Falstaff – Giuseppe Verdi

Sir John Falstaff is the most famous comic character in the Shakespeare canon, appearing in no less than three of the plays. With roots in the commedia dell'arte, Falstaff is a braggart, a lecher, a con man, and a  ...

Samson et Delila – Camille Saint-Sa�ns

Samson et Dalila, Saint-Sa�ns' only opera to remain in the active repertory, doesn't get a lot of respect. When it was revived at the Metropolitan Opera a few years back, New York Times critic Bernard Holland called it a  ...

The Capulets and the Montagues – Vincenzo Bellini

The Capulets and the Montagues are families well known from Shakespeare, and their clan-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet, are the iconic embodiments of young love--love that resists family prohibitions even if the results are tragic. Bellini's 1830 opera is  ...

Le Cid – Jules Massenet

Online references on Spanish history El Cid, from the Spanish/Arabic meaning lord or chief, was the nom de guerre, as it were, of an 11th century Castilian knight, Rodrigo D�az, Count of Bivar. He  ...

La Traviata – Giuseppe Verdi

If changes in social mores since mid-19th-century Paris render aspects of La Traviata awkwardly dated, the passion and poignancy of its star-crossed lovers transcends both geography and generations. Based on the 1848 Dumas fils novel and his 1852 play,  ...

Pan y Toros – Barbieri

Zarzuela is the unique Spanish form of musical theater/operetta, made up of text both spoken and sung, with solos, duets, ensemble pieces, choruses, and dances as well. It is characterized by a focus on the holidays and festivals, customs,  ...

The Tsar’s Bride – Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

Suggested reading: Reminiscences of Rimsky-Korsakov (1985), Vasilii Vasilevich Yastrebtsev The Literary Lorgnette: Attending Opera in Imperial Russia (2000), Julie A. Buckler Rimsky-Korsakov wrote a dozen or so full length operas, some of which  ...

Trois Moins Six – Pierre Courtin

Pierre Courtin is a French painter and engraver, born in 1921. His abstract work was part of the surrealist movement in the early forties, and then later part of the neo-cubist period which was at its time was  ...