It seems that this was the standard textbook for most university opera history courses at one time (at least it was when I took the course in the early 80's). However, it seems to have fallen out of favor because those of us who read the earlier editions and are now teaching opera history courses recall the writing to be confusing, if not outright dull. In my opinion this lastest edition, written with Hermione Weigel Williams, is an improvement, and I think the book deserves a second reading. After teaching our opera history course using another text, I returned to this one because I feel it provides a better narrative: there seems to be more of an effort to relate the various movements in opera to one another. This cause and effect relationship is helpful to the student in their attempt to retain the information, and as well as understand the significance of each operatic movement. Give it another chance!
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