The Opera eBook cover $9.99 on Kindle, Nook, Apple Books, Kobo, Google Play

The Opera by Joseph Wechsberg (126,000 words)

“Opera is enjoyed only by those who know something about it. This is the idea behind this book... It was written for people who love opera and want to know a little more about its history and evolution, its lore and lure, and the people who create and re-create it.” —
Joseph Wechsberg, Foreword to The Opera

Joseph Wechsberg — musician and lifelong opera addict,
claqueur, listener and critic — takes the reader on a journey through centuries of operatic history, from Dafne, performed during the 1590s, generally thought to be the first opera, to productions at La Scala, the Metropolitan or Vienna’s Staatsoper. He explains why, of the 42,000 operas said to have been written, only a few hundred survive. These classics are discussed, with analyses of their thematic components and musical qualities and biographical vignettes of their composers, and performers.

“Mr. Wechsberg has written this book very much with the inexperienced opera-goer in mind... a readable and enjoyable summary of all that the novice to the opera house should know about. Within his survey appears a short account of operatic history and material on all the people concerned with opera: composers and librettists, singers, players, managers, conductors, producers, audiences,
claques and critics.” — M.F.R., Music & Letters

“Even the informed reader can learn from Wechsberg how to integrate his material and achieve a degree of perspective when viewing the enormous historical landscape that provides the background for the evolution of [the opera].” — Elaine Brody,