Lavishly produced and elegantly set with a wealth of material which will please opera lovers, academics and general readers. Includes articles by some of the leading music specialists in the world. Includes more than twenty black-and-white and colour pictures printed on special glossy paper in a separate plate section. Acclaimed by today's most exacting music critics, such as Rupert Christiansen (Daily Telegraph). This guide contains articles about the historical background to the opera, as well as musical and dramatic commentaries. Further articles deal with the changes in musical performance brought about in recent times by the period practice movement and with the particular uses Mozart makes of recitatives. There is also a survey of the opera's most important productions. Illustrations, a thematic guide, the full libretto with English translation and reference sections are also included.