The Opera Journeys Mini Guide Series is just wonderful; it's like a "Cliff Note" of the opera, and extremely informative and educational. I particularly like the size; these guides are not cumbersome and fit right into my shirt pocket. The ladies will find sufficient room in their pocketbooks.
The story narrative with the music examples is excellent. I prefer it to a libretto; indeed, it's a much easier way to follow the essence of the story. The essay is magnificent; very well written, not pedantic, and extremely insightful and comprehensible. I congratulate Burton Fisher for a job very well done and Amazon for making these handy, information-laden booklets available. The Opera Journeys Mini Guide Series is a wonderful contribution to opera education and opera appreciation.
My tip: acquire the entire collection because you will be in easy reach of superbly presented opera guides consisting of story analysis, principal characters in the opera, story narrative with music highlights, background, analysis, and commentary.
Heinz Dinter, Ph.D.