Art & Photography Books:

A History of Opera

The Last Four Hundred Years


Paperback / softback

Customer rating

Click to share your rating 0 ratings (0.0/5.0 average) Thanks for your vote!

Share this product

A History of Opera by Carolyn Abbate
40% off
$29.99 was $49.99
or 4 payments of $7.50 with Learn more
In stock with supplier

The item is brand new and in-stock in with one of our preferred suppliers. The item will ship from the Mighty Ape warehouse within the timeframe shown below.

Usually ships within 10-14 days


Delivering to:

Estimated arrival:

  • Around 9-15 October using Express Delivery
    Mighty Ape can deliver this product within 1-2 business days (usually overnight) to urban centres across Australia, and some remote areas. Learn more
  • Around 10-17 October using standard courier delivery


Why has opera transfixed and fascinated audiences for centuries? Carolyn Abbate and Roger Parker answer this question in their scrupulous and provocative retelling of the history of opera, examining its development, the means by which it communicates, and its societal role. In a new revision with an expanded examination of opera as an institution in the twenty-first century this book explores the tensions that have sustained opera over 400 years- between words and music, character and singer, inattention and absorption. Abbate and Parker argue that, though the genre's most popular and enduring works were almost all written in a distant European past, opera continues to transform the viewer with its enduring power. 'A joy . . . essential reading for anyone seeking an engaging and highly informed chronicle of the great composers and their works . . . takes the story of opera from its roots in late-Renaissance Italy via Mozart, Rossini, Wagner, Verdi, Puccini, Strauss and many less familiar figures through to Berg, Britten and beyond.' Daniel Snowman, Opera 'A virtuoso performance . . . fantastically clear-sighted and down-to-earth . . . Abbate and Parker guide us through this complicated story in beautiful, uncluttered prose . . . a fantastic read.' Igor Toronyi-Lalic, Daily Telegraph 'Abbate and Parker wear their academic background lightly, bringing to life the social as well as artistic origins of opera, and casting an unhackneyed perspective on well-known works.' Andrew Clark, Financial Times Books of the Year 'Fresh, brave, challenging and, above all, useful.' Literary Review 'Brims with insight, and polemic.' New Yorker

Author Biography

Carolyn Abbate is Professor of Music at Harvard University and the author of Unsung Voices and In Search of Opera. Her work has been translated into many languages. She herself is a translator, and has been involved in theatre as a dramaturge and director. Roger Parker is Professor of Music at King's College, London, and the author of Leonora's Last Act and Remaking the Song. He is founding co-editor of the Donizetti critical edition, and editor of The Oxford Illustrated History of Opera.
Release date Australia
April 29th, 2015
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
24 pp colour inset
Penguin Books Ltd
Product ID

Customer reviews

Nobody has reviewed this product yet. You could be the first!

Write a Review

Marketplace listings

There are no Marketplace listings available for this product currently.
Already own it? Create a free listing and pay just 9% commission when it sells!

Sell Yours Here

Help & options

  • If you think we've made a mistake or omitted details, please send us your feedback. Send Feedback
  • If you have a question or problem with this product, visit our Help section. Get Help
  • Seen a lower price for this product elsewhere? We'll do our best to beat it. Request a better price
Filed under...