About This Book
Why does opera continue to attract new audiences at a time when the stream of original works that was once its lifeblood has dried to a trickle? Carolyn Abbate and Roger Parker answer this question in their modern retelling of the history of opera, examining its evolution over several centuries and its continued appeal to generations of audiences. Integral to this nuanced and engaging narrative is the ongoing exploration of the tensions that have sustained opera over four hundred years: between words and music, character and singer, the surreal and the believable. As this pair of experts argue, though the genre’s most popular and enduring works were almost all written in a distant European past, opera continues to change the viewer-physically, emotionally, and intellectually-with its enduring power.