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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best guide there is, 14 April 2010
By 
Mr. K. P. Rogers "rogers_kp" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The New Penguin Opera Guide (Penguin Reference Books) (Paperback)
I am an international opera reviewer, and this is the book I always turn to first if I want to know something. It's breadth of coverage is superb, and the background information on each opera it features is always informative. The synopses, too, are superb.

This book is for anyone with even a passing interest in opera, and it's even great as a gift to introduce opera to someone. The coverage is superb, with about 2,000 operas discussed in detail, including cast lists, orchestral forces, commentary on the background of the work, a synopsis of the plot and a musical analysis directing the listener to the highlights and points of interest. Recording histories, and premiere performances are included, so you can even use this as an authoritative guide for buying or pursuing scores.

For general reading, the book is immediately accessible. Biographical information on about 850 composers is very useful, and to have all this information in one volume is a first (no other book, I believe, contains information on every Handel opera, for example). There are plenty of pictures from operas throughout, that show modern as well as traditional stagings, from opera houses throughout the world.

Amanda Holden is an excellent editor, and she is well-known in the opera world, especially as a translator and producer of librettos.

The New Penguin Guide first appeared as The Viking Guide to Opera in 1993. It was revised and updated as this incarnation. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent armchair companion for the opera buff., 26 Jan. 2014
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Excellent condition at an excellent price; a replacement for an old and much used version. This book is a must for opera fans, particularly with such excellent performances availble on TV, DVD and CD.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very informative and a real challenge to learn more about the subject., 1 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: The New Penguin Opera Guide (Penguin Reference Books) (Paperback)
Did not like that the copy , although good , was an x library, but very happy to have obtained the book.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 21 Feb. 2015
By 
Mr. Malcolm Bannister (Derbyshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Ordered for a friend.
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The New Penguin Opera Guide (Penguin Reference Books)
The New Penguin Opera Guide (Penguin Reference Books) by Amanda Holden (Paperback - 25 Sept. 2003)
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