OPERA SYNOPSES- A Guide to the Plots and Characters of the Standard Operas BY J. WALKER. Originally published in 1911.PREFACE TO THE THIRD EDITION: THE present edition differs so radically from the former printings of Opera Synopses that a word of explanation may be necessary. In 1911, the first edition appeared as a small handy volume, containing the plots and characters of some sixty-four operas. These were carefully chosen to in clude only such - as were in the active repertory. After the book appeared a new impulse was given to operatic production in the rise of the Manhattan Opera Company, the Chicago Opera Company and others. New operas were constantly being produced, some of which flashed like meteors across the musical sky, only to disappear. However, a fair number seemed destined to become fixed stars. In 1915, a new edition of Opera Synopses appeared taking note of these additions and including twenty-four operas more, or eighty-eight in all. Still the effort was to limit the book to the actual working list of current productions. With the lapse of six years more, marking a decade since Opera Synopses first appeared, the demand has come for a more comprehensive book. We have accord ingly taken advantage of this new printing to revise its scope and contents thoroughly. The material has been rearranged to proceed by composers, rather than by operas, so that the reader can follow the work of each man as a whole. Puccini, for example, is treated in a separate chapter, in which will be found, first, a biographical note followed by the characters and plot of each important opera by this composer. Sixty-six composers are thus discussed, and the ar guments of one hundred and forty-three operas given. Still others are accorded briefer mention. This new material has not been added indiscriminately, or because of some isolated production on the stage. The writer prepared a carefully tabulated score for his own use, showing the first production of each opera and the number of times it has recently been performed. Where the opera has shown no evidence of longevity, we have thought best not to include it. A few ephemeral works may have crept in, notwithstanding but our constant effort has been to make not so much a complete 7 work as a practical handbook of usable material. To those readers who liked the former plan of alpha betical arrangement by operas, we would direct attention to the Index at the back of this volume, which has been reduced to its simplest form only the composers and titles of operas to facilitate search. The text of this book itself is arranged alphabetically by composers, as shown in the Table of Contents. The author wishes to take this renewed opportunity to thank the many friends who have welcomed the book in its former dress. We have had friendly echoes from London, Paris, and even farther afield as well as from music-lovers at home and members of the Metropolitan Opera cast. May this larger, more comprehensive work render a still broader service than its predecessors. J. W. M. Montelair, N. J. May 13, 1921.