List of important operas Last updated January 11, 2019 The operas listed cover all important genres, and include all operas regularly performed today, from seventeenth-century works by Monteverdi, Cavalli, and Purcell to late twentieth-century operas by Messiaen, Berio, Glass, Adams, Birtwistle, and Weir. The brief accompanying notes offer an explanation as to why each opera has been considered important. For an introduction to operatic history, see Opera. The organisation of the list is by year of first performance, or, if this was long after the composer's death, approximate date of composition.
This list provides a guide to the most important operas, as determined by their presence on a majority of compiled lists of significant operas: see the
Lists consulted section for full details. 1600–1699 Claudio Monteverdi by Bernardo Strozzi, 1640 1607 ( L'Orfeo Claudio Monteverdi). Widely regarded as the first operatic masterwork.  1640 (Monteverdi). Monteverdi's first opera for Venice, based on Homer's Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria , displays the composer's mastery of portrayal of genuine individuals as opposed to stereotypes. Odyssey  1642 (Monteverdi). Monteverdi's last opera, composed for a Venetian audience, is often performed today. Its Venetian context helps to explain the complete absence of the moralizing tone often associated with opera of this time. L'incoronazione di Poppea  1644 ( Ormindo Francesco Cavalli). One of the first of Cavalli's operas to be revived in the 20th century, Ormindo is considered one of his more attractive works.  1649 (Cavalli). In Giasone Giasone Cavalli, for the first time, separated aria and recitative.  Giasone was the most popular opera of the 17th century.  1651 (Cavalli). Ninth of the eleven operas that Cavalli wrote with Faustini is noted for its satire of the deities of classical mythology. La Calisto  1683 ( Dido and Aeneas Henry Purcell). Often considered to be the first genuine English-language operatic masterwork. Not first performed in 1689 at a girls' school, as is commonly believed, but at Charles II's court in 1683.  1692 (Purcell). A The Fairy-Queen semi-opera rather than a genuine opera, this is often thought to be Purcell's finest dramatic work.  1700–1749 George Frideric Handel by Balthasar Denner, 1733 1710 (Handel). Handel's last opera that he composed in Italy was a great success, Agrippina and established his reputation as a composer of Italian opera.   1711 (Handel). Handel's first opera for the London stage was also the first all-Italian opera performed on the London stage. Rinaldo  1724 (Handel). Noted for the richness of its orchestration. Giulio Cesare  1724 (Handel). Described by Tamerlano Anthony Hicks, writing in Grove Music Online , as possessing a "taut dramatic power".  1725 (Handel). Rodelinda Rodelinda is often praised for the fullness of the melodic writing among Handel's output.  1728 ( The Beggar's Opera Johann Christoph Pepusch). A satire of Italian based on a play by opera seria John Gay, the ballad opera format of The Beggar's Opera has proved popular even up to the current time.  1731 (Handel). Handel's only work for the theatre that is set to an English libretto. Acis and Galatea  1733 (Handel). An opera that is described by Orlando Anthony Hicks as "remarkable" and by Orrey as one of Handel's "best works".   1733 ( La serva padrona Giovanni Battista Pergolesi). Became a model for many of the that followed it, including those of Mozart. opera buffas  1733 ( Hippolyte et Aricie Jean-Philippe Rameau). Rameau's first opera caused great controversy at its premiere.  1735 (Handel). Both this opera and Ariodante Alcina enjoy high critical reputations today.  1735 (Handel). Both this work and Alcina Ariodante were part of Handel's first opera season at Covent Garden.  1735 (Rameau). In this work Rameau added emotional depth and power to the traditionally lighter form of Les Indes galantes . opéra-ballet  1737 (Rameau). Initially only a moderate success, when it was revived in 1754 Castor et Pollux Castor et Pollux was regarded as Rameau's finest achievement.  1738 (Handel). Deviation from the usual model of Serse opera seria, Serse contains many comic elements rare in Handel's other works.  1744 (Handel). Originally performed as an Semele oratorio, Semele's dramatic qualities have often led to the work being performed on the opera stage in modern times.  1745 (Rameau). Rameau's most famous comic opera. Originally a court entertainment, a 1754 revival proved extremely popular with French audiences. Platée  1750–1799 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart aged 21 in 1777 1760 ( La buona figliuola Niccolò Piccinni). Piccinni's work was initially immensely popular throughout Europe. By 1790 over 70 productions of the opera had been produced and it had been performed in all the major European cities.  1762 ( Orfeo ed Euridice Christoph Willibald Gluck). Gluck's most popular opera. The first work in which the composer tried to reform the excesses of Italian . opera seria  1767 (Gluck). Gluck's second "reform" opera, nowadays usually given in its French revision of 1776. Alceste  1768 ( Bastien und Bastienne Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart). Mozart's one-act was set to a parody of Rousseau's Singspiel . Le devin du village  1770 (Mozart). Composed when Mozart was 14, Mitridate, re di Ponto Mitridate was written for a demanding cast of star singers.  1772 (Mozart). from Mozart's teenage years, was not revived until 1929 after its initial run of 25 performances. Lucio Silla  1774 (Gluck). Gluck's first opera for Paris. Iphigénie en Aulide  1775 (Mozart). Generally recognised as Mozart's first La finta giardiniera opera buffa of significance.  1775 (Mozart). Mozart's last opera of his adolescence was set to a libretto by Il re pastore Metastasio.  1777 ( Il mondo della luna Joseph Haydn). Last of three that Haydn set to libretti by Carlo Goldoni.  1777 (Gluck). Gluck used a libretto originally set by Lully for this French work, his favourite among his own operas. Armide  1779 (Gluck). Gluck's "last and perhaps greatest masterpiece". Iphigénie en Tauride  1781 (Mozart). Usually thought of as Mozart's first mature opera, Idomeneo Idomeneo was composed after a lengthy break from the stage.  1782 (Mozart). Often thought of as the first of Mozart's comic masterpieces, this work is frequently performed today. Die Entführung aus dem Serail  1782 ( Il barbiere di Siviglia Giovanni Paisiello). Paisiello's most famous comic opera, later eclipsed by Rossini's work of the same name.  1786 (Mozart). Another Der Schauspieldirektor Singspiel with much spoken dialogue taken from plays of that time, the plot of Der Schauspieldirektor features two sopranos vying to become prima donna in a newly assembled company. Premiered together with Antonio Salieri's Prima la musica e poi le parole  1786 (Mozart). The first of the famous series of Mozart operas set to libretti by Le nozze di Figaro Lorenzo Da Ponte is now Mozart's most popular opera.  1787 (Mozart). Second of the operas that Mozart set to Da Ponte's libretti, Don Giovanni has provided a puzzle for writers and philosophers ever since its composition. Don Giovanni  1790 (Mozart). Third and last of the operas that Mozart set to libretti by Da Ponte, Così fan tutte Così fan tutte was scarcely performed throughout the 19th century, as the plot was considered to be immoral.  