Just as the title says, this is a basic primer on what opera is, what to look for and what to listen to. There is nothing stuffy in Plotkin's style, which is clear and idiomatic. The book also boasts a foreword by supertenor Placido Domingo.
Opera 101 by Fred Plotkin helped me get a broader taste of opera when I was stuck on Three Tenors and not in the mood to go further. Reading this made me understand the cultures behind the composers and helped me appreciate why they wrote certain operas the way they did. Plotkin writes very simply and straightforward, and he never goes over the head of the novice ... which he could have done very easily in my case. For someone … more