Fred Plotkin is one of the world’s foremost opera experts, noted for the depth and breadth of his knowledge and for the joy and ease with which he shares it. He is the author of Opera 101: A Complete Guide to Learning and Loving Opera, the best-selling standard text in America for opera education. He is the author of seven books on Italian food and wine. He has lectured, taught, consulted and held managerial or artistic roles at some of the top opera companies, including La Scala; the Metropolitan Opera; the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. He led opera and food symposia for New York Times Journeys and, since April 24, 2020, has hosted Fred Plotkin on Fridays, a weekly program of cultured conversations seen worldwide on Idagio.com.