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157 facts:

Alban Berg
   composed the opera   
Lulu
This, his 2nd opera, was left incomplete at the death of Berg
Alban Berg
   composed the opera   
Wozzeck
Considered an atonal opera, but has several sections that sound more or less tonal
Alexander Borodin
   composed the opera   
Prince Igor
Borodin left the opera incomplete at his death in 1887
Ambroise Thomas
   composed the opera   
Mignon
3-act opera based on Goethe's story "Wilhelm Meister's Lehrjahre"
Amilcare Ponchielli
   composed the opera   
La Gioconda
Most famous example of the Italian genre of "Grande Opera" based on "Angelo" by Victor Hugo
Andrew Imbrie
   composed the opera   
Angle of Repose
Based on Wallace Stegner's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel
Antonin Dvorak
   composed the opera   
Rusalka
Arnold Schoenberg
   composed the opera   
Moses Und Aron
Opera was not performed in the composer's lifetime
Arrigo Boito
   composed the opera   
Mefistofele
Based on the Faust legend, it is the only completed opera of Boito
Bedrich Smetana
   composed the opera   
The Bartered Bride
This second opera of eight by Smetana is a comedy
Benjamin Britten
   composed the opera   
Albert Herring
Comic chamber opera written as a companion piece for "The Rape of Lucretia"
Benjamin Britten
   composed the opera   
Billy Budd
Based on the Herman Melville novel; first performed in London in December, 1951
Benjamin Britten
   composed the opera   
Death in Venice
Britten's last opera, 1973
Benjamin Britten
   composed the opera   
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Britten's estranged collaborator, WH Auden dismissed it as "dreadful-pure Kensington"
Benjamin Britten
   composed the opera   
Peter Grimes
The first of Britten's operas to be a critical and popular success (1945)
Béla Bartók
   composed the opera   
Bluebeard's Castle
One-act opera lasts only a little over one hour
Bohuslav Martinu
   composed the opera   
The Greek Passion
Premiered in 1961; libretto based on the story by Nikos Kazantzakis
Camille Saint-Saëns
   composed the opera   
Samson Et Dalila
Delilah is one of the great roles for mezzo-soprano
Carl Maria Von Weber
   composed the opera   
Der Freischütz
Considered the first important German Romantic opera
Carl Otto Nicolai
   composed the opera   
Die Lustigen Weiber Von Windsor
Based upon Shakespeare's "The Merry Wives of Windsor"
Charles Gounod
   composed the opera   
Faust
According to "Opera America" it is the 18th most-performed opera in North America
Charles Gounod
   composed the opera   
Roméo Et Juliette
5-act opera first performed at the Theatre Lyrique in Paris in 1867
Christoph Pepusch
   composed the opera   
The Beggars Opera
Ballad opera written by John Gay but the music was probably arranged by Pepusch
Christoph Willibald Gluck
   composed the opera   
Alceste
The second "reform opera" of Gluck after Orfeo ed Ueridice
Christoph Willibald Gluck
   composed the opera   
Iphigénie En Tauride
Its premier sparked a huge controversy between "Gluckists" and "Piccinnists"
Christoph Willibald Gluck
   composed the opera   
Orfeo Ed Euridice
First to emphasize drama over the star singers, it did away with dry recitative
Claude Debussy
   composed the opera   
The Fall of the House of Usher
Debussy wrote only about 30 minutes of the opera (unfinished)
Claude Debussy
   composed the opera   
Pelléas Et Mélisande
Called an "impressionist" opera, based on the symbolist play by Maeterlinck
Dmitri Shostakovich
   composed the opera   
The Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District
Known for its role in the history of censorship by the Communist Party in 1936
Einojuhani Rautavaara
   composed the opera   
Vincent
First performed in 1990; scenes from the life of Vincent van Gogh
Engelbert Humperdinck
   composed the opera   
Hansel and Gretel
Often performed at Christmas time
Francesco Cilea
   composed the opera   
Adriana Lecouvreur
Title role is a favorite of sopranos
Francis Poulenc
   composed the opera   
Dialogues of the Carmelites
Story takes place during the French Revolution
Franz Lehar
   composed the opera   
The Merry Widow
Romantic muscial comedy or operetta from which comes "The Merry Widow Waltz"
Friedrich Von Flotow
   composed the opera   
Martha
Based on the ballet "Lady Henrieete" by Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges
Gaetano Donizetti
   composed the opera   
The Daughter of the Regiment
Featuring nine high C's, it's often called the "Mount Everest" for tenors
Gaetano Donizetti
   composed the opera   
Don Pasquale
An "opera buffa" or comic opera in three acts
Gaetano Donizetti
   composed the opera   
