93. Tristan und Isolde (Richard Wagner)

Composer & libretto: Richard Wagner First performed: Königliches Hof- und Nationaltheater, Munich, 10 June 1865 My friend Phil has just posted his review of Tristan und Isolde.  (The poor bastard.) Here's one I made earlier, as they say on Blue Peter. I expect death threats by evening; let me warn you that I am fully armed (and sometimes legged, … Continue reading 93. Tristan und Isolde (Richard Wagner)

73. Le nozze di Figaro [The Marriage of Figaro] (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)

LE NOZZE DI FIGARO (THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO) Opera comica in 4 acts Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Libretto: Lorenzo da Ponte, after Beaumarchais First performed: Burgtheater, Vienna, 1 May 1786, conducted by Mozart Dossier (Parts of this post come from an article published in The Canberra Times, 10 August 2016.) PLOT Wedding preparations can be hell.  For audiences, … Continue reading 73. Le nozze di Figaro [The Marriage of Figaro] (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)

72. Capriccio (Richard Strauss)

CAPRICCIO “A Conversation Piece for Music” in 1 act Composer: Richard Strauss Libretto: Clemens Krauss and Richard Strauss First performed: Nationaltheater München, Munich, Germany, 28 October 1942, conducted by Clemens Krauss Dossier We continue our series on the world's dullest operas with Strauss's last offering, an artistic debate performed in the middle of WWII. Uncyclopedia gives this … Continue reading 72. Capriccio (Richard Strauss)

67. Der Schauspieldirektor (W.A. Mozart)

DER SCHAUSPIELDIREKTOR Komische Operette in 1 act - KV 486 Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Libretto: Gottlieb Stephanie the Younger First performed: Schönnbrunn Palace, Vienna, 7 February 1786; Kärntnertor Theater, Vienna, 11 February 1786 Dossier An imperial command is hard to refuse.  Mozart, halfway through a little number called The Marriage of Figaro, was ordered to compose after-dinner … Continue reading 67. Der Schauspieldirektor (W.A. Mozart)

50. Ariadne auf Naxos (Richard Strauss)

Opera in 1 act By Richard Strauss Libretto: Hugo von Hofmannsthal First performed: Hoftheater Stuttgart, 25 October 1912, as a 30-minute accompaniment to Molière’s Le Bourgeois gentilhomme.  Revised version: Vienna State Opera, 4 October 1916. Dossier "The thirty-minute opera for small chamber orchestra ... is as good as complete in my head," Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Viennese playwright … Continue reading 50. Ariadne auf Naxos (Richard Strauss)

46. Der Ring des Nibelungen (Richard Wagner)

“The Teutonic reputation for brutality is well-founded.  Their operas last three or four days.  And they have no word for ‘fluffy’.” – Blackadder A cursed magic ring; the forging of a broken sword; giants, dwarves, dragons, and Valkyries; and the downfall of the gods in a fiery cataclysm – combined with German philosophy, radical politics, … Continue reading 46. Der Ring des Nibelungen (Richard Wagner)

44. Der Widerspänstigen Zähmung / The Taming of the Shrew (Hermann Goetz)

DER WIDERSPÄNSTIGEN ZÄHMUNG (THE TAMING OF THE SHREW) Comic opera in 4 acts By Hermann Goetz Libretto: Joseph Viktor Widmann, after Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew First performed: National Theatre, Mannheim, 11 October 1874, conducted by Ernest Frank. Dossier Goetz's opera was a hit in provincial Germany, translated into French, and performed in New York.  These … Continue reading 44. Der Widerspänstigen Zähmung / The Taming of the Shrew (Hermann Goetz)