A Viennese, now stage director of the Metropolitan Opera Association of New York and of the San Francisco Opera Company, writes a history of opera, from its roots in the Greek musical folk theatre to the changing aspects throughout the centuries. He pictures it as a reflection of changing society, and the present form, still clinging to dead traditions with hope that the future will bring the folk appeal alive once more. A more general survey than Brockway and Weinstock's The Opera; more critical in its view of the art and its place in the social structure. An analysis of the progress (?) from art to entertainment; the many facets, -- music, writers, singers, scenery, ballet -- and their varying modes; the nationalistic differences; the obstacles to security today with the new media of radio, television, films and a different audience. For a more advanced group of readers than the laymen constitute. Bring to attention of musical schools, study groups, teachers.