Opera has fascinated and intrigued audiences for four hundred years. Its popularity in the late seventeenth century can only be compared to that of the modern cinema, and it has never lost its extraordinary hold on those who come under its spell. In recent years there has been a resurgence of interest in opera, especially in Canada and the United States, where new companies have developed in most of the principal cities and where new audiences have been drawn to the art form. The essays in this collection are based on the author's extensive lecturing, writing, and broadcasting on opera and are intended for the enthusiastic opera-lover. While not intended as a history of opera, this series of eighteen essays nevertheless ranges over works from every period, from Monteverdi's Orfeo (1607) to Harry Somers' Mario the Magician (1992). Essays also cover such topics as opera in Toronto, and Stravinsky as a man of the theatre.
Carl Morey began a life-long interest in opera when he worked for the Canadian Opera Company during its early years. His articles on opera have appeared in such publications as the popular journal Opera Canada, and he has been a frequent broadcaster on opera programs for the CBC. He is Professor of Musicology in the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto, where he was Dean, 1984-90, and where he now occupies the Jean A. Chalmers Chair in Canadian Music. His recent publications include MacMillan on Music (Dundurn, 1997), a collection of essays by Sir Ernest MacMillan, and Music in Canada: A Research and Information Guide (Garland Publishing, 1997). He is editor of the musical works of Glenn Gould for the German publishing house Schott.