1791 (Mozart). Mozart's last opera before his early death was extremely popular until 1830, after which the work's popularity and critical reputation began to decline; they did not return to their former levels until after the Second World War. La clemenza di Tito  1791 (Mozart). Has been described as "the apotheosis of the Die Zauberflöte Singspiel", Die Zauberflöte was denigrated during the 19th century as confused and lacking in definition.  1792 ( Il matrimonio segreto Domenico Cimarosa). Usually regarded as Cimarosa's best opera,  Leopold II enjoyed the three-hour-long premiere so much that, after dinner, he compelled the singers to repeat the opera later during that same day.  1797 ( Médée Luigi Cherubini). Only French opera of the Revolutionary period to be regularly performed today. A famous showcase for sopranos such as Maria Callas.  1800–1832 Gioachino Rossini, 1820 (International Museum and Library of Music, Bologna) 1805 ( Fidelio Ludwig van Beethoven). Beethoven's only opera was inspired by the composer's passion for political liberty.  1807 ( La vestale Gaspare Spontini). Spontini's opera about a vestal virgin in love was a great influence on Berlioz and a forerunner of French grand opera.  1812 ( La scala di seta Gioachino Rossini). An early Rossini work, this opera is outright . farsa comica  1813 (Rossini). This opera is described by Richard Osborne, writing in L'italiana in Algeri Grove Music Online, as "Rossini's first buffo masterpiece in the fully fledged two-act form".  1813 (Rossini). This Tancredi melodramma eroico was described by poet Giuseppe Carpani thus: "It is cantilena and always cantilena: beautiful cantilena, new cantilena, magic cantilena, rare cantilena".  1814 (Rossini). This opera stands out among Rossini's output for its frequent ensembles and absence of aria. Il turco in Italia  1816 (Rossini). This work has become Rossini's most popular Il barbiere di Siviglia opera buffa.  1816 (Rossini). The composer Otello Giacomo Meyerbeer described the third act of Otello thus: "The third act of Otello established its reputation so firmly that a thousand errors could not shake it".  1817 (Rossini). Rossini's comedy was composed in just over three weeks. La Cenerentola  1817 (Rossini). In this opera Rossini drew upon La gazza ladra French rescue opera.  1818 (Rossini). This work was originally conceived of as a sacred drama suitable for performance during Mosè in Egitto Lent.  1819 (Rossini). Another Romantic-era opera inspired by the works of La donna del lago Sir Walter Scott.  1821 ( Der Freischütz Carl Maria von Weber). Weber's masterpiece was the first great German Romantic opera.  1823 (von Weber). Despite its weak libretto, Euryanthe Euryanthe had a great influence on later German operas, including Wagner's Lohengrin.  1823 (Rossini). This is the last opera that Rossini composed in Italy. Semiramide  1825 ( La dame blanche François-Adrien Boieldieu). Boieldieu's most successful was one of many 19th century works inspired by the novels of opéra comique Sir Walter Scott.  1826 (Rossini). For this work Rossini heavily revised his earlier Le siège de Corinthe Maometto II, placing the action in a different setting.  1826 (von Weber). Weber's last opera before his early death. Oberon  1827 ( Il pirata Vincenzo Bellini). Bellini's second professional production established his international reputation.  1828 ( Der Vampyr Heinrich Marschner). Marschner was a key link between Weber and Wagner, as this Gothic opera shows.  1828 (Rossini). Rossini's opera has enjoyed a high critical reputation throughout the years: 19th-century critic Henry Chorley said that "there is not a bad melody, there is not an ugly bar in Le comte Ory Le comte Ory", and Richard Osborne, writing in Grove Music Online, calls details that the work is one of the "wittiest, most stylish and most urbane of all comic operas".  1829 (Bellini). La straniera La straniera is rare among bel canto operas in that it offers remarkably few opportunities for vocal ostentation.  1829 (Rossini). Rossini's last opera before his retirement is a tale of liberty set in the Guillaume Tell Swiss Alps. It helped to establish the genre of French Grand Opera.  1830 ( Anna Bolena Gaetano Donizetti). This was Donizetti's first success on the international scene and helped greatly to establish his reputation.  1830 ( Fra Diavolo Daniel Auber). One of the most popular of the 19th century, Auber's tale loosely based on an important Neapolitan rebel leader even inspired a film by opéra comiques Laurel and Hardy.  1830 (Bellini). Bellini's version of I Capuleti e i Montecchi . Romeo and Juliet  1831 (Bellini). The concertato "D'un pensiero e d'un accento" from the finale of Act 1 of this work was later parodied by La sonnambula Arthur Sullivan in . Trial by Jury  1831 (Bellini). Bellini's best-known opera, paradigm of Romantic operas. The final act of this work is often noted for the originality of its orchestration. Norma  1831 ( Robert le diable Giacomo Meyerbeer). Meyerbeer's first Grand Opera for Paris caused a sensation with its ballet of dead nuns.  1832 (Donizetti). This work was the most often performed opera in Italy between 1838 and 1848. L'elisir d'amore  1833–1849 Gaetano Donizetti 1833 ( Beatrice di Tenda Vincenzo Bellini). Bellini's tragedy is notable for its extensive use of the chorus.  1833 ( Hans Heiling Heinrich Marschner). Another important Gothic horror opera from Marschner.  1833 ( Lucrezia Borgia Gaetano Donizetti). One of Donizetti's most popular scores.  1834 (Donizetti). This work was dismissed as a failure in the 19th century, but since its revival in 1958 it has made frequent appearances on stage. Maria Stuarda  1835 ( Das Liebesverbot Richard Wagner). An early work by Wagner loosely based on Shakespeare's . The composer later disowned it. Measure for Measure  1835 (Bellini). Bellini's drama, set during the I puritani English Civil War, is one of his finest achievements.  1835 ( La Juive Fromental Halévy). This grand opera rivalled the works of Meyerbeer in popularity. The tenor aria "Rachel quand du seigneur" is particularly famous.  1835 (Donizetti). Donizetti's most famous tragic opera, notable for Lucia's mad scene. Lucia di Lammermoor  1836 ( A Life for the Tsar Mikhail Glinka). Glinka established the tradition of Russian opera with this historical work and the later Ruslan and Lyudmila.  1836 ( Les Huguenots Giacomo Meyerbeer). Perhaps the most famous of all French grand operas, widely regarded as Meyerbeer's masterpiece.  1837 (Donizetti). Donizetti wrote this work as a distraction from the grief he felt at the death of his wife. Roberto Devereux  1838 ( Benvenuto Cellini Hector Berlioz). Berlioz's first opera is a virtuoso score which is still highly difficult to perform.  1839 ( Oberto, conte di San Bonifacio Giuseppe Verdi). Verdi's first opera is a sensational melodrama.  1840 (Donizetti). A grand opera in the French tradition. La favorite  1840 (Donizetti). Donizetti's venture into French La fille du régiment opéra comique.  1840 (Erkel). Erkel's first opera was also the first true opera written in Hungarian and is based on the story of Ines de Castro in Bátori Mária Camões' , the Portuguese national epic. Os Lusiadas  1840 (Verdi). Verdi's only comedy apart from his last opera, Un giorno di regno Falstaff.  1842 ( Der Wildschütz Albert Lortzing). Lortzing's "comic masterpiece", intended to show a German work could rival Italian opera buffa and French opéra comique.  