Books on opera
The New Kobbe's Opera Book (New Kobbe's Opera Book), edited by  Anthony Peattie and the Earl of Harewood

A magnificent reference book.
The New York Times Essential Library: Opera : A Critic's Guide to the 100 Most Important Works and the Best Recordings (The New York Times Essential Library)
by Anthony Tommasini
Ticket to the Opera : Discovering and Exploring 100 Famous Works, History, Lore, and Singers, with Recommended Recordings
by Phil G. Goulding
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