No full-length study has ever been written on Il trovatore, in his day Verdi's most successful stage work. This book by one of the world's great Verdi authorities fills that gap, providing a comprehensive look at the opera, from its genesis and structure to its early performance history and critical reception. Starting with the background of the opera, the volume traces the origins of the original play by Antonio Garcia Gutierrez, El trovador, and offers a new, more credible source for the drama. In addition, it examines the evolution of the libretto, the music, and the arrangement of the narrative, revealing innovative musical and dramatic features not seen by other critics. The book also includes a discussion of contemporary reviews and a section on some of the important performers in the twentieth century (for example, Toscanini and Caruso), as well as a consideration of several of the more unusual stagings of the work mounted during the final decades of the century. With these and other explorations, Martin Chusid offers a thorough survey of Verdi's Il trovatore and in the process deepens and enhances our encounter with one of the mainstays of the operatic reparatory. Martin Chusid is professor emeritus of music, New York University, and founding director of the American Institute for Verdi Studies.