`Joyce Bourne has rightly identified a gap in the operaphile’s library’ ~ BBC Music Magazine
Here is a marvelous guide to over 2,500 operatic characters, along with invaluable synopses of over 250 major works. Each entry provides a full description of the role, indicates its vocal category, and discusses who first created the part and other notable performers.
Previously titled Who’s Who in Opera, this new edition has been revised and fully updated, with a fascinating new appendix of contemporary operas of the last ten years, including detailed synopses and world premiere cast lists, plus a list of opera-related web links. The book remains a gold mine of information on opera characters, ranging from brief identifications of minor characters to extensive multipage essays of major figures. Best of all, the volume boasts more than two dozen feature articles on major characters such as Brunnhilde and Violetta, written by well-known personalities who themselves constitute a who’s who of opera. Readers will find Placido Domingo writing on the character of Otello, perhaps his greatest role. Bryn Terfel writes on Leporello, Janet Baker on Mary Stuart, Thomas Hampson on Posa, and Theodore Uppman on Billy Budd. Other contributors include Andrew Porter, Sena Junnac, Philip Langridge, Jonathan Miller, Sir Charles MacKerras, and Marie McLaughlin. New to this edition are articles by America opera stars Christine Brewer and the charismatic Joyce DiDonato. Taken together, these special articles reveal much about the creative process behind some of the most famous performances in opera history.