L'Elisir D'Amore
A melodramma giocoso, a genre of Italian comic opera
Gaetano Donizetti
   composed the opera   
Lucia Di Lammermoor
One of the leading "bel canto" operas
George Frideric Handel
   composed the opera   
Agrippina
An "opera seria" in three acts about the mother of Nero
George Frideric Handel
   composed the opera   
Alcina
Composed for Handel's first season at the Covent Garden Theatre in London
George Frideric Handel
   composed the opera   
Ariodante
The Italian libretto is anonymous and based on a work by Antonio Salvi
George Frideric Handel
   composed the opera   
Giulio Cesare
Considered Handel's finest Italian opera
George Frideric Handel
   composed the opera   
Semele
Fashioned for presentation "in the manner of an oratorio"
George Frideric Handel
   composed the opera   
Serse
Considered Handel's most "Mozartian" opera
George Gershwin
   composed the opera   
Porgy and Bess
Conceived as an American folk opera, it is considered racist by some
Georges Bizet
   composed the opera   
Carmen
Considered "immoral" and "superficial" it was considered a failure at its premier in 1875
Georges Bizet
   composed the opera   
Les Pêcheurs De Perles
Features the famous tenor-baritone duet "Au fond du temple saint"
Giacomo Meyerbeer
   composed the opera   
Les Huguenots
Hard to cast, having seven leading roles
Giacomo Puccini
   composed the opera   
Il Trittico
"Gianni Schicchi", the most-popular 3rd act, is a comedic farce
Giacomo Puccini
   composed the opera   
La Bohème
Toscanini's performance (1946) is the only recording of a Puccini opera led by its original conductor
Giacomo Puccini
   composed the opera   
La Fanciulla Del West
Bears some resemblance to Webber's "Phantom of the Opera"
Giacomo Puccini
   composed the opera   
Madame Butterfly
The most often-performed opera in North America
Giacomo Puccini
   composed the opera   
Manon Lescaut
Puccini's 3rd opera and his first great success
Giacomo Puccini
   composed the opera   
Tosca
Eighth most performed opera in North America
Giacomo Puccini
   composed the opera   
Turandot
Left unfinished at the composer's death and completed by Franco Alfano
Gian Carlo Menotti
   composed the opera   
Amahl and the Night Visitors
First opera composed for television, 1951
Gian Carlo Menotti
   composed the opera   
The Medium
1946
Gioacchino Rossini
   composed the opera   
The Barber of Seville
Fifth most performed opera in North America
Gioacchino Rossini
   composed the opera   
La Cenerentola
Comic opera based on the fairy tale Cinderella
Gioacchino Rossini
   composed the opera   
L'Italiana in Algeri
Notable for its mixing of "opera seria" style in "opera buffa"
Gioacchino Rossini
   composed the opera   
The Thieving Magpie
Notable for its use of snare drums (in the overture)
Giuseppe Verdi
   composed the opera   
Aida
NOT written to celebrate the opening of the Suez Canal
Giuseppe Verdi
   composed the opera   
Don Carlo
First performance at the Paris Opera in March 1867
Giuseppe Verdi
   composed the opera   
Ernani
An "operatic dramma lirico" in four acts
Giuseppe Verdi
   composed the opera   
Falstaff
Verdi's last opera (1893)
Giuseppe Verdi
   composed the opera   
Il Trovatore
17th most performed opera in North America
Giuseppe Verdi
   composed the opera   
La Forza Del Destino
Many old school Italian singers felt the opera was cursed and brought bad luck
Giuseppe Verdi
   composed the opera   
La Traviata
Third most-performed opera in North America behind Madame Butterfly and La Boheme
Giuseppe Verdi
   composed the opera   
Macbeth
Features a large female chorus of witches singing in 3-part harmony
Giuseppe Verdi
   composed the opera   
Nabucco
"Va, pensiero, sull'ali dorate" is its best-known number
Giuseppe Verdi
   composed the opera   
Otello
In Otello, Verdi tried to do away with the traditional recitative-aria structure of opera
Giuseppe Verdi
   composed the opera   
Rigoletto
Based on a play by Hugo, it is the ninth most-performed opera in North America
Giuseppe Verdi
   composed the opera   
Simon Boccanegra
Based on the play by Antonio Gutierrez
Giuseppe Verdi
   composed the opera   
Un Ballo in Maschera
"A Masked Ball", set in Boston; composed, 1857-8 and first performed 17 Feb. 1859, Teatro Apollo, Rome
Gustave Charpentier
   composed the opera   
Louise
Depicts Parisian working-class life circa 1900
György Ligeti
   composed the opera   
Le Grand Macabre
The composer's only opera; 1975-77, revised version, 1996
Hans Werner Hense
   composed the opera   
Boulevard Solitude
Updating of the story of Manon Lescaut (operas by Massenet and Puccini)
Hector Berlioz
   composed the opera   
Les Troyens
Opera in five acts to his own libretto after Virgil's "Aeneid"
