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English National Opera Guides are ideal companions to the opera.
They provide stimulating introductory articles together with the complete text of each opera in English and the original.
Rossini is one of the great operatic composers, an innovator within the whole concept of what was appropriate for serious as well as comic opera.
Moses is a score which he revised for Paris, ten years after it had been composed for Naples; the result shows the evolution of his dramatic taste over a crucial decade - from the neo-classical sublime to spectacular Romantic grand opera.
The Barber has been a consistent favorite with the public and performers since it opened, and Marco Spada analyses how its stylish comedy has been misunderstood.
Other essays throw light on the working conditions of the opera industry in Rossini's Italy, on Balzac's delightful novel concerning Moses and on the exceptional challenge of performing this type of music to a high standard.