The Royal Opera House

30-Second Opera Book

Live operatic performance was once part of popular culture, yet to the modern novice it can seem exclusive, overwhelming and, often, very, very long.

In 30-Second Opera, music journalist Hugo Shirley takes the reader through the many building blocks that combine to bring the medium alive: its musical history, context and language and its composers, characters and performers. Broken down into 50 neat and effective 300-word entries, each submitted from a respected selection of opera buffs, this book will lift the curtain on the various elements of opera and open up a more informed way to listen, to understand and above all to enjoy your experience of a performance.

Hugo Shirley is reviews editor at Gramophone. Formerly deputy editor of Opera and opera critic of The Spectator, he continues to work as a critic for the Daily Telegraph and Financial Times, as well as for Gramophone and Opera, writing widely on opera and classical music elsewhere. Having received his PhD from King’s College London in 2011, he also maintains a profile in musicology and published work in the Cambridge Opera Journal, The Journal of the Royal Musical Association and Music and Letters.

Forward by Kasper Holten. Contributors: John Allison, Rupert Christiansen, George Hall, Cormac Newark, Anna Picard, Hugo Shirley and Alexandra Wilson.

Published: 2015
Produced by: Ivy Press
Binding: Hardback
Pages: 160