Passionate, witty, and brilliant, Opera as Drama has been lauded as one of the most controversial, thought-provoking, and entertaining works of operatic criticism ever written. First published in 1956 and revised in 1988, Opera as Drama continues to be indispensable reading for all students and lovers of opera.
By and large, the new edition of Opera as Drama retains the spirit and format of the original ( LJ 11/1/56). However, in an effort to generalize the methodology used throughout the work, Kerman has added an interesting section outlining a viable method of opera criticism. In addition, he has modified the chapter devoted to Mozart to include a penetrating discussion of Idomeneo. The thoughtful withdrawal of somewhat callow remarks on various composers, operas, etc., will also be regarded as a welcome revision by many readers. Alterations notwithstanding, Kerman's study remains one of the most captivating books on opera to date. Highly recommended. William J. Waters, Pensacola Junior Coll., Fla.