1842 (Verdi). Verdi described this opera as the genuine beginning of his artistic career. Nabucco  1842 (Wagner). Wagner's contribution to the Rienzi, der letzte der Tribunen Grand Opera tradition.  1842 (Glinka). This episodic version of a Ruslan and Lyudmila Pushkin fairy tale was a major influence on later Russian composers.  1843 (Wagner). Wagner regarded this German Romantic opera as the true beginning of his career. Der fliegende Holländer  1843 (Donizetti). Donizetti's "comic masterpiece" is one of the last great Don Pasquale opera buffas.  1843 (Verdi). Verdi's follow-up to I Lombardi alla prima crociata Nabucco was the first of his operas to be performed in America.  1843 ( The Bohemian Girl Michael Balfe). One of the few notable 19th-century English-language operas apart from the works of Gilbert and Sullivan.  1844 (Erkel). Erkel's second opera is generally considered his best, but is second in popularity to his later opera Hunyadi László which is considered the Hungarian "National Opera". Bánk Bán  1844 (Verdi). One of the most dramatically effective of Verdi's early works. Ernani  1845 (Wagner). Wagner's "most medieval work" depicts the conflict between pagan love and Christian virtue. Tannhäuser und der Sängerkrieg auf Wartburg  1846 (Verdi). Verdi was troubled by ill health during the writing of this piece, which was only a moderate success at the premiere. Attila  1846 (Berlioz). Frustrated at his lack of opera commissions, Berlioz composed this "dramatic legend" for concert performance. In recent years, it has been successfully staged as an opera, though the critic La damnation de Faust David Cairns describes it as "cinematic".  1847 (Verdi). Verdi's first venture into Shakespeare. Macbeth  1847 ( Martha Friedrich von Flotow). Flotow unashamedly aimed at satisfying popular taste in this comic and sentimental work set in the England of Queen Anne.  1849 ( Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor Otto Nicolai). Nicolai's only German opera has been his most lasting success.  1849 (Meyerbeer). A grand opera about the life of the religious fanatic, Le prophète John of Leiden.  1849 (Verdi). Fans of Verdi think that this setting of Luisa Miller Schiller's "bourgeois tragedy" has been underrated.  1850–1875 Richard Wagner 1850 ( Genoveva Robert Schumann). Schumann's only excursion into opera was a relative failure, though the work has had its admirers from Franz Liszt to Nikolaus Harnoncourt.  1850 ( Lohengrin Richard Wagner). The last of Wagner's "middle period" works.  1850 ( Stiffelio Giuseppe Verdi). Verdi's tale of adultery among members of a German Protestant sect fell foul of the censors.  1851 (Verdi). The first – and most innovative – of three middle period Verdi operas which have become staples of the repertoire. Rigoletto  1853 (Verdi). This Romantic melodrama is one of Verdi's most tuneful scores. Il trovatore  1853 (Verdi). The role of Violetta, the "fallen woman" of the title, is one of the most famous vehicles for the soprano voice. La traviata  1855 (Verdi). Verdi's opera displays the strong influence of Meyerbeer. Les vêpres siciliennes  1858 ( Der Barbier von Bagdad Peter Cornelius). An oriental comedy drawing on the tradition of German Romantic opera.  1858 ( Orphée aux Enfers Jacques Offenbach). The world's first operetta, this cynical and satirical piece is still immensely popular today.  1858 ( Les Troyens Hector Berlioz). Berlioz's greatest opera and the culmination of the French Classical tradition.  1859 ( Faust Charles Gounod). Of all the musical settings of the Faust legend, Gounod's has been the most popular with audiences, especially in the Victorian era.  1859 (Verdi). By the time he came to write Un ballo in maschera Un ballo in maschera, Verdi was rich enough not to have to work for a living. This opera ran into trouble with the censors because it originally dealt with the assassination of a monarch.  1861 (Erkel). Erkel's third opera is considered the Hungarian "National opera". Bánk Bán  1862 (Berlioz). The last opera Berlioz wrote is the fruit of his lifelong admiration for Shakespeare. Béatrice et Bénédict  1862 (Verdi). This tragedy was commissioned by the Imperial Theatre, Saint Petersburg, and Verdi may have been influenced by the Russian tradition in the writing of his work. La forza del destino  1863 ( Les pêcheurs de perles Georges Bizet). Though a relative failure at its premiere, this is Bizet's second most performed opera today and is particularly famous for its tenor/baritone duet.  1864 (Offenbach). Another operetta by Offenbach which pokes fun at Greek mythology. La belle Hélène  1864 (Gounod). Gounod's work is based on the epic poem by Mireille Frédéric Mistral and makes use of Provençal folk tunes.  1865 ( L'Africaine Giacomo Meyerbeer). Meyerbeer's last Grand Opera received a posthumous premiere.  1865 (Wagner). This romantic tragedy is Wagner's most radical work and one of the most revolutionary pieces in music history. The " Tristan und Isolde Tristan chord" began the breakdown of traditional tonality.  1866 ( Mignon Ambroise Thomas). A lyrical work inspired by Goethe's novel , this was Thomas's most successful opera along with Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship Hamlet.  1866 ( The Bartered Bride Bedřich Smetana). Smetana's folk comedy is the most widely performed of all his operas.  1867 (Verdi). Verdi's take on French grand opera is now one of his most highly regarded works. Don Carlos  1867 (Bizet). Bizet turned to a novel by Sir Walter Scott for this La jolie fille de Perth opéra comique.  1867 (Gounod). Gounod's version of Shakespeare's tragedy is his second most famous work. Roméo et Juliette  1868 (Smetana). One of the most successful of Smetana's operas exploring themes from Czech history. Dalibor  1868 (Wagner). Wagner's only comedy among his mature operas concerns the clash between artistic tradition and innovation. Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg  1868 (Thomas). Thomas's opera takes many liberties with its Shakespearean source. Hamlet  1868 (Offenbach). Set in Peru, this operetta mixes comedy and sentimentality. La Périchole  1868 ( Mefistofele Arrigo Boito). Though most famous as a librettist for Verdi, Boito was also a composer and he spent many years working on this musical version of the Faust myth.  1869 (Wagner). The "preliminary evening" to Wagner's epic Das Rheingold cycle tells how the ring was forged and the curse laid upon it. Ring  1870 (Wagner). The second part of the Die Walküre tells the story of the mortals Siegmund and Sieglinde and of how the Ring valkyrie Brünnhilde disobeys her father Wotan, king of the gods.  1871 (Verdi). Features one of the greatest tenor arias of all time, Aida Celeste Aida. 1874 ( Boris Godunov Modest Mussorgsky). Mussorgsky's great historical drama shows Russia's descent into anarchy in the early 17th century.  1874 ( Die Fledermaus Johann Strauss II). Probably the most popular of all operettas.  1874 (Smetana). Another comedy by Smetana, the only one of his operas with a non-Czech subject. The Two Widows  1875 (Bizet). Probably the most famous of all French operas. Critics at the premiere were shocked by Bizet's blend of romanticism and realism. Carmen  1876–1899 Giuseppe Verdi by Giovanni Boldini, 1886 1876 ( Siegfried Richard Wagner). The third part of the sees the hero Siegfried slay the dragon Fafner, win the ring and free Brunhilde from her enchantment. Ring  1876 (Wagner). In the final part of the Götterdämmerung Ring, the curse takes effect leading to the deaths of Siegfried and Brünnhilde and the destruction of the gods themselves.  