Operabase is an online database of opera performances, opera houses and companies, and performers themselves as well as their agents. Found at operabase.com, it was created in 1996 by English software engineer and opera lover Mike Gibb.Initially a hobby site, it became his full-time occupation after three years. Opera magazine describes the Operabase website as "the most comprehensive source of data on operatic activity".
An opera house is a theatre building used for opera performances that consists of a stage, an orchestra pit, audience seating, and backstage facilities for costumes and set building.
Opera is a monthly British magazine devoted to covering all things related to opera. It contains reviews and articles about current opera productions internationally, as well as articles on opera recordings, opera singers, opera companies, opera directors, and opera books. The magazine also contains major features and analysis on individual operas and people associated with opera.
By its tenth anniversary, in 2006, the site received "about 10,000 visitors a day to the public site, who look at over four million pages a month between them. Of these, fewer than half use English, 17% use German, 12% Italian, 10% French, 9% Spanish."In autumn of that year the British magazine Opera Now reported that "Operabase has taken on the Herculean task of making [the site] available to every European Union citizen in their own language – not only the 21 (as at January 2007) official languages of the EU, but Catalan, Icelandic and Norwegian as well." As of November 2012, the free public area of the site is available in 22 languages, and includes 37,000 performances, 40,000 artists, 700 opera companies, festivals and theatres, and the contact details and rosters of 400 artist managers.
Seven years after the public site was launched, a professional site followed and within three years, "200 opera houses from the Met to La Scala" were subscribers.The initial service offering for the 750 euro annual subscription fee had increased artist information and an opera casting tool. The casting tool was used for researching singers for a given role, but was particularly valued for finding replacement singers when there were emergency cancellations. The tool could not only put forward the names of all of the singers who had sung that role, but the artist schedules could be used to find if they were available, and the artists management and contact information could be used to make contact.
The professional services now also include a global database of opera productions available to rent or buy.
The database is now operated by Gibb and Muriel Denzler, who provide services to opera professionals for a fee, although the site is searchable by any web user at no charge.
As has been noted by Gibb and Denzler in an article on the website of Opera Europa (the European opera service organisation similar to those which exist in the US and Canada, OPERA America and Opera.ca) they provide specialised services to opera professionals, with the site including "casting tools, artist records, management details, productions information". But they emphasise that "the site was originally created for the general public, who still provide 96% of its users".
Opera Europa is the international service organisation for professional opera companies and opera festivals in Europe. It is incorporated in Brussels as a not-for-profit organisation.
In autumn 2010, Operabase produced a set of statistics for the opera world to mark the 250,000th performance on file. These statistics were presented at the third European Opera Forum, organised by Opera Europa in London in March 2011.In autumn 2013, the statistics were updated to show the 2012/13 season figures.
The Operabase rankings of the most performed operas formed the basis of a set of music questions in an edition of the BBC's University Challenge , broadcast in July 2014. Competitors were asked to identify three operas in the Operabase list from sound clips of Maria Callas.
University Challenge is a British quiz programme which first aired in 1962. University Challenge aired for 913 episodes on ITV from 21 September 1962 to 31 December 1987, presented by quizmaster Bamber Gascoigne. The BBC revived the programme on 21 September 1994 with Jeremy Paxman as the quizmaster.
Maria Callas, Commendatore OMRI was an American-born Greek soprano. She was one of the most renowned and influential opera singers of the 20th century. Many critics praised her bel canto technique, wide-ranging voice and dramatic interpretations. Her repertoire ranged from classical opera seria to the bel canto operas of Donizetti, Bellini and Rossini and, further, to the works of Verdi and Puccini; and, in her early career, to the music dramas of Wagner. Her musical and dramatic talents led to her being hailed as La Divina.
In the five seasons 2008/09 to 2012/13, 2415 different works from 1161 different composers were played. The most popular composers were:
More than 600 of the composers played in this period were still alive. The most frequently programmed of these were Philip Glass, Hans Werner Henze, and John Adams. Kaija Saariaho was the most played female composer, living or dead.
Throughout the 2015/16 season the most popular operas overall were:
The most popular operas by composers from the 20th century (i.e., by composers born after 1900) were The Turn of the Screw by Benjamin Britten and Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District (1934, Dmitri Shostakovich). The most popular works by composers alive on 31 July 2012 were the monodrama The Diary of Anne Frank (composed 1968, Grigory Frid), and the opera Dead Man Walking (2000, Jake Heggie).
In the 2015/16 season, the cities with the most opera performances were:
Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini was an Italian opera composer who has been called "the greatest composer of Italian opera after Verdi".
Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi was an Italian opera composer. He was born near Busseto to a provincial family of moderate means, and developed a musical education with the help of a local patron. Verdi came to dominate the Italian opera scene after the era of Vincenzo Bellini, Gaetano Donizetti, and Gioachino Rossini, whose works significantly influenced him. By his 30s, he had become one of the pre-eminent opera composers in history.
