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. "The thirty-minute opera for small chamber orchestra ... is as good as complete in my head," Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Viennese playwright and … 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 SYNOPSIS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvjA9iCpB-8&w=640&h=385 The opera is based on Shakespeare's early comedy.  Katherina is the "shrew"; she bullies her family, … Continue reading 44. Der Widerspänstigen Zähmung / The Taming of the Shrew (Hermann Goetz)

35. Mona Lisa (Max von Schillings)

MONA LISA Opera in 2 acts By Max von Schillings (Op. 31) Libretto: Beatrice Dovsky Dossier https://youtu.be/9f-8Y5VoDRw&w=640&h=385 Schillings’ opera is an intense shocker inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s famous painting, and which plays with ideas of reincarnation and the eternal mysteries of Woman. It was a success in its day, performed throughout Germany, Austria, and … Continue reading 35. Mona Lisa (Max von Schillings)

33. Orfeo ed Euridice / Orphée et Eurydice (Christoph Willibald Gluck)

ORFEO ED EURIDICE / ORPHÉE ET EURYDICE By Christoph Willibald Gluck Libretto : Ranieri de’ Calzabigi First performed: Burgtheater, Vienna, 5 October 1762 Revised: Orphée et Eurydice, Académie Royale de Musique (seconde salle du Palais Royal), Paris, 2 August 1774, with a French text by Pierre Louis Moline.  Berlioz prepared another version in 1859, for the … Continue reading 33. Orfeo ed Euridice / Orphée et Eurydice (Christoph Willibald Gluck)

32. Paride ed Elena – Christoph Willibald Gluck

PARIDE ED ELENA Dramma per musica By Christoph Willibald Gluck Libretto: Ranieri de’ Calzabigi First performed: Burgtheater, Vienna, 3 November 1770 Dossier Gluck, let’s face it, has a reputation.  Noble, high-minded, austere, but also dull – as poised and as marmoreal as a Classical statue.  “Faultily faultless, icily regular, splendidly null, / Dead perfection, no … Continue reading 32. Paride ed Elena – Christoph Willibald Gluck

31. Der Cid – Peter Cornelius

DER CID Lyrisches Drama in 3 Acts Music and libretto by Peter Cornelius First performed: Weimar, 21 May 1865, conducted by Carl Stor Dossier Peter Cornelius was one of those marginal figures who pops out of the woodwork at surprising moments.  He was a member of Wagner’s circle at Bayreuth; Lohengrin is a big influence … Continue reading 31. Der Cid – Peter Cornelius