Opera: The Undoing of Women (French: L’Opéra ou la Défaite des femmes) is a 1979 book by French philosopher Catherine Clément. In it, Clément explores the way in which traditional operatic plots often feature the death of female characters - in her words, "the infinitely repetitive spectacle of a woman who dies, murdered." Besides the literal deaths of characters such as Carmen, Cio-Cio-San, Isolde and Mélisande, Clément also discusses metaphorical deaths - for example, Turandot's power and the Marschallin's sexuality.
Some critics, including musicologistCarolyn Abbate, criticized Clément's failure to discuss the music of opera in her focus on the libretto. These critics argue that although female characters die, they also hold the "authorial voice" and thus, through singing, reverse the tradition of the passive, silent woman as object.