Henry Purcell
   composed the opera   
Dido and Aeneas
Remembered as one of Purcell's foremost operatic works, no score in his hand exists
Igor Stravinsky
   composed the opera   
The Rake's Progress
Based loosely on 8 paintings of William Hogarth, first performed in 1951
Jacques Offenbach
   composed the opera   
Orpheus in the Underworld
Source of the famous "Can-Can"
Jacques Offenbach
   composed the opera   
Tales of Hoffmann
Most famous piece is "Barcarolle" from the third act and featured in the movie "Life Is Beautiful"
Jake Heggie
   composed the opera   
Dead Man Walking
Premiered in San Francisco, 2000
Johann Strauss II
   composed the opera   
Die Fledermaus
Despite being an operetta, it is among the top twenty most performed "operas" in North America
John Adams
   composed the opera   
The Death of Klinghoffer
First performed 1991
John Adams
   composed the opera   
Doctor Atomic
Premiered by the San Francisco Opera in 2005
John Adams
   composed the opera   
Nixon in China
The opera was conceived by its director (Peter Sellars) and Adams was initially resistant to the idea.
John Corigliano
   composed the opera   
The Ghosts of Versailles
Jules Massenet
   composed the opera   
Manon
Popular example of "opera comique" of the Parisian Belle Epoque
Jules Massenet
   composed the opera   
Thaïs
Role of the heroine, Esclarmonde, is notoriously difficult to sing
Jules Massenet
   composed the opera   
Werther
Based on the German novella "The Sorrows of Young Werther" by J Wolfgang von Goethe
Krzysztof Penderecki
   composed the opera   
The Devils of Loudun
1969
Kurt Weill
   composed the opera   
The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny
(1930) A political-satirical opera with a German libretto by Bertolt Brecht
Kurt Weill
   composed the opera   
The Threepenny Opera
Leonard Bernstein
   composed the opera   
Candide
Most famous for its popular overture often performed alone as a concert piece
Leos Janácek
   composed the opera   
The Cunning Little Vixen
At the composer's request, the final scene was performed at his funeral in 1928
Leos Janácek
   composed the opera   
The House of the Dead
Janacek's last opera, it premiered two years after his death on April 12, 1930
Leos Janácek
   composed the opera   
Jenufa
A grim story of infanticide and redemption
Leos Janácek
   composed the opera   
Káta Kabanová
Opera in three acts based on the play, The Storm by Aleksandr Ostrovsky
Leos Janácek
   composed the opera   
The Makropoulos Case
Originally a play by Karel Capek; it was turned into an opera by Janacek in 1925
Léo Delibes
   composed the opera   
Lakmé
Most famous excerpt is "The Flower Duet" used in The Simpsons, Nip/Tuck, and a popular British Airways commercial
Ludwig Van Beethoven
   composed the opera   
Fidelio
Beethoven's only opera, it is the central work of his so-called "middle period"
Michael Tippett
   composed the opera   
King Priam
Based on Homer's "Iliad" with Tippett's own libretto (1962)
Michael Tippett
   composed the opera   
The Midsummer Marriage
First performed, 1985; influenced by the verse drama of TS Eliot
Mikhail Glinka
   composed the opera   
A Life for the Tsar
1836
Mikhail Glinka
   composed the opera   
Rusian and Lyudmila
1842
Modest Mussorgsky
   composed the opera   
Boris Godunov
Mussorgsky's only completed opera, it is considered his masterpiece
Modest Mussorgsky
   composed the opera   
Khovanshchina
Setting is the Moscow Uprising of 1682; Rimsky-Korsakov finished the opera after Mussorgsky's death
Ned Rorem
   composed the opera   
Our Town
Based on the Thornton Wilder play; first performed 2006
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
   composed the opera   
The Golden Cockerel
Almost exclusively sung in Russian
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
   composed the opera   
The Snow Maiden
It was the composer's own favorite work
Peter Maxwell Davies
   composed the opera   
Mr Emmet Takes a Walk
Chamber opera, 2000
Philip Glass
   composed the opera   
In the Penal Colony
Chamber opera based on the Kafka story of the same name
Philip Glass
   composed the opera   
The Sound of a Voice
2003 operatic adaptation of the David Henry Hwang play of the same name
Pierre-Alexandre Monsigny
   composed the opera   
Le Déserteur
1769
Pietro Mascagni
   composed the opera   
Cavalleria Rusticana
Ushered in the "Verismo" movement in Italian operatic music, its premier caused a great sensation in Europe
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
   composed the opera   
Eugene Onegin
Well-known example of lyric opera, based on the novel by Alexander Pushkin
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
