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  ...

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  ...

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.  ...

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  ...

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  ...

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  ...

Lucia di Lammermoor – Gaetano Donizetti

. Suggested reading: Lucia di Lammermoor (Opera Journeys Mini Guide Series) Bel canto - literally beautiful singing - is a technical term for a particular singing technique (more info here), but the term is used popularly today to refer, in particular, to the style of operas  ...

Louise – Gustave Charpentier

The plot of Louise will tax no one in its level of difficulty. Girl finds boy, girl runs away with boy over (unreasonable) parental objections, girl and boy are deliriously happy, parents fail to get girl to return home to stay, parents are miserable. Finis. No subplots.  ...

La Juive – Jacques Fromental Halevy

Rhodium Silver Necklace set with light blue Magen David medallion. Doomed love, jealousy, mistaken identity and filial devotion. And if that’s not operatic enough for you, the two leading characters are thrown into a vat of boiling oil at the end. Jacques Fromental Halevy’s La  ...