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Each Opera Guide contains the complete text of an opera in the original, with a parallel English translation, introductory essays, numerous musical examples and illustrations.
'The subject cannot fail!' exulted Verdi, when recommending Victor Hugo's play, Le Roi s'amuse, to his librettist.
But the censors made every effort to stop it... and the baritone was not easily convinced that a hunchback role would suit him.
Jonathan Keates gives a vivid insight into the composition of a masterpiece.
Verdi long afterwards thought it was his best work, and Roger Parker explains why.
Peter Nichols, author of several best-selling books in Italy, picks out some of the peculiarly Italian attitudes and characters in the opera which make it timeless and unnervingly modern.
Falstaff - English National Opera Guide 10 - includes libretto
Un ballo in maschera - A Masked Ball - English National Opera Guide 40