   composed the opera   
The Queen of Spades
Main hero demands a singer with much skill and endurance. It's about gambling addiction
Ralph Vaughan Williams
   composed the opera   
Hugh the Drover
Libretto by Harold Child; 1909-1910
Ralph Vaughan Williams
   composed the opera   
The Pilgrim's Progress
Based on John Bunyan's allegory
Ralph Vaughan Williams
   composed the opera   
Sir John in Love
Appearance of 'Fantasy on Greensleaves'
Richard Strauss
   composed the opera   
Ariadne Auf Naxos
A reworking of the Greek myth of Ariadne and Bacchus
Richard Strauss
   composed the opera   
Der Rosenkavalier
Takes place in the 1740's, in the first years of the reign of Empress Maria Therese in Vienna
Richard Strauss
   composed the opera   
Die Frau Ohne Schatten
Considered to be Strauss' finest operatic work, but it is rarely produced
Richard Strauss
   composed the opera   
Elektra
One-act opera premiered in 1909
Richard Strauss
   composed the opera   
Salome
Famous for its "Dance of the Seven Veils", infamous at the time of its release
Richard Wagner
   composed the opera   
Der Ring Des Nibelungen
Wagner took 26 years to write it (1848-1874)
Richard Wagner
   composed the opera   
Die Meistersinger Von Nürnberg
Requires around five hours to perform
Richard Wagner
   composed the opera   
The Flying Dutchman
It was written to be performed without an intermission
Richard Wagner
   composed the opera   
Lohengrin
Famous for the Bridal Chorus known as "Here Comes the Bride"
Richard Wagner
   composed the opera   
Parsifal
Wagner called it "A Festival Play for the Consecration of the Stage"
Richard Wagner
   composed the opera   
Tannhäuser
The revised "Paris version" is the most frequently performed today
Richard Wagner
   composed the opera   
Tristan Und Isolde
Liszt made several piano transcriptions of the opera
Ruggiero Leoncavallo
   composed the opera   
Pagliacci
Famous tragedy of a jealous husband in a clown troupe
Samuel Barber
   composed the opera   
Antony and Cleopatra
Libretto by Franco Zeffirelli based on Shakespeare's play; premiered in 1966 at the opening of the new Metropolitan Opera House
Samuel Barber
   composed the opera   
Vanessa
Op. 38, 1962
Sergei Prokofiev
   composed the opera   
The Fiery Angel
The opera was never performed during the composer's lifetime
Sergei Prokofiev
   composed the opera   
The Gambler
After the story of the same name by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Sergei Prokofiev
   composed the opera   
The Love for Three Oranges
The "March" is a popular orchestral selection
Sergei Prokofiev
   composed the opera   
War and Peace
Based on Tolstoy's novel
Tan Dun
   composed the opera   
The First Emperor
Premiered by the Met, 2006
Thomas Adès
   composed the opera   
The Tempest
English composer; first performed, 2004
Tobias Picker
   composed the opera   
Thérèse Raquin
After the novel by Émil Zola -- Tobias Picker, American, b. 1954
Umberto Giordano
   composed the opera   
André Chénier
Features "Come un bel di di Maggio"
Vincenzo Bellini
   composed the opera   
I Puritani
Story is set near Plymouth, during the wars between Cromwell and the House of Stuart
Vincenzo Bellini
   composed the opera   
La Sonnambula
"The Sleepwalker" is an "opera semiseria" based on a vaudeville by Eugene Scribe
Vincenzo Bellini
   composed the opera   
Norma
In the 20th century only a small number of sopranos were able to master the role of Amina
Virgil Thomson
   composed the opera   
Four Saints in Three Acts
Libretto by Gertrude Stein
Virgil Thomson
   composed the opera   
The Mother of Us All
Libretto by Gertrude Stein
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
   composed the opera   
The Abduction from the Seraglio
The Emperor complained, "There are too many notes." Mozart replied, "There are just as many notes as there should be."
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
   composed the opera   
Cosi Fan Tutte
Often translated, "Women are like that"
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
   composed the opera   
Don Giovanni
Seventh most performed opera in North America
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
   composed the opera   
Idomeneo
Mozart's first mature "opera seria"
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
   composed the opera   
La Clemenza Di Tito
Mozart's last opera
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
   composed the opera   
The Magic Flute
Known for its prominent Masonic elements
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
   composed the opera   
The Marriage of Figaro
A sequel to "The Barber of Seville"


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