AH: photo Clive Barda

Amanda Holden is a musician, lyricist and translator –  the only librettist to have received the Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera (2001) – as well as the only translator to receive a nomination (2012). She has written more than 60 English texts for stage and concert performance; the majority of them are opera translations.
Amanda is also the founder editor of the Penguin Opera Guides – encyclopaedic reference books detailing the lives and works of c.900 opera composers.

The Opera Guide – 100 Popular Composers will be published on 11 December and is now available for pre-order on Amazon Kindle for £8.99 by clicking the image.


This is a completely updated revision of the old Penguin Concise Guide to Opera with a lively Foreword by international opera director, David Pountney. Though it is a survey of all the best works that anyone is likely to encounter, it is also the most up-to-date opera guide available including the best works by at least 18 living composers.


‘ENO has a new translation by Amanda Holden, wittiest and most adroit of contemporary practitioners of this difficult craft.’
Michael Kennedy, Daily Telegraph

opera guide editor…

‘A Kobbé for our age… formidable.’
James Naughtie, The Times


‘his [Brett Dean's] virtuoso librettist…’
Hilary Finch, The Times


‘However mundane or however ordinary a person an operatic character is, under the scrutiny of music they are going to become something interesting; ordinariness is, after all, what a lot of us are, but we are also all slightly special.’
AH: interviewed in The Weekend Australian

The copyright in Amanda’s work is either owned by her or by their relevant publisher; it is illegal to perform any of them (in whole or in part) without prior permission.

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