1876 ( La Gioconda Amilcare Ponchielli). Apart from Verdi's Aida, this is the only Italian grand opera to have stayed in international repertory.  1877 ( L'étoile Emmanuel Chabrier). This comic piece has been described as "a cross between Carmen and Gilbert and Sullivan, with plenty of Offenbach thrown in".  1877 ( Samson et Dalila Camille Saint-Saëns). An opera with that was heavily influenced by those of Wagner.  1879 ( Eugene Onegin Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky). Tchaikovsky's most popular opera, based on the verse novel by Alexander Pushkin. The composer strongly identified with the heroine Tatyana.  1881 ( Hérodiade Jules Massenet). An opera telling the Biblical story of Salome, Massenet's work was eclipsed by Richard Strauss's treatment of the same subject.  1881 ( Les contes d'Hoffmann Jacques Offenbach). Offenbach's attempt at writing a more serious work remained unfinished at his death. Nevertheless, this is his most widely performed opera today.  1881 ( Simon Boccanegra Giuseppe Verdi). Verdi heavily revised this opera over twenty years after it was first performed.  1882 (Wagner). Wagner's last opera is a "festival play" about the legend of the Parsifal Holy Grail.  1882 ( The Snow Maiden Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov). One of Rimsky-Korsakov's most lyrical works.  1883 ( Lakmé Léo Delibes). This opéra comique set in the British Raj in India is famous for its "Flower Duet" and "Bell Song".  1884 (Puccini). An early operatic work by Puccini with plenty of opportunity for dance. Le Villi  1884 (Massenet). Massenet's most enduringly popular work along with Manon Werther.  1885 ( Der Zigeunerbaron Johann Strauss II). Strauss's operetta was intended to soothe tensions between Austrians and Hungarians in the Habsburg empire.  1886 ( Khovanshchina Modest Mussorgsky). Mussorgsky's second great epic of Russian history was left unfinished at his death.  1887 (Chabrier). Ravel claimed he would rather have written this comic opera than Wagner's Le roi malgré lui Ring cycle, though the plot is notoriously confused.  1887 (Verdi). The first of Verdi's late-period masterpieces was set to a libretto by Otello Arrigo Boito.  1888 ( Le roi d'Ys Édouard Lalo). A Breton folk tale with music heavily influenced by Wagner.  1890 ( Cavalleria rusticana Pietro Mascagni). A perennial favourite with audiences around the world, this one-acter is usually performed alongside Leoncavallo's Pagliacci.  1890 ( Prince Igor Alexander Borodin). Borodin spent 17 years working on this opera off and on, yet never managed to finish it. Most famous for its "Polovtsian dances".  1890 (Tchaikovsky). In a letter to his brother and librettist the composer said that "the opera is a masterpiece". The Queen of Spades  1891 (Mascagni). This work has been thought of as a late example of L'amico Fritz opera semiseria.  1892 (Tchaikovsky). Tchaikovksy's last lyrical opera set to a libretto by his brother Modest. Iolanta  1892 ( La Wally Alfredo Catalani). Usually considered Catalani's masterpiece.  1892 ( Pagliacci Ruggero Leoncavallo). One of the most famous verismo operas, usually paired with Mascagni's Cavalleria rusticana.  1892 (Massenet). Along with Werther Manon, this is Massenet's most popular opera.  1893 (Verdi). Verdi's final opera was set to another of Boito's libretti. Falstaff  1893 ( Hänsel und Gretel Engelbert Humperdinck). The well-known fairy tale received a full Wagnerian operatic adaptation at Humperdinck's hands.  1893 ( Manon Lescaut Giacomo Puccini). The success of this work established Puccini's reputation as a composer of contemporary music of the first rank.  1894 (Massenet). The opera that contains the famous Thaïs Méditation interlude.  1896 ( Andrea Chénier Umberto Giordano). Set to a libretto by Luigi Illica, this verismo drama is Giordano's most popular opera.  1896 (Puccini). Debussy is alleged to have said that no one had detailed Paris at that time better than had Puccini in La bohème La Boheme.  1897 (Humperdinck). Originally a melodrama that blended song and spoken dialogue, the composer adapted the work into an opera proper in 1907. Königskinder 1898 (Giordano). Giordano's second most popular opera. Fedora  1898 (Rimsky-Korsakov). The Viking Trader's song from this opera has become extremely popular in Russia. Sadko  1899 (Massenet). An immediate success at the time of the premiere, the opera enjoyed 50 performances in 1899 alone. Cendrillon  1899 ( The Devil and Kate Antonín Dvořák). The lack of a love interest makes the plot of this work almost unique among Czech comic operas.  1900–1920 Richard Strauss 1900 ( Louise Gustave Charpentier). An attempt to provide a French equivalent for Italian verismo, Louise is set in a working-class district of Paris.  1900 ( Tosca Giacomo Puccini). Tosca is the most Wagnerian of Puccini's operas, with its frequent use of leitmotif.  1901 ( Rusalka Antonín Dvořák). Dvořák's most successful opera with international audiences, based on a folk tale about a water sprite.  1902 ( Adriana Lecouvreur Francesco Cilea). Unique among Cilea's operas in that it has remained in the international repertory up to the present time.  1902 ( Pelléas et Mélisande Claude Debussy). Debussy's elusive Symbolist drama is one of the most significant operas of the 20th century.  1902 ( Saul og David Carl Nielsen). This Biblical tragedy was the first of Nielsen's two operas.  1904 ( Jenůfa Leoš Janáček). Janáček's first great success, a naturalistic depiction of Czech peasant life.  1904 (Puccini). The first performance of Puccini's now-popular opera was a disaster involving accusations of plagiarism. Madama Butterfly  1905 ( Die lustige Witwe Franz Lehár). One of the most famous Viennese operettas.  1905 ( Salome Richard Strauss). A scandalous success at its premiere, Strauss's "decadent" opera set to Oscar Wilde's play is still immensely popular with today's audiences.  1906 (Nielsen). Nielsen's high-spirited comedy looks back to the world of Maskarade and has become a classic in the composer's native Denmark. The Marriage of Figaro  1907 ( A Village Romeo and Juliet Frederick Delius). A tragedy of unhappy love set in Switzerland; the most famous music is the interlude "The Walk to the Paradise Garden".  1907 ( Ariane et Barbe-bleue Paul Dukas). Dukas's only surviving opera, based like Debussy's Pelléas, on a Symbolist drama by Maeterlinck.  1907 ( The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh and the Maiden Fevroniya Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov). A mystical retelling of an old national legend. Sometimes called the Russian . Parsifal  1907 (Janáček). An important transitional work in Janáček's career as the composer began to look beyond the traditional themes of Czech opera. Destiny  1909 (Strauss). This dark tragedy took Strauss's music to the borders of Elektra atonality. It was the composer's first setting of a libretto by his long-term collaborator Hugo von Hofmannsthal.  1909 ( Il segreto di Susanna Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari). A comic intermezzo. Susanna's secret is that she smokes.  