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In the late 1500s in Florence, aristocrats of the Renaissance renovated classical Greek dramas into dramatic musicals and gave birth to the first operas. After centuries of transformation, the opera is still appreciated as a historically dynamic paradigm of the fine arts. Composers of the twentieth century have worked hard to fashion a voice distinct from the romantic composers of the nineteenth century and the traditions that preceded them, and this volume explores the extent of their success. Beginning with a thorough introduction to the history of operatic forms and transformation, this book presents a comprehensive discussion of twentieth century opera. Giving ear to many composers and many styles - romantic and modern and assorted variations - the discussion includes such globally renowned composers as Strauss, Puccini, Prokofiev and Mascagni, as well as the esoteric works of less famous composers. Spanning as it does from Puccini's "Tosca" and Charpentier's "Louise" to Heggie's "Dead Man Walking" and Corigliano's "The Ghosts of Versailles", twentieth century operatic form has something for every taste. The discussion is therefore structured chronologically and directed at exploring this complex diversity and ingenuity of twentieth-century styles. Examples from across the globe and first-hand commentary from contemporary operatic professionals complement the discussion. Concluding chapters comment upon the operatic presence in the twenty-first century and the future of operatic forms.