Packed into every page of this book is the excitement of discovery, knowledge, taste and visual beauty. In some way, it all gives the reader the illusion of being at an actual performance." — Placido Domingo
"Opera is a beautiful guide for opera enthusiasts as well as the perfect welcome for converts to this ancient rite. It offers today's and tomorrow's audiences a delightful 'navigation system' along an avenue that leads from Monteverdi to Bob Wilson. — Stephane Lissner, Director of the Teatro alla Scala
"Richly illustrated and beautifully written, this book captures the art, lyricism, passion and excitement of opera through the ages. It is an ideal companion for opera newcomers and devotees alike." — Daniel Barenboim
"This guide is essential for serious opera buffs and newcomers alike. From basic explanations of the history of opera to details of classic scores – all told in a witty, conversational tone and accompanied by hundreds of full-color photos – Alan Riding and Leslie Dunton-Downer prove themselves, in this engaging account, to be eyewitness companions with clear vision." — Peter Gelb, General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera
"I am delighted to recommend this book to anyone who is, or thinks they may be, interested in opera. It is wonderfully illustrated and contains just the right amount of information on each composer and an insight into their operas. It's the kind of book to place on your coffee table to enjoy when you have a quiet moment. My guess is that your coffee consumption will increase!" — Bryn Terfel

Product Details

  • Series: Eyewitness Companion Guides
  • Flexibound: 432 pages
  • Publisher: DK (October 30, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0756622042
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756622046
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.1 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds

Customer Reviews

A Great Introduction to Operas and Basic Reference

One person found this helpful.
 on March 29, 2012
By Todd Carlsen
This book is the best introduction to opera and a great basic reference book for newcomers. The illustrations are terrific. The writing is thoughtful and “gets it right” on balance for an introduction to opera.

Nice introduction to opera

8 people found this helpful.
 on April 26, 2008
By Steven Peterson
It appears that I have become addicted to two book series–“The American Presidents” and “Eyewitness Companions.” This work, “Opera,” by Alan Ridings and Leslie Dunton-Downer, provides a solid introduction to the world of opera.

Well Illustrated

 on February 11, 2017
By Glen Matthews
Excellent guide, tons of photos and illustrations. Very enjoyable reference.

Great book for people who want to know about Opera

 on April 22, 2015
By My2Cats
Great book for people who want to know about Opera. Great for the beginner! Explains Opera stories in a simple way.

Five Stars

 on May 23, 2015
By Diego Amador

Four Stars

 on January 22, 2015
By Terry L. Baucom
Nice reference book.


 on July 13, 2013
By gran
Its very consise a good reference book for opera enthiusiasts. I am refering to it alot. Thank you

Opera (eyewitness companions)

One person found this helpful.
 on February 23, 2009
By Citywoman33
Book is visually interesting with great tidbits about the composers and their processes and lives.

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