1909 (Rimsky-Korsakov). Often considered Rimsky's greatest work, this satire on military incompetence got the composer into trouble with the censors after Russia's defeat in the The Golden Cockerel Russo-Japanese War.  1910 ( Don Quichotte Jules Massenet). Massenet's last great success is a gentle comedy inspired by Cervantes's . Don Quixote  1910 (Puccini). Described by Puccini as his best work. La fanciulla del West  1911 (Strauss). Strauss and Hofmannsthal's most popular work, this comedy is set in 18th century Vienna. Der Rosenkavalier  1911 ( L'heure espagnole Maurice Ravel). Ravel's first opera is a bedroom farce set in Spain.  1912 (Strauss). A mixture of comedy and tragedy with an opera within an opera. Ariadne auf Naxos  1912 ( Der ferne Klang Franz Schreker). The success of this work established Schreker's reputation as an opera composer.  1913 ( La vida breve Manuel de Falla). A passionate Spanish drama influenced by verismo.  1914 ( The Immortal Hour Rutland Boughton). Boughton's Celtic fairy tale opera enjoyed great popularity in Britain between the world wars.  1914 ( The Nightingale Igor Stravinsky). Stravinsky's style changed radically during the composition of this short opera, moving away from the influence of his teacher Rimsky-Korsakov towards the spiky modernism of the . Rite of Spring  1916 ( Sāvitri Gustav Holst). Holst's interest in Hinduism led him to set this episode from the . Mahabharata  1917 ( Arlecchino Ferruccio Busoni). Busoni drew on the tradition of Italian for this one-act piece. commedia dell'arte  1917 ( Eine florentinische Tragödie Alexander von Zemlinsky). Zemlinsky's "decadent" one-acter is based on a short play by Oscar Wilde.  1917 (Puccini). Not an initial success, Puccini heavily revised the opera twice. La rondine  1917 ( Palestrina Hans Pfitzner). A Wagnerian drama exploring the clash between innovation and tradition in music.  1918 ( Bluebeard's Castle Béla Bartók). Bartók's only opera, this intense psychological drama is one of his most important works.  1918 (Puccini). One act in structure, Puccini's work is based on an extract from Dante's Gianni Schicchi Inferno.  1918 (Puccini). The first of the operas that make up Il tabarro Il trittico – along with Gianni Schicchi and Suor Angelica 1918 (Puccini). Described by the composer as his favourite among the three operas that comprise Suor Angelica Il trittico.  1919 (Strauss). The third full collaboration between Strauss and the librettist Hofmannsthal gestated for six years before completion, and another two years passed before the first performance. Die Frau ohne Schatten  1920 ( Die tote Stadt Erich Wolfgang Korngold). Korngold's best known work for the stage.  1920 (Janáček). A comic fantasy set on the moon and in 15th century The Excursions of Mr. Brouček to the Moon and to the 15th Century Bohemia.  1921–1944 Giacomo Puccini 1921 ( Káťa Kabanová Leoš Janáček). The first of the great operas of Janáček's late maturity, based on an Ostrovsky play about religious fanaticism and forbidden love in provincial Russia.  1921 ( The Love for Three Oranges Sergei Prokofiev). A comic opera based on a fairy tale by Carlo Gozzi.  1922 ( Der Zwerg Alexander von Zemlinsky). Another short Zemlinsky opera inspired by a work by Oscar Wilde. The composer personally identified with the dwarf of the title.  1924 ( Erwartung Arnold Schoenberg). An intense atonal monodrama.  1924 ( Hugh the Drover Ralph Vaughan Williams). A ballad opera, much of which is based on folksongs.  1924 ( Intermezzo Richard Strauss). A light operetta-style work based on an incident from the composer's own marriage.  1924 (Janáček). One of the composer's most popular works, the story is based on a cartoon strip about animals in the Czech countryside. The Cunning Little Vixen  1925 ( Doktor Faust Ferruccio Busoni). Busoni intended this opera to be the climax of his career, but it was left unfinished at his death.  1925 ( L'enfant et les sortilèges Maurice Ravel). Conceived as an opera-ballet, "birds, beasts, insects, even inanimate objects, teach humanity to the child".  1925 ( Wozzeck Alban Berg). One of the key operas of the 20th century. Based on a strikingly unheroic plot, Berg's work blends atonal techniques with more traditional ones.  1926 ( Cardillac Paul Hindemith). An opera in Hindemith's neo-classical style about a psychopathic jeweller.  1926 ( Háry János Zoltán Kodály). Kodálys singspiel incorporated many Hungarian folksongs and dances.  1926 ( King Roger Karol Szymanowski). One of the most important Polish operas, this piece is full of Oriental harmonies.  1926 (Janáček). The first performance of The Makropulos Affair The Makropulos Affair was the last that Janáček survived to see among his operas.  1926 ( Turandot Giacomo Puccini). Puccini's last opera was left unfinished at his death.  1927 ( Oedipus Rex Igor Stravinsky). Set to a Latin libretto by Jean Cocteau, this highly stylised piece fuses opera and oratorio.  1927 ( Jonny spielt auf Ernst Krenek). A "jazz opera" which enjoyed tremendous success in its day.  1928 ( The Threepenny Opera Kurt Weill). A modern adaptation of Gay and Pepusch's . The Beggar's Opera  1929 ( The Nose Dmitri Shostakovich). Gogol's strange short story provided the plot for this grotesque satire.  1930 (Weill). The composition of this opera was problematic, due to tension between the composer and his librettist, Bertolt Brecht. Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny  1930 (Janáček). Janáček's last opera inspired by From the House of the Dead Dostoevsky's account of life in a Russian prison camp.  1932 (Schoenberg). Left unfinished at his death, Schoenberg's opera frequently employs Moses und Aron serialist techniques.  1933 (Strauss). This opera was the last that Strauss set to a libretto by Arabella Hugo von Hofmannsthal.  1934 (Shostakovich). An attack on the music and subject matter of the opera in the Soviet Union's government journal Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District meant that this work was Shostakovich's last opera. Pravda  1935 (Strauss). A comic opera based on a play by Die schweigsame Frau Ben Jonson.  1935 ( Porgy and Bess George Gershwin). Initially a financial failure, a 1941 production that replaced the work's recitatives with spoken dialogue was a success.  1937 (Berg). Berg's second opera was unfinished at his death, but a completion by Lulu Friedrich Cerha was successfully performed in 1979.  1937 (Vaughan Williams). Often rated as Vaughan Williams's finest opera, this short, fatalistic tragedy is set on the Aran Isles in the west of Ireland. Riders to the Sea  1938 (Strauss). A mythological opera with lyrical, pastoral music. Daphne  1938 ( Julietta Bohuslav Martinů). This dreamlike work set in a town where people have lost their memory is "Martinu's operatic masterpiece".  1938 (Hindemith). Hindemith's most highly regarded opera is a parable about an artist surviving in a time of crisis, reflecting the composer's own experience under the Nazis. Mathis der Maler  1941 ( Paul Bunyan Benjamin Britten). Britten's first venture into opera was a light piece about an American folk hero with a libretto by W. H. Auden.  1942 (Strauss). Strauss's final opera is a conversation piece about the genre itself. Capriccio  1943 ( Der Kaiser von Atlantis Viktor Ullmann). Written in the Nazi concentration camp Theresienstadt and not performed until 1975. The composer and his librettist died in Auschwitz concentration camp.  