Opera is all about intense emotion, magical music and overwhelming theatrical spectacle. In this exciting new guide, the many myths that surround opera are exploded, while its transformation from inaccessible high art to affordable, dramatically realistic and easy-to-encounter drama is revealed. The powerful principal players in the opera world - the maestros, superstar divas and directors - are examined in fascinating detail, and questions are asked of opera's future in a world where such extravagant entertainment can seem at odds with the rest of today's popular culture. Whether you are completely new to the genre or a regular opera-goer wanting to learn more, Opera makes for essential reading.
Acclaimed director, producer and author Dennis Marks' work ranged from high-profile historical documentaries to award-winning films of contemporary operas. As a former Head of Music at BBC TV, Dennis was responsible for the corporation's televised music and dance - including the Proms - while from 1993 to 1997 he was the General Director of English National Opera, Europe's largest permanent opera company. Dennis has written and presented BBC Radio 3 celebrations on the life and work of Verdi, Walton, Berlioz and Janacek, and is currently writing a biography of the composer Sir Michael Tippett.