1996. Edited by John Warrak and Ewan West. "Derived from the full Oxford Dictionary of Opera, this is the most authoritative and up-to-date dictionary of opera available in paperback. Fully revised for this new edition, with over 3,500 entries, it is designed to be accessible to all those who enjoy opera, whether at the opera-house oron record. * Composers and their works * Singers and their notable performances * Plot summaries and separate entries for well-known roles, arias, and choruses, Leading conductors, producers, and designers, Opera companies and festivals."
2002, Denis Arnold, et al, through Oxford Music Online. Includes concise articles on:
1. The origins of opera
2. From the Florentines to the 1640s
3. From the opening of the public opera houses to the 1730s
4. Serious opera in France until the Revolution
5. Rococo and reform in opera seria, 1725–90
6. Comic opera until the time of Mozart
9. French opera in the 19th century
10. Italy during the 19th and early 20th centuries
11. German opera from Mozart to Richard Strauss
12. Opera elsewhere in western Europe
13. Slavonic opera
14. The 20th century: Symbolism
16. Russian fantasy
17. Naturalism renewed
18. Myth and allegory
19. Music theatre versus opera
20. Opera today
The Metropolitan Opera Encyclopedia: a comprehensive guide to the world of opera
2009, by Joyce Bourne. "A unique and authoritative A-Z reference work that will answer all your questions on who's who in opera. Contains over 2,500 lively entries on operatic characters, with information on the creator of the role and notable performances. From Aeneas to Zaida, A Book of Opera Characters providesextensive coverage of all the characters in operas from around the world and gives synopses for over 200 operas and operettas. It includes feature articles written by well-known personalities from the world of opera, such as Placido Domingo and Dame Janet Baker, plus, new to this edition, articlescontributed by Christine Brewer and Joyce DiDonato. Recommended opera-related web links are listed for relevant and up-to-date extra information. The appendix of contemporary opera of the last ten years provides detailed synopses followed by the cast list of people who sang at the world premiere.This book is an invaluable source of reference for professionals and amateurs alike, and a fascinating read for anyone curious about opera, for example, who did marry Figaro?"
2006, edited by Stanley Sadie and David Levin. "First published in 1996 to great critical and popular acclaim, the Grove Book of Operas, is a collection of synopses and descriptions of over 250 operas. Each succinct yet insightful entry is written by a leading authority on the opera and includes a full synopsis of the plot, a cast list, anote on the singers in the original production, and information on the origins of the work and its literary and social background. Contributions conclude with a brief comment on the particular work's place in operatic history. A glossary offers brief and accessible definitions of terms that may beunfamiliar to the reader. And indices of role names and of arias and ensembles allow the reader to find operas containing their favorite aria or a well-known character. The second edition brings the book up to date with several recently composed operas and a fascinating introductory essay by David Levin on opera performance in the 21st century. Recent additions to the operatic repertory included for the first time in this edition include Nicholas Maw, Sophie'sChoice; Poul Ruders, A Handmaid's Tale; John Adams, Death of Klinghoffer; and Mark Adamo, Little Women. Covering all operas in the current repertory along with some less-well-known early and very modern ones, this is an ideal volume for the general opera lover."
1987, Kobbe and Harewood. "Now, after more than ten years, this famous work of the stories of more than 300 of the world's great operas has been entirely revised, updated, expanded, and reset in a manner zestfully responsive to the explosion of enthusiasm for opera over the last decade."