Abramo Basevi published his study of Verdi's operas in Florence in 1859, in the middle of the composer's career. The first thorough, systematic examination of Verdi's operas, it covered the twenty works produced between 1842 and 1857—from Nabucco and Macbeth to Il trovatore, La traviata, and Aroldo. But while the Basevi's work is still widely cited and discussed—and nowhere more so than in the English-speaking world—no translation of the entire volume has previously been available. This book aims to provide a critical apparatus and commentary on Basevi's work. As a contemporary of Verdi and a trained musician, erudite scholar, and critic conversant with current and past operatic repertories, Basevi presented pointed discussion of the operas and their historical context, offering today's readers a unique window into many aspects of operatic culture, and culture in general, in Verdi's Italy. He wrote with precision on formal aspects, use of melody and orchestration, and other compositional features, which made his study an acknowledged model for the growing field of music criticism.