This is a work on 175 operas by 63 different composers. The selected operas are those most frequently encountered in opera houses or on recordings. Each entry will set the opera within the context of its composer's career, outline the plot, discuss the music and give relevant background information on the provenance of the libretto, for example. Details of the first performance, and subsequent performance history will be given, as well as guidance on the relative quality of available recordings. The Yale Companion to Opera targets the regular opera-goer and the committed newcomer, rather than the academic specialist or the oneoff attender. It is not an encyclopaedia, covering every known opera, but only those with a realistic chance of public performance. It is equally concerned with the music, the plot, the libretto and the staging, and seeks to enhance the appreciation of the intelligent opera-goer.