An opera is an art form which allows singers and musicians to portray a story through a dramatic work combining text and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting. It started in Italy at the end of 16th century and soon spread in the entire Europe. The opera is definitely is one of the best human artistic achievements showcasing God’s most beautiful instrument, the voice. Here are
Le Nozze di Figaro (Figaro’s Wedding)
This is perhaps Mozart’s most beloved opera with a libretto written by Lorenzo Da Ponte. It was first performed at the Burgtheater in Viena on May 1786. It tells the story of how the servants Figaro and Susanna succeeded in getting married, despite Count Almaviva’s efforts to seduce Susanna.
Another great opera by Mozart, together with librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte is Don Giovanni. This masterpiece was called a ‘dramma giocoso’ which wonderfully blends seriousness, suspense, and humor. The story centers on the rich, arrogant and promiscuous aristocrat who abuses and outrages everyone he encounters until he struggled to kill and outwit something.
This opera by French composer Georges Bizet was first performed in Paris on March 1875. Its text was written by Henri Meilhac and LudovicHalévy based on Prosper Mérimée’s novella. The plot highlights the eponymous character’s seduction and corruption of Don Jose, a Spanish officer who abandons everything in trade of his desire to possess the beautiful gypsy.
The Barber of Seville
This opera by Gioachino Rossini and Italian librettist Cesare Sterbini is a sort of a prequel to Mozart’s Figaro. It details the adventures following the marriage of the two servants Figaro and Susanna. The opera remained a popular work even after 200 years since composition.
La Traviata (The Fallen Woman)
This work by Giuseppe Verdi is one of the most performed opera today which centers on the tragic-and sexually-charged tale of the young courtesan Violetta’s love for the nobleman Alfredo. The plot follows conventional shortcomings between lovers, in which their romantic relationship when Violette contracted fatal tuberculosis.
This opera by Hector Berlioz is inspired by the memoirs of the Florentine sculptor Benvenuto Cellini whom he used as a persona to represent Berlioz’ identity of being an artist who overcomes all struggles, including those posed by the Church, to find his true love and provide his superiority to his peers.
Die EntfuhrungAus Dem Serail (The Abduction from the Seraglio)
Another opera from the most influential composer of the classical era is The Abduction from the Seraglio. This focuses on the attempt of the hero Belmonte, together with his servant Pedrillo to rescue his beloved Konstanze from the seraglio of Pasha Selim.
Eugene Onegin is a well-known example of lyric opera by P.I. Tchaikovsky with a dramatic involvement with nature. The story centers on a greedy hero who regrets rejecting a young woman’s love and inciting a fatal duel with his best friend. The opera was first played in Moscow in 1879.
Have you seen an opera before? How was the experience?