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List of famous operas

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List of famous operas

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This page lists famous operas arranged by composer.


Standard operatic repertory

This list comprises the standard operatic repertory, arranged alphabetically by composer followed by city and date of first staged performance. All the operas in this list are discussed in standard guidebooks, such as The Penguin Guide to Opera, ed. Amanda Holden, 1994. Many splendid and under-appreciated masterpieces, aside from operatic curiosities, can be found in entries under the names of their individual composers.

In many opera houses this international repertory is supplemented by local standards. An American list, for example, might include George Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, Carlisle Floyd's Susannah, Douglas Moore's Ballad of Baby Doe, or Samuel Barber's Vanessa. Debate over the accepted canon tends to be most intense around the periphery.

Details of plot, anecdotes and history of composition and production, etc. are found in the operas' individual entries (linked). These lists are not complete: complete lists of composers' operas are to be found in the composers' individual entries (linked).

Béla Bartók
Bluebeard's Castle (Budapest 1918)
Ludwig van Beethoven
Fidelio (Vienna 1805)
Vincenzo Bellini
La sonnambula (Milan 1831)
I puritani (Paris 1835)
Norma (Milan 1831)
Alban Berg
Wozzeck (Berlin 1925)
Lulu (Zurich 1937)
Hector Berlioz
Les Troyens (Paris 1863)
Georges Bizet
Les pêcheurs de perles (The Pearl Fishers) (Paris 1863)
Carmen (Paris 1875)
Arrigo Boito
Mefistofele (Milan 1868)
Alexander Borodin
Prince Igor (Saint Petersburg 1890)
Benjamin Britten
Albert Herring (Glyndebourne 1947)
Peter Grimes (London 1945)
Billy Budd (London 1951)
A Midsummer Night's Dream (Aldeburgh 1960)
Gustave Charpentier
Louise (Paris 1900)
Francesco Cilea
Adriana Lecouvreur (Milan 1902)
Claude Debussy
Pelléas et Mélisande (Paris 1902)
Léo Delibes
Lakmé (Paris 1883)
Gaetano Donizetti
L'elisir d'amore (Milan 1832)
Maria Stuarda (Naples 1834)
Lucia di Lammermoor (Naples 1835)
La fille du Regiment (The Daughter of the Regiment) (Paris 1840)
Don Pasquale (Paris 1843)
Friedrich von Flotow
Martha (Vienna 1847)
Umberto Giordano
Andrea Chénier (Milan 1896)
Fedora (Milan 1898)
Christoph Willibald Gluck
Orfeo ed Euridice (Paris 1774)
Alceste (Paris 1776)
Iphigénie en Tauride (Paris 1779)
Charles Gounod
Faust (Paris 1859)
Roméo et Juliette (Paris 1867)
Antonio Carlos Gomes
Il Guarany (Milan 1870)
George Frideric Handel
Agrippina (Venice 1710)
Alcina (London 1735)
Ariodante (London 1735)
Giulio Cesare (London 1724)
Semele (London 1744)
Serse (Xerxes) (London 1738)
Engelbert Humperdinck
Hansel und Gretel (Weimar 1893)
Leoš Janáček
Jenůfa (Brno 1904)
The Cunning Little Vixen (Brno 1924)
Ruggiero Leoncavallo
Pagliacci (Milan 1892)
Pietro Mascagni
Cavalleria Rusticana (Rome 1890)
Jules Massenet
Werther (Paris 1892)
Manon (Paris 1884)
Thaïs (Paris 1894)
Giacomo Meyerbeer
Les Huguenots (Paris 1836)
L'Africaine (Paris 1865)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Idomeneo (Munich 1781)
Die Entführung aus dem Serail (The Abduction from the Seraglio) (Vienna 1782)
Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) (Vienna 1786)
Don Giovanni (Prague 1787)
Così fan tutte (Vienna 1790)
La clemenza di Tito (Prague 1791)
Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) (Vienna 1791)
Modest Mussorgsky
Boris Godunov (Saint Petersburg 1874)
Khovanshchina (Saint Petersburg, 1886)
Carl Otto Nicolai
Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor (The Merry Wives of Windsor) (Berlin 1849)
Jacques Offenbach
Les contes d'Hoffmann (Paris 1881)
Amilcare Ponchielli
La Gioconda (Milan 1876)
Francis Poulenc
Dialogues des Carmelites (Dialogues of the Carmelites) (Milan 1957)
Sergei Prokofiev
The Love for Three Oranges (Chicago 1921)
The Fiery Angel (Venice 1955)
War and Peace
Giacomo Puccini
La bohème (Turin 1896)
Tosca (Rome 1900)
Madame Butterfly (Milan 1904)
Il trittico (Il tabarro, Suor Angelica, Gianni Schicchi) (New York City 1918)
Manon Lescaut (Turin 1893)
Turandot (Milan 1926)
La fanciulla del West (New York City 1910)
Henry Purcell
Dido and Aeneas (Chelsea, London, 1689)
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
The Golden Cockerel (Saint Petersburg 1907)
Gioacchino Rossini
L'Italiana in Algeri (Venice 1813)
The Barber of Seville (Il barbiere di Siviglia) (Rome 1816)
La Cenerentola (Rome 1817)
Camille Saint-Saëns
Samson et Dalila (Weimar 1877)
Dmitri Shostakovich
The Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District (Leningrad 1934)
Bedrich Smetana
The Bartered Bride (Prague 1866)
Johann Strauss
Die Fledermaus (Vienna 1874)
Richard Strauss
Salome (Dresden 1905)
Elektra (Dresden 1909)
Der Rosenkavalier (Dresden 1911)
Ariadne auf Naxos (Stuttgart 1912; Vienna 1916)
Die Frau ohne Schatten (Vienna 1919)
Igor Stravinsky
The Rake's Progress (Venice 1951)
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Eugene Onegin (Moscow 1879)
The Queen of Spades (Pique Dame) (Saint Petersburg 1890)
Ambroise Thomas
Mignon (Paris 1866)
Giuseppe Verdi
Nabucco (Milan 1842)
Ernani (Venice 1844)
Macbeth (Florence 1847)
Rigoletto (Venice 1851)
Il trovatore (Rome 1853)
La traviata (Venice 1853)
Un ballo in maschera (Rome 1859)
La forza del destino (The Force of Destiny) (Saint Petersburg 1862)
Don Carlos (Paris 1867)
Aida (Cairo 1871)
Simon Boccanegra (revised) (Milan 1881)
Otello (Milan 1887)
Falstaff (Milan 1893)
Richard Wagner
Der fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman) (Dresden 1843)
Tannhäuser (Dresden 1845)
Lohengrin (Weimar 1850)
Tristan und Isolde (Munich 1865)
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Munich 1868)
Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung) (complete tetralogy: Bayreuth 1876)
Das Rheingold (Munich 1869)
Die Walküre (Munich 1870)
Siegfried (Bayreuth 1876)
Götterdämmerung (The Twilight of the Gods) (Bayreuth 1876)
Parsifal (Bayreuth 1882)
Carl Maria von Weber
Der Freischütz (Berlin 1824)

