The New Pocket Kobbe's Complete Opera Book is the world's leading reference work on opera, and (in the words of Bernard Levin) 'no single-volume operatic guide can possibly compare with it'.
Kobbe is the only book which summaries the libretti of the world's opera, describes their music and gives a history of their performance within a single volume. But it is a large and relatively expensive book. The new pocket edition, at a price accessible to the huge new audience for opera, has been redesigned and extended, existing entries have been rewritten, and new operas included. The total number of works covered is now over 200, including important new works like John Adams Nixon in China, Harrison Birtwistle's Gawain and Thomas Ades's Powder Her Face, and a number of half-forgotten works that are now undergoing revival. Unlike the previous edition, it is now simply arranged, alphabetically by composer.
Lord Harewood's strongly individual commentaries, together with his unparalleled knowledge of and enthusiasm for opera, make the New Pocket Kobbe a book no opera-goer can afford to be without.
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About the Author
The Earl of Harewood was the editor of Kobbe's Complete Opera Book for more than forty years, and, with Antony Peattie, edited the New Kobbe's Opera Book first published in 1997. He held many important appointments in the musical world, and was Managing Director of the English National Opera from 1972 to 1985. In recognition of his services to opera he was made KBE in 1986.
Michael Shmith, a former arts editor of the Melbourne Age, writes on music and opera for various publications. He is the author of Mahler: Musician of the Century.