As every singer and lover of French opera knows, editions of even the best-known French operatic arias are difficult and sometimes expensive to obtain. Roger Nichols' scrupulously balanced selection of 19th-century French arias provides the perfect starting point for wider exploration and comes complete with translations and guidance on pronunciation. Nichols, who has championed French music in his writings, talks and radio broadcasts over three decades with eloquence and scholarship, is the ideal guide to this repertoire. He does not ignore masterpieces by composers of the stature of Fauré and Duparc, but sets them alongside music – almost impossible to find elsewhere in print – by under-estimated figures such as Reber, Viardot, Massé and Paladilhe. Even the more celebrated songs are often not easily found in practical editions, which makes this selection an ideal starting point for wider exploration.