Historically significant operas

Most of the operas in the previous list are historically significant. This is a supplementary list of operas which are historically significant but not performed with any regularity. They are ordered chronologically by first performance.

Jacopo Peri
Euridice (Florence 1600); considered the first opera in European history
Claudio Monteverdi
Orfeo (Mantua 1607); first operatic masterwork
Francesca Caccini
La liberazione di Ruggiero (Warsaw, 1628); first Italian opera performed outside of Italy, first opera by a woman
Stefano Landi
Il Sant'Alessio (Rome, 1632); first opera on a historical rather than mythological subject
John Blow
Venus and Adonis (London or Windsor, 1683); first English opera
Gian Carlo Menotti
The Old Maid and the Thief (NBC, Radio, 1939); first opera composed for radio
Amahl and the Night Visitors (New York, 1951); first opera composed for television
Philip Glass
Einstein on the Beach (Avignon, 1976); first opera composed using minimalism
John Adams
Nixon in China (Houston, 1987); first opera based on recent events

See also

The Opera Corpus – A list of more than 1,250 operas by more than 360 individual opera composers, arranged by composer, giving a general idea of the present depth and consistency of coverage of opera on Wikipedia.
List of operas – A list of operas with entries in Wikipedia sorted alphabetically by title.

External links

Home | Up | List of famous operas | Operas by genre | Arias

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