La traviata is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi set to an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave. It is based on La Dame aux camélias (1852), a play adapted from the novel by Alexandre Dumas fils. The opera was originally titled Violetta, after the main character. It was first performed on 6 March 1853 at the La Fenice opera house in Venice.
La Scala is an opera house in Milan, Italy. The theatre was inaugurated on 3 August 1778 and was originally known as the Nuovo Regio Ducale Teatro alla Scala. The premiere performance was Antonio Salieri's Europa riconosciuta.
In opera, verismo was a post-Romantic operatic tradition associated with Italian composers such as Pietro Mascagni, Ruggero Leoncavallo, Umberto Giordano, Francesco Cilea and Giacomo Puccini. Verismo as an operatic genre had its origins in an Italian literary movement of the same name. This was in turn related to the international literary movement of naturalism as practised by Émile Zola and others. Like naturalism, the verismo literary movement sought to portray the world with greater realism. In so doing, Italian verismo authors such as Giovanni Verga wrote about subject matter, such as the lives of the poor, that had not generally been seen as a fit subject for literature.
Renata Scotto is an Italian soprano and opera director.
Tito Gobbi was an Italian operatic baritone with an international reputation.
Sherrill Milnes is an American dramatic baritone most famous for his Verdi roles. From 1965 until 1997 he was associated with the Metropolitan Opera. His voice is a high dramatic baritone, combining good legato with an incisive rhythmic style. By 1965 he had made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera. His international debuts followed soon thereafter, and Milnes became one of the world's prominent Verdi baritones of the 1970s and 1980s.
Richard Charles Margison, OC is a Canadian operatic tenor. Margison was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2001 and lives in Stouffville, Ontario, Canada.
Casa Ricordi is a publisher of primarily classical music and opera. Its classical repertoire represents one of the important sources in the world through its publishing of the work of the major 19th-century Italian composers such as Gioachino Rossini, Gaetano Donizetti, Vincenzo Bellini, Giuseppe Verdi, and, later in the century, Giacomo Puccini, composers with whom one or another of the Ricordi family came into close contact.
Andrea Gruber is an American dramatic soprano particularly admired for her interpretations of the works of Puccini, Verdi, and Wagner.
Carmen Melis was an Italian operatic soprano who had a major international career during the first four decades of the 20th century. She was known, above all, as a verismo soprano, and was one of the most interesting singing actresses of the early 20th century. She made her debut in Novara in 1905 and her career rapidly developed in her native country over the next four years. From 1909-1916 she performed with important opera companies in the United States; after which she was busy performing at many of Europe's most important opera houses. From 1917 until her retirement from the stage in 1935 she was particularly active at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome and at La Scala in Milan. After her singing career ended, she embarked on a second career as a voice teacher. Her most notable student was soprano Renata Tebaldi.
The Nashville Opera Association is a professional opera company in Nashville, Tennessee and is a member of OPERA America. The company currently offers four fully staged opera productions and an educational outreach program during an annual season which runs from October through April. Performances are offered at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center in Downtown Nashville and the Noah Liff Opera Center in the Sylvan Heights section of West Nashville. Designed by architect Earl Swensson, the 26,000-square-foot (2,400 m2) Noah Liff Opera Center houses the company's executive offices, conference facilities, and a rehearsal studio.
Lois Jeanette McDonall is a Canadian operatic soprano, especially known for her performances in the operas of Mozart and Donizetti.
Natalia Leonidovna Troitskaya was a Russian operatic soprano who had a major international career during the 1980s and early 1990s. She particularly excelled in the operas of Giacomo Puccini and Giuseppe Verdi. Among her signature roles were Tatyana in Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin and the title heroines in Verdi's Aida, Puccini's Manon Lescaut, and Puccini's Tosca. She was a frequent partner of Plácido Domingo during the 1980s and also sang opposite other great artists like Montserrat Caballé, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, and Luciano Pavarotti.
OperaUpClose is a touring opera company, based in London and led by Artistic Director Robin Norton-Hale. The company was founded in 2009 to produce its début production, Robin Norton-Hale's Olivier Award winning, modern adaptation of Puccini's La bohème at The Cock Tavern Theatre.
Mustafa Krantja was an Albanian classical music conductor and composer. He has written about 20 major works. Krantja was awarded the People's Artist award in 1956 and the Dvorak Medal in 1975.
Lena Sofie "Iréne" Theorin is a Swedish dramatic soprano opera singer.
The Icelandic Opera is an opera company based in Reykjavík that produces operas and concerts. Its productions emphasize Icelandic artists, but regularly involve foreign artists as well. The company performs between October and May every year at the Harpa concert hall, their home venue since the hall's opening in 2011. As of October 2017, the company has produced 85 operas.
Ambur Braid is a Canadian opera singer. She is a dramatic coloratura soprano.