The Italian Girl in Algiers – Gioachino Rossini

In the nineteen years from 1810 to 1829, Rossini composed an astounding thirty-eight operas. The Italian Girl in Algiers, which was written in twenty-seven days, premiered in Venice in 1813, when Rossini was all of twenty-one years old, and  ...

H.M.S. Pinafore – W.S. Gilbert/Arthur Sullivan

Buy the HMS Pinafore poster at barewalls.com In 1871, playwright William S. Gilbert (1836-1911) began writing satiric musicals with composer Arthur Sullivan (1842-1900). Trained as a lawyer, Gilbert had previously published wickedly funny doggerel, the  ...

The Pearl Fishers – Georges Bizet

The Pearl Fishers, Bizet's first opera, written when he was only 24, is loved for a few of its lustrous melodies which have been widely disseminated in recordings. But the opera is rarely staged, for reasons that become all  ...

Rigoletto – Giuseppe Verdi

In 1851, Rigoletto was a challenge in all sorts of ways. For a start, it was based on Victor Hugo’s 1832 play Le roi s’amuse, a drama of 16th century royal debauchery which the 19th century authorities had promptly  ...