The Complete Libretti of Giacomo Meyerbeer, in the Original and in Translation

Giacomo Meyerbeer, one of the most important and influential opera composers of the 19th century, enjoyed a fame during his lifetime unrivalled by any of his contemporaries. His four French grand operas were in the standard repertory of every major opera house of the world between about 1835 and 1910. But his stage works went into an eclipse after World War I, and from then until about ten years ago were performed only occasionally. Now a rediscovery and reevaluation of his music dramas seems to be under way. More performances of his operas have taken place since 1993 than occurred during the previous twenty years. And this presents a problem for anyone who wants to study the texts of his operas. Libretti of his early stage works are held by very few libraries in the world and are almost impossible to find, and libretti of his more famous later operas, when found, are invariably heavily cut and reflect the performance practices of a hundred years ago. This five volume set represents the first time that all of the composer's texts have been made available in one collection. Over half of the libretti have not appeared in print in any language for more than 150 years, and one libretto has never been in print before; all of the libretti are offered in the most complete versions ever made available, many with supplementary material appearing in adenda; each libretto is accompanied by a modern English translation; and the entire work is prefaced by an introduction written by renowned Meyerbeer authority Robert Letellier. This is the most comprehensive and up-to-date edition of Meyerbeer's operas available. Translations and originals are placed on facing pages so that ease of use is maximised.