This magisterial account of the evolution of the early opera house as a building type, the teatro all'italiano, stems from the author's long-standing interest in the subject, beginning in the late 1970s, when he was on sabbatical at the Biblioteca Hertziana in Rome. Inventing the Opera House integrates many publications dating from before and after these initial investigations, drawing together an extensive body of scholarship that until now has been largely published only in Italian and focused on individual buildings. By synthesizing this literature into a single account, Eugene J. Johnson makes it accessible to a wider audience. He recounts the story of a building type that...

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