New in paperback! This book comes at a time when opera-lovers, singers, directors, and critics alike are taking a new look at the dramatic soprano heroines created by Giuseppe Verdi and Giacomo Puccini, endeavoring to delve beyond inherited scholarly interpretation and gain a richer understanding of these compelling female characters. Artistically limited by the bel canto musical tradition popular at the time, Verdi launched a new style dramma per musica which also demanded a new soprano archetype. This book illustrates the musical evolution of the Verdi and Puccini soprano while illuminating the dramatic scope and power of these great heroines. Avoiding critical reductionism, Verdi and Puccini Heroines provides an unprecedented and probing discussion of how these great soprano roles were conceived and executed. Accordingly, the authors take a three-dimensional look at these heroines, examining seven operas: Il Trovatore, La Forza del Destino, Aida, La Boheme, Tosca, Madama Butterfly, and Turandot. The chapters, which are fully self-contained analyses, contain translations, illustrative musical examples, supplementary notes, and references to each opera's literary sources. The musical analysis, while thorough, is descriptive and accessible to all levels of readers.