B1691. Christopher Morgan. Don Carlos and Company - the True Stories Behind Eight Well-Loved Operas. New York, Oxford University Press, 1996. 264pp. Index; Bibliography; Illus. (Pictorial thick paper covers) - 0-19-288009-8 9780192880093
"Opera-lover Christopher Morgan wanted to know more about the historical facts on which operatic stories were based, yet he could find no one book which gave him the background he wanted. He therefore set upon writing such a book himself, taking eight of the most popular and frequently performed operas as his starting point. His search for material led him into libraries all over Europe, exploring little-known corners of European history, often to discover that the real story behind the opera libretto is even more dramatic than its operatic counterpart. Beautifully illustrated and accessibly written, DON CARLOS AND COMPANY tells the stories behind DON CARLOS, SIMON BOCCANEGRA, IL TROVATORE, RIGOLETTO, LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR, UN BALLO IN MASCHERA, LA TRAVIATA and LA BOHME. Throughout, it is endlessly fascinating to see how fact and fiction overlap, and from what obscure sources a major work of imagination can spring. The stories range from fourteenth-century Genoa to nineteenth-century Paris, and are accompanied in each case by a brief summary of the operatic plot. DON CARLOS AND COMPANY will add to any listener's enjoyment and understanding of opera, and will be of interest to anyone who appreciates historical detective work. Christopher Morgan has had a lifelong enthusiasm for opera, and his career - first in the army and then in industry - allowed him to pursue his interest in a number of countries."
- Loyal Bluto