This book was written for serial publication in the "New Music Review." The first part appeared there from June to August, 1907 and is here reprinted, practically intact, with the kind permission of the H. W. Gray Co. Of the other part merely a summary could be published by the "New Music Review" from August to October, 1908. The book had grown too bulky for magazine purposes, notwithstanding a merciless pruning of my material and a persistent effort at condensation, illustrated, for instance, by the somewhat unusual tabular form of dry but indispensable statistics of performances. That the book is written with a somewhat lighter touch than my other books, explains itself for similar reasons.
Had this survey of Early Opera in America originally not been intended for serial publication, which forbade instructive and perhaps entertaining but not absolutely necessary digressions into general operatic history, it would easily have assumed the proportions of my pendant book on "Early Concert-Life in America." Nothing essential, I believe, has been discarded; and I hope that the book will serve the twofold purpose of laying bare the roots of opera in America and of throwing light on the customs and manners of olden times.
The above paragraphs were written in September, 1910. Since then pressing duties absolutely forbade the revision of the manuscript with reference to recent literature that may shed additional light on our early operatic history. To be perfectly frank, I had neither the time nor the inclination to continue systematically