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  1. #1
    Schigolch
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    Our 13 favourite operas

    They don't need to be the best ones. This is a quite elusive concept.

    Just the ones we love the most, as of January, 2012. Of course, each personal list will likely evolve (or not) with the passing of time.

    Why 13?... Well, why not?. It's a nice number, just above a dozen and below fourteen...

    The Ring counts as a single opera.

    This is my list, in alphabetical order:


    1. Carmen - Bizet
    2. Dialogues des Carmélites - Poulenc
    3. Die Tote Stadt - Korngold
    4. Don Giovanni - Mozart
    5. Giulio Cesare in Egitto - Haendel
    6. La Bohème - Puccini
    7. Luci mie traditrici - Sciarrino
    8. Lulu - Berg
    9. Norma - Bellini
    10. Otello - Verdi
    11. Pelléas et Mélisande - Debussy
    12. Saint François d'Assise - Messiaen
    13. The Turn of the Screw - Britten

  2. #2
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    1. Tristan und Isolde (Wagner)
    2. Norma (Bellini)
    3. Lucia di Lammermoor (Donizetti)
    4. I Puritani (Bellini)
    5. L'Elisir d'Amore (Donizetti)
    6. Barbiere (Rossini)
    7. L'Orfeo (Monteverdi)
    8. Eugene Onegin (Tchaikovsky)
    9. Lohengrin (Wagner)
    10. Straszny Dwór (Moniuszko)
    11. La Traviata (Verdi)
    12. Les Troyens (Berlioz)
    13. Could be Comte Ory (Rossini) if we take "considering one particular performance" as option

    There should be perhaps more Verdi but I'm changing my mind about him and most of his operas too often

  3. #3
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Dark_Angel's Avatar
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    1)Don Carlos - Verdi
    2)La Traviata - Verdi
    3)Un Ballo Machero - Verdi
    4)Norma - Bellini
    5)Puritani - Bellini
    6)Lucia de Lammermoor - Donizetti
    7)Elixir of Love - Donizetti
    8)Tosca - Puccini
    9)Barber of Seville - Rossini
    10)Carmen - Bizet
    11)Marriage of Figaro Mozart
    12)Cosi Fan Tutti - Mozart
    13)Die Fledermaus - Strauss

    Top 13 but not in absolute order of preference

  4. #4
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member HarpsichordConcerto's Avatar
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    In no particular order and just a casual list.

    Giulio Cesare in Egitto
    Tamerlano
    Rodelinda
    Ariodante
    Alcina

    Don Giovanni
    Figaro
    Cosi fan Tutti

    Barber of Seville
    Carmen
    Rigoletto
    Don Carlo
    Parsifal

  5. #5
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Interesting question, and it is difficult, since there are hundreds of worthy candidates, and like Schigolch said, it varies with one's mood, with what one is focusing on at a given period of time...

    But yes, I do have my perennial favorites.

    So, let's see.

    The Ring, especially Die Walküre and Götterdämmerung, so, that's two.
    Tristan und Isolde, three.
    These are some of the most sublime artistic creations of humankind.
    Next I look at Verdi. La Traviata and Otello are by far my two favorite Verdis. I love many others.. but I want to give to this list of 13 some balance, I want to include the best of my favorite opera composers, so I'll keep Verdi at two. That's four and five.
    You all know of my predilection for Berlioz, unfortunately not shared by many.
    Les Troyens and La Damnation de Faust take positions six and seven.
    Mozart is next, of course.
    Le Nozze di Figaro is eighth, and lately Così fan Tutte has been displacing other Mozart operas in my preference. So it's eight and ninth.
    Handel. I love ALL of his operas that I know. The man was amazing. He didn't know how to put two notes together without making of them a thing of beauty. So, I could insert here dozens of operas, but for the sake of this list, I'll pick his very best in my opinion, Giulio Cesare. Tenth.
    OK, only three more, you say?
    I have to pick a contemporary opera, to represent the spirit of the art form, the drive to keep it alive and to pass the flame to the next generations. I'll have to pick the contemporary opera (among so many others that I love) that has impressed me the most for its innovation, impact, and sheer beauty: Sciarrino's Luci Mie Traditrici. Eleventh.
    Oh boy. Two more.
    Huh. Rossini. I love Rossini. You guys will think about that pesky guy Figaro, right? Wrong. Rossini's best opera is Ermione, number 12.
    One left. Oh boy. Oh oh boy. Can't we push it to 130 instead of 13?
    How does one manage to say one more and leave out so many spectacular masterpieces???
    OK, I know how to settle this. Bellini's Norma. An opera that includes Casta Diva can't be left out of anybody's list of the best. It is, you know, the most beautiful aria of all time. So there you go. I got my13.

    PS - Oh, I've just realized, the Ring counts as one opera. So this opens space for one more for me.

    R. Strauss. Die Frau Ohne Schatten.
    Last edited by Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva); January 28th, 2012 at 01:13 AM.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  6. #6
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Bizet – Carmen
    Britten – Billy Budd
    Handel – Giulio Cesare in Egitto
    Handel – Hercules
    Massenet – Manon
    Monteverdi – Il Ritorno D’Ulisse in Patria
    Mozart – Don Giovanni
    Mozart – Le Nozze di Figaro
    Puccini - Tosca
    Puccini - La Fanciulla del West
    Tchaikovsky – Eugene Onegin
    Verdi- Don Carlos
    Verdi – Otello
    Natalie

  7. #7
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Amfortas's Avatar
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    Part of this question is easy. I've known my ten favorite operas for some time now (actually, there are eleven now in my Big Ten--think of it as a college athletic conference). In no particular order, they are:

    Die Walkure (or, for the purposes of this exercise, the Ring as a whole) - Wagner
    Parsifal - Wagner
    Tristan und Isolde - Wagner
    Die Meistersinger - Wagner
    Don Carlo - Verdi
    Otello - Verdi
    Falstaff - Verdi
    Le Nozze di Figaro - Mozart
    Die Zauberflöte - Mozart
    Der Rosenkavalier - Strauss
    Eugene Onegin - Tchaikovsky

    Now comes the hard part: adding two more. For right now, I'll go with Berlioz's Les Troyens and Prokofiev's War and Peace. But don't hold me to those picks.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Involved Member
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    I completely agree with this:
    Quote Originally Posted by Almaviva View Post
    Interesting question, and it is difficult, since there are hundreds of worthy candidates, and like Schigolch said, it varies with one's mood, with what one is focusing on at a given period of time...
    And this:
    Quote Originally Posted by Almaviva View Post
    The Ring, especially Die Walküre and Götterdämmerung, so, that's two.
    And particularly this:
    Quote Originally Posted by Almaviva View Post
    Handel. I love ALL of his operas that I know. The man was amazing. He didn't know how to put two notes together without making of them a thing of beauty. So, I could insert here dozens of operas, but for the sake of this list, I'll pick his very best in my opinion, Giulio Cesare.
    I think