From 1945 Igor Stravinsky 1945 ( Peter Grimes Benjamin Britten). A landmark in the history of British opera, this work marked Britten's arrival on the international music scene.  1945 ( War and Peace Sergei Prokofiev). Prokofiev returned to the tradition of Russian historical opera for this epic work based on Leo Tolstoy's novel.  1946 (Prokofiev). A romantic comedy with music drawing on the Betrothal in a Monastery style of opera buffa Rossini.  1946 ( The Medium Gian Carlo Menotti). Considered by many to be Menotti's finest work.  1946 (Britten). Britten's first The Rape of Lucretia chamber opera.  1947 (Britten). Britten's comic opera is heavily based upon use of the ensemble. Albert Herring  1947 ( Dantons Tod Gottfried von Einem). Einem's opera is a compressed setting of Georg Büchner's play about the "Reign of Terror" during the French Revolution.  1947 ( Les mamelles de Tirésias Francis Poulenc). Poulenc's first opera is a short surrealist comedy based on the play by Guillaume Apollinaire.  1947 (Menotti). An The Telephone, or L'Amour à trois opera buffa just 22 minutes in length.  1949 ( Il prigioniero Luigi Dallapiccola). Much of the music for this opera is based on three 12-note tone rows, which represent the themes of prayer, hope and freedom that dominate the opera.  1950 (Menotti). This opera contains some of Menotti's most dissonant music. The Consul  1951 (Menotti). This Christmas story was the first opera specifically written for television. Amahl and the Night Visitors  1951 (Britten). The plot for Britten's large-scale opera was based on a story by Billy Budd Herman Melville.  1951 ( The Pilgrim's Progress Ralph Vaughan Williams). Set to his own libretto, Vaughan Williams's work was inspired by John Bunyan's famous allegory of the same name.  1951 ( The Rake's Progress Igor Stravinsky). Stravinsky's most important operatic work looks back to Mozart musically and has a libretto by W. H. Auden inspired by the engravings of William Hogarth.  1952 ( Boulevard Solitude Hans Werner Henze). Henze's first full-length opera is an updating of the story of , also the source for important operas by Massenet and Puccini. Manon Lescaut  1953 (Britten). Composed for the coronation of Gloriana Queen Elizabeth II, this opera looks back to the relationship between her namesake Elizabeth I and the Earl of Essex.  1954 (Prokofiev). Prokofiev never saw what is often regarded as his most The Fiery Angel avant-garde composition performed on the operatic stage.  1954 (Britten). A chamber opera based on the ghost story by The Turn of the Screw Henry James. It is remarkable for its tightly laid out key scheme and active orchestral role.  1954 ( Troilus and Cressida William Walton). Walton's opera about the Trojan War was initially a failure.  1955 ( The Midsummer Marriage Michael Tippett). Tippett's first full-scale opera was set to his own libretto.  1956 ( Candide Leonard Bernstein). Operetta, based on Voltaire. The soprano aria "Glitter and Be Gay" is a parody of Romantic-era jewel songs.  1957 (Poulenc). Poulenc's major opera is set in a convent during the Dialogues des Carmélites French Revolution.  1958 ( Vanessa Samuel Barber). Vanessa won its composer a Pulitzer Prize in 1958.  1959 (Poulenc). A short opera with a single character: a despairing woman on the telephone to her lover. La voix humaine  1960 (Britten). Set to a libretto adapted from the Shakespeare play by himself and his partner A Midsummer Night's Dream Peter Pears, Britten's work is rare in operatic history in that it features a countertenor in the male lead role.  1961 (Henze). Henze asked his librettists, Elegy for Young Lovers W. H. Auden and Chester Kallman, for a scenario that would inspire him to compose "tender, beautiful noises".  1962 (Tippett). Tippett's second opera, set to another of his own "recondite" libretti, King Priam was inspired by Homer's  Iliad.  1964 (Britten). A modern liturgical "church opera" intended for performance in an ecclesiastical setting. Curlew River  1965 (Henze). The last composition produced during Henze's dwelling in Italy is considered to be the most Italianate of his dramatic works. Der junge Lord  1965 ( Die Soldaten Bernd Alois Zimmermann). The first version of the opera was rejected by Cologne Opera as impossible for them to stage: Zimmermann was required to reduce the orchestral forces required and to cut some of the technical demands previously required.  1966 (Barber). The first version of the opera was set to a libretto consisting entirely of the words of Shakespeare and deemed a failure. Antony and Cleopatra Later it was revised by  Gian Carlo Menotti and became a success. 1966 (Henze). Henze's opera is set to a libretto by Auden and Kallman, who required that the composer listen to The Bassarids before starting to compose the music. Götterdämmerung  1967 (Walton). The libretto for Walton's extravaganza was based on Chekov. The Bear  1968 ( Punch and Judy Harrison Birtwistle). Birtwistle's first opera was commissioned by the English Opera Group.  1968 (Britten). The third of Britten's parables for church performance. The Prodigal Son  1969 ( The Devils of Loudun Krzysztof Penderecki). Penderecki's first opera is also his most popular.  1970 (Tippett). Tippett created his own modern scenario for the libretto of this work, his third opera. The Knot Garden  1971 (Britten). Britten's anti-war opera was written especially for Owen Wingrave BBC television.  1972 ( Taverner Peter Maxwell Davies). Davies was one of the most significant figures to emerge in British music the 1960s. This opera is based on a legend about the 16th-century composer John Taverner.  1973 (Britten). Britten's last opera was first performed three years before his death. Death in Venice  1978 ( Le Grand Macabre György Ligeti). First performed at Stockholm in 1978, Ligeti heavily revised the opera in 1996.  1978 ( Lear Aribert Reimann). An Expressionist opera based on Shakespeare's tragedy. The title role was specifically written for the famous baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau.  1980 (Davies). Davies's second chamber opera was set to his own libretto. The Lighthouse  1983 ( Saint François d'Assise Olivier Messiaen). 120 orchestral players are required for this opera, as well as a sizable chorus.  1984 ( Un re in ascolto Luciano Berio). This opera was set to a libretto assembled by the composer from three different texts by three different authors: Friedrich Einsiedel, W. H. Auden and Friedrich Wilhelm Gotter.  1984 ( Akhnaten Philip Glass). Unlike his first opera , the writing and style are more conventional and lyrical and much of the music of Einstein on the Beach Akhnaten is some of the most dissonant that Glass has composed.  1986 (Birtwistle). Birtwistle's most ambitious opera examines the myth of The Mask of Orpheus Orpheus from several different angles.  1987 ( A Night at the Chinese Opera Judith Weir). This piece is based on a Chinese play of the Yuan dynasty.  1987 ( Nixon in China John Adams). Musically minimalist in style, this opera recounts Richard Nixon's 1972 meeting with Mao Zedong.  1991 (Birtwistle). Birtwistle's opera is based on the medieval English poem Gawain . Sir Gawain and the Green Knight  1995 ( A Streetcar Named Desire André Previn). The opera is based on the play by Tennessee Williams. Significant firsts in opera history
Operas not included in the above list, but which were important milestones in operatic history.
