Four hundred years after it began, opera's combination of grandeur and intimacy continues to beguile audiences around the world. Covering subjects as diverse as the opening of La Scala in Milan, the legendary career of Maria Callas, and the extraordinary success of the Three Tenors, The Chronicle of Opera celebrates the great eras of music and performance, mixing fact and anecdote, personalities and stylistic development with hundreds of illustrations.Opera developed quickly from its modest beginnings as the re-creation of classical Greek drama. By the seventeenth century, the time of Monteverdi, it included all the components of much later operas: choruses, arias, recitatives, instrumental ensembles, and interludes. Toward the end of the eighteenth century, artifice had been replaced by the classical perfection and wit of Mozart. The next hundred years saw the rise of romanticism, with famous masterworks by Rossini, Donizetti, Verdi, and Wagner, while the twentieth century saw the brilliant innovations of Berg, Stravinsky, Britten, and Gershwin, among many others.A new section brings the story of opera into the twenty-first century. The comprehensive reference section includes biographies, a timeline, opera house openings and premieres, a glossary, and a discography, making this an essential reference book for all opera lovers.