The English National Opera Guides were originally conceived in partnership with the English National Opera and edited by Nicholas John, the ENO's dramaturg, who died tragically in an accident in the Alps. Most of the guides are devoted to a single opera, which is described in detail--with many articles that cover its history and information about the composer and his times. The complete libretto is included in both the original language and in a modern singing translation--except where the opera was written in English. Each has a thematic guide to the most important musical themes in musical notation and each guide is lavishly illustrated. They also contain a bibliography and a discography which is updated at each reprint. The ENO guides are widely regarded as the best series of their kind and excellent value.
In just 128 pages, this book manages to include a synopsis, a history of performances and a libretto. This is such an aid to the understanding of Mozart's last opera that I cannot begin to express my gratitude. This is a book to read, re-read and have to hand every time that one places the disc on to the record deck, or CD player - and let's be honest, that should be frequently!
The back cover of my copy of this book shows that 39 other operas have been given this wonderful treatment: I shall add as many as I am able to my collection!