"The Times Opera Notes" has full coverage of major works by, among more than 30 others, Verdi, Wagner, Mozart, Puccini, Tchaikovsky, Handel and Strauss. It details each opera with a description of the plot, principal characters and premiere details, along with a recommended recording. Light relief within each entry is provided under the headings "Not Many People Know That" (Did you know that Puccini was arrested as a spy by the British authorities in Malta?) and "Crush Bar Gambit" ("The Pearl Fishers" as "an elaborate pathico-troilist fantasy, with an eternal triangle at its centre which is distinctly scalene"?), plus a smattering of topical cartoons. Packed with information, this book should provide an entertaining introduction to this most misunderstood of art forms. It should be an accessible yet scholarly guide to over 90 major operas.