Luisa Miller – Giuseppe Verdi

All too often, theatrical works don't come alive on the stage or screen, due to a lack of dramatic tension. Dramatic tension requires conflict and conflict sets up an emotional need in the viewer for resolution. Verdi was adept at choosing sources for his operas which were laden with  ...

The Magic Flute – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Online references on Mozart Countless dozens of Ph.D theses must be written about Mozart's The Magic Flute and yet it is so lively with elements of fantasy and free-flying imagination that it is often the first opera to which children are taken. It has  ...

Manon – Jules Massenet

... The Abbe Prevost's 1731 novel, L'Histoire du Chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut, was the inspiration for no less than three operas, Puccini's Manon Lescaut, as well as two Manon's, the popular Massenet and a pretty much forgotten version by Auber. Our heroine, a country girl  ...

I Pagliacci – Ruggiero Leoncavallo

I Pagliacci, variously translated as Traveling Players or Clowns, is a popular and often performed short opera in the verismo style. A tight, well structured libretto uses the play-within-a-play device to explore classic themes of passion, adultery, jealousy, and revenge, all of which is highly suited to operatic expression.  ...

Parsifal – Richard Wagner

Suggested reading: Guide to Parsifal with complete libretto and a parallel translation into English by Andrew Porter For his last opera, Wagner dug into German and Christian legends and, in his inimitable fashion, created in Parsifal an allegory on the conflict between Christianity and  ...

The Rake’s Progress – Igor Stravinsky

Online references on Stravinsky William Hogarth created his series of satirical etchings, "The Rakes Progress," in 1735, influenced in part by the literary work of his contemporary, Jonathan Swift. In that pre-photography time, the wide distribution of inexpensive prints was an important communication  ...

Rinaldo – Handel

Handel wrote Rinaldo to knock ’em dead. It was 1710, and he had just arrived in London with a reputation as a keyboard virtuoso, mostly won in Italy. He had hung around princely courts in Germany. He was 25, and he wanted to make a splash, to conquer England  ...

Saul – George Friedrich H�ndel

Saul By George Frideric Handel. Vocal score. See more info... H�ndel turned to oratorio from opera in response to the practical and financial needs of his day. London taste had shifted from full blown opera to works of greater orchestral and choral participation,  ...

Semele – Handel

What better sort of character to make the heroine of an opera? Semele was a Theban princess and the only mortal to be the parent of a god, that God none other than Dionysus/Bacchus, offspring of Semele's union with Zeus/Jupiter. Of course, Zeus' wife Hera/Juno was less than pleased  ...