La sonnambula

La sonnambula was written by Bellini as a vehicle for two of the supreme singers of his age and accordingly is a fine example of the school we call bel canto, where beauty of...

L'elisir d'amore

L’elisir d’amore, or The Elixir of Love, has remained popular for almost two centuries because of a touching tale and a galaxy of comic characters adapted from the traditional...

Mozart: Marriage of Figaro, The

Many opera-lovers would name The Marriage of Figaro as their favorite opera. It appeals to the most intellectual listener, but also to music-lovers seeking great melodies and...

Mozart: Così Fan Tutte

Così Fan Tutte contains some of Mozart’s most sublime music. On one level, the opera is purely a social anecdote about young people falling in and out of love; but Mozart was a...

Die Fledermaus

Die Fledermaus is one of the few operatic works to which the phrase ‘never a dull moment’ can be truthfully applied. From the explosive opening of the famous overture –...

The Flying Dutchman

The Flying Dutchman is the perfect opera with which to approach the operatic mountain that is Richard Wagner. It is short, has a great story (the legend of the Dutch captain...

Aida

Ancient Egypt and the war with Ethiopia is the setting for Verdi’s grandest opera. It is the story of the love between Rhadames, the Egyptian general and Aida, an Ethiopian...

Pelléas et Mélisande

Dating from the last decade of the nineteenth century, Pelléas et Mélisande points the way into the twentieth century. The score is hauntingly beautiful, but there is more to...

Cavalleria rusticana

Cavalleria rusticana is the short opera that has all the elements of a grand opera compressed into a single highly dramatic time span. The story of love, lust, blood-feud and...

Don Giovanni

Don Giovanni has long been regarded as Mozart’s supreme theatrical achievement. The subject seems unpromising – the last day in the life of the notorious womaniser Don Juan...

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