This book is about the drama that takes place within the world of opera and provides an insight into how opera has evolved and functions. The Creators describes some of the ways that composers use the language of music, and liaise with their librettists. The Re-Creators explains the functions of conductors, producers, designers, repetiteurs, the chorus and orchestra, singers, the Fach system (by which voice types are categorised), understudies, and the prompter. Information is provided on Training, the Audition Process, Competitions, the Rehearsal Schedule, Opera Administration and the Audience (including its effect on the performers), as well as on the claque system, types of applause, and music critics (and their effect on the artist). Opera companies (festival, seasonal and touring), television opera and video performances are all fully explored. A final Overview explains how opera has adapted to changing social conditions from Monteverdi to the present day, and points to what the future might hold. An Interlude includes a number of humorous incidents and cautionary tales, and a comprehensive Glossary unravels the jargon of the most frequently used operatic terms.