References Notes ↑ John Whenham, writing in Grove 1 2 3 4 Ellen Rosand, writing in Grove ↑ Viking p. 191 ↑ Martha Novak Clinkscale, writing in Grove 1 2 3 Curtis Price, writing in Grove ↑ Viking p. 418: "According to John Mainwaring, Handel's first biographer, 'The theatre at almost every pause resounded with shouts of "Viva il caro Sassone". They were thunderstruck by the sublimity of his style: for never had they known till then all the powers of harmony and modulation so closely arrayed and forcibly combined' ". 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Anthony Hicks, writing in Grove ↑ Robert D. Hume, writing in Grove 1 2 Orrey p. 64 ↑ Orrey pp. 90–91 1 2 3 4 Graham Sadler, writing in Grove ↑ Stanley Sadie, writing in Grove ↑ Mary Hunter, writing in Grove ↑ Viking pp. 375–76 ↑ Viking pp. 378–79 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Julian Rushton, writing in Grove ↑ Viking p. 381 ↑ Caryl Clark, writing in Grove ↑ Viking p. 393 ↑ Viking p. 370 ↑ Orrey p. 110 1 2 Orrey p. 113 ↑ Viking p. 752 ↑ Orrey p. 107 ↑ Orrey p. 114 ↑ Gordana Lazarevich, writing in Grove ↑ Viking pp. 210–11 ↑ Viking p. 59 ↑ Viking pp. 1002–04 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Richard Osborne, writing in Grove ↑ Viking pp. 1212–14 ↑ Viking pp. 1214–15 ↑ Oxford Illustrated p. 136 ↑ Clive Brown, writing in Grove 1 2 Simon Maguire, writing in Grove ↑ A. Dean Palmer, writing in Grove ↑ Viking pp. 884, 917–18 1 2 William Ashbrook, writing in Grove ↑ Viking p. 38 ↑ Viking p. 66 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Julian Budden, writing in Grove ↑ Orrey p. 132 ↑ Viking pp. 659–60 ↑ Viking p. 70 ↑ Viking p. 609 ↑ Viking p. 277 ↑ Viking p. 278 ↑ Viking p. 1176 ↑ Viking p. 71 ↑ Viking p. 412 ↑ Viking p. 280 ↑ Oxford Illustrated pp. 246 ff. ↑ Viking p. 660 ↑ Viking p. 282 ↑ Viking p. 92 1 2 Viking p. 1125 1 2 Viking p. 285 1 2 The New Penguin Opera Guide, p. 265 ↑ Viking p. 584 1 2 3 4 Roger Parker, writing in Grove ↑ Viking p. 1177 ↑ Viking p. 368 ↑ Viking p. 1179 ↑ Viking p. 288 ↑ Viking p. 1127 ↑ Viking p. 48 ↑ Viking p. 1128 ↑ Viking p. 1181 1 2 Viking p. 1132 1 2 Viking p. 94 ↑ Viking p. 328 ↑ Viking p. 726 ↑ Viking p. 661 ↑ Viking p. 1138 ↑ Viking p. 968 ↑ Viking pp. 1184–86 ↑ Viking p. 1139 ↑ Oxford Illustrated p. 192 ↑ Oxford Illustrated p. 193 ↑ Viking p. 1143 ↑ Viking p. 1144 ↑ Viking p. 228 ↑ Viking p. 735 ↑ Penguin Guide to Opera on CD, p. 114 ↑ Viking p. 1147 ↑ The New Penguin Opera Guide, p. 266 ↑ Viking p. 97 ↑ Viking p. 1149 ↑ Viking p. 115 ↑ Viking p. 736 ↑ Viking p. 397 ↑ Viking p. 664 ↑ Viking p. 1196 ↑ Viking p. 1098 ↑ Viking p. 988 ↑ Viking p. 1152 ↑ Viking p. 116 ↑ Viking p. 398 ↑ Viking p. 990 ↑ Viking p. 1198 ↑ Viking p. 1099 1 2 Viking p. 738 ↑ Viking p. 131 ↑ Viking p. 1188 ↑ Viking p. 1190 ↑ Viking p. 718 ↑ Viking p. 1020 ↑ Viking p. 992 ↑ Viking p. 118 ↑ Viking p. 1191 ↑ Viking p. 1192 ↑ Penguin Guide to Opera on Compact Discs, p. 53 ↑ Hugh Macdonald, writing in Grove ↑ Viking p. 1087 ↑ Viking p. 624 ↑ Viking p. 1201 ↑ Viking p. 866 ↑ Viking p. 252 ↑ Viking p. 807 ↑ Viking p. 625 ↑ Viking p. 1022 ↑ Viking p. 720 ↑ Penguin Guide to Opera on Compact Discs, p. 54 ↑ Oxford Illustrated pp. 164–65 ↑ Viking p. 618 ↑ Viking p. 134 1 2 3 Richard Taruskin, writing in Grove ↑ Peter Ross, writing in Grove ↑ Viking p. 1094 ↑ Michele Girardi, writing in Grove ↑ Viking p. 564 1 2 3 Rodney Milnes, writing in Grove ↑ Ian Denley, in The New Grove ↑ Jan Smaczny, writing in Grove ↑ Viking p. 203 1 2 Oxford Illustrated p. 269 ↑ Oxford Illustrated pp. 281–87 ↑ Viking p. 728 ↑ Oxford Illustrated p. 304 ↑ Viking p. 559 ↑ Viking p. 1026 ↑ Viking p. 729 ↑ Viking p. 256 ↑ Oxford Illustrated p. 285 ↑ Viking p. 871 ↑ Viking p. 502 ↑ Viking p. 1028 ↑ Viking p. 1241 ↑ Viking p. 872 ↑ Viking p. 635 ↑ Viking p. 1029 ↑ Viking p. 849 ↑ Viking p. 1031 ↑ Peter Franklin, writing in Grove ↑ Viking p. 314 ↑ Viking p. 137 ↑ Viking p. 1045 ↑ Viking p. 485 ↑ Viking p. 168 ↑ Viking p. 1251 ↑ Viking p. 773 ↑ Oxford Illustrated pp. 286–87 1 2 3 David Murray, writing in Grove ↑ Christopher Palmer, writing in Grove ↑ Viking p. 505 ↑ Oxford Illustrated p. 306 ↑ Viking p. 1252 ↑ Viking p. 953 1 2 Michael Kennedy, writing in Grove ↑ Viking p. 506 ↑ Oxford Illustrated p. 297 ↑ Harman A & Mellers W. Man and His Music: The Story of Musical Experience in the West. Barrie and Rockliff, London, 1962, p. 950. ↑ Orrey p. 218. ↑ Viking p. 477 ↑ Tibor Tallián, writing in Grove ↑ Viking p. 1076 1 2 John Tyrrell, writing in Grove ↑ Oxford Illustrated, pp. 310–11 ↑ Viking p. 542 1 2 Stephen Hinton, writing in Grove ↑ Viking p. 980 ↑ Orrey p. 220 ↑ Laurel E. Fay, writing in Grove ↑ Viking p. 1039 ↑ Richard Crawford, writing in Grove ↑ Orrey p. 219 ↑ Viking p. 1120 ↑ Viking p. 1041 ↑ Viking p. 613 ↑ Viking p. 480 ↑ Viking p. 143 ↑ Oxford Illustrated p. 316 ↑ Viking p. 1115 ↑ Viking p. 144 ↑ Viking p. 803 ↑ Viking p. 802 1 2 3 Bruce Archibald, writing in Grove 1 2 3 4 5 6 Arnold Whittal, writing in Grove ↑ Viking p. 307 ↑ Viking p. 793 ↑ Anthony Sellors, writing in Grove ↑ Viking p. 649 ↑ Viking p. 1050 ↑ Viking p. 462 ↑ Viking p. 152 ↑ Viking p. 1208 1 2 3 Geraint Lewis, writing in Grove ↑ Jon Alan Conrad, writing in Grove ↑ Viking p. 794 1 2 Barbara B. Heyman, writing in Grove ↑ Viking p. 795 