The History of Opera is an affordable and accessible resource for the listening and appraising skills element in any music curriculum. Richard Fawkes traces the history of opera from its origins in the 16th century to the present day in the first three cassettes.
The excerpts include Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, Donizetti, Bellini, Berlioz, Gounod, Offenbach, Saint-Saens, Bizet, Verdi, Mussorgsky, Rubenstein and Tchaikovsky. The fourth cassette is devoted to the history of operetta with excerpts from Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Shostakovich, Strauss, Lehar and some light American opera.
The History of Opera helps students compare distinctive musical characteristics from a variety of styles and traditions. The narrative descriptions assist in relating the excerpts to the context in which the music was created.