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Andrew Clements, writing in Grove 1 2 Orrey, p. 234 1 2 Adrian Thomas, writing in Grove ↑ Viking p. 159 ↑ Viking p. 243 1 2 Paul Griffiths, writing in Grove ↑ Viking p. 854 ↑ David Osmond-Smith, writing in Grove ↑ Tim Page, writing in Grove ↑ Viking p. 108 ↑ Viking p. 1232 ↑ Viking p. 18 1 2 Oxford Illustrated p. 8 ↑ Viking p. 174 ↑ Oxford Illustrated p. 31 ↑ Viking p. 180 ↑ Stein (1999), paragraph six ↑ Russell: "Manuel de Zumaya", Grove Music Online Sources Boyden, Matthew; et al. (1997). Opera, the Rough Guide. ISBN 1-85828-138-5. Czajkowski, Paul; Edward Greenfield; Ivan March; Robert Layton (ed.), The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs and DVDs 2005–2006: The Key Classical Recordings on CD, DVD and SACD. ISBN 0-14-102262-0 Encyclopædia Britannica: Macropedia Volume 24, 15th edition. "Opera" in "Musical forms and genres". ISBN 0-85229-434-4 Grout, Donald Jay and Claude V. Palisca (1996). A History of Western Music, 5th edition. New York: W.W. Norton. ISBN 0-393-96904-5 ed. L. Macy (Accessed 19 January 2007), Grove Music Online grovemusic.com, subscription access. (Various entries on operas, composers and genres) Orrey, Leslie & Milne, Rodney. Opera: A Concise History. World of Art, Thames & Hudson. ISBN 0-500-20217-6. Parker, Roger (ed). (1994). The Oxford Illustrated History of Opera. London: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-816282-0. Russell,Craig H., "Manuel de Zumaya", Grove Music Online ed. L. Macy (Accessed September 18, 2008), (subscription access) Stein, Louise K. (1999), (Introduction to the critical edition of the score and libretto), Ediciones Iberautor Promociones culturales S.R.L. / Instituto Complutense de Ciencias Musicales, 1999, La púrpura de la Rosa ISBN 84-8048-292-3 (reprinted with permission of the publisher on Mundoclasico.com). Accessed 5 September 2008. The Viking Opera Guide (1993). ISBN 0-670-81292-7 Contributions are by noted specialists in their fields. Warrack, John; West, Ewan (1992). The Oxford Dictionary of Opera. ISBN 0-19-869164-5. Lists consulted
This list was compiled by consulting nine lists of great operas, created by recognized authorities in the field of opera, and selecting all of the operas which appeared on at least five of these (i.e. all operas on a majority of the lists). The lists used were:
". A–Z of Opera by Keith Anderson, Naxos, 2000" "The Standard Repertoire of Grand Opera 1607–1969", a list included in Norman Davies's Europe: a History (OUP, 1996; paperback edition Pimlico, 1997). ISBN 0-7126-6633-8. Operas appearing in the chronology by Mary Ann Smart in The Oxford Illustrated History of Opera (OUP, 1994). ISBN 0-19-816282-0. Operas with entries in The New Kobbe's Opera Book, ed. Lord Harewood (Putnam, 9th ed., 1997). ISBN 0-370-10020-4 "Table of Contents of . The Rough Guide to Opera" by Matthew Boyden. (2002 edition). ISBN 1-85828-749-9. Operas with entries in The Metropolitan Opera Guide to Recorded Opera ed. Paul Gruber (Thames and Hudson, 1993). ISBN 0-393-03444-5 and/or Metropolitan Opera Stories of the Great Operas ed. John W Freeman (Norton, 1984). ISBN 0-393-01888-1 List of operas and their composers in Who's Who in British Opera ed. Nicky Adam (Scolar Press, 1993). ISBN 0-85967-894-6 Entries for individual operas in Warrack, John, and Ewan West (1992). The Oxford Dictionary of Opera. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-869164-5. Entries for individual operas in Who's Who in Opera: a guide to opera characters by Joyce Bourne (Oxford University Press, 1998). ISBN 0-19-210023-8 Operas included in all 9 lists The 93 operas included in all nine lists cited are: , Adriana Lecouvreur , Aida , Arabella , Ariadne auf Naxos , Un ballo in maschera (Rossini), The Barber of Seville , The Bartered Bride , Billy Budd , Bluebeard's Castle , La bohème , Boris Godunov , Capriccio , Carmen , Cavalleria rusticana , La Cenerentola , La clemenza di Tito , Les contes d'Hoffmann , Così fan tutte , The Cunning Little Vixen , Dido and Æneas , Don Carlos , Don Giovanni , Don Pasquale , Elektra , L'elisir d'amore , L'enfant et les sortilèges , Die Entführung aus dem Serail , Eugene Onegin , Falstaff , Faust , Fidelio , The Flying Dutchman , La forza del destino , Der Freischütz , Giulio Cesare , The Golden Cockerel , Götterdämmerung , L'heure espagnole , Les Huguenots , Idomeneo , L'incoronazione di Poppea , L'italiana in Algeri , Jenůfa , Káťa Kabanová , Lakmé , Lohengrin , Louise , Lucia di Lammermoor , Macbeth , Madama Butterfly , The Magic Flute , Manon , The Marriage of Figaro , Il matrimonio segreto , Médée , Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg , Mignon , Moses und Aron , Nabucco , Norma , L'Orfeo , Orfeo ed Euridice , Otello , Pagliacci , Parsifal , Les pêcheurs de perles , Pelléas et Mélisande , Peter Grimes , Prince Igor , I puritani , The Queen of Spades , The Rake's Progress , Das Rheingold , Rigoletto , Roméo et Juliette , Der Rosenkavalier , Salome , Samson and Delilah , Semiramide , Siegfried , Simon Boccanegra , La sonnambula , Tannhäuser , Tosca , La traviata , Tristan und Isolde , Il trovatore , Les Troyens , Turandot , The Turn of the Screw , Die Walküre , and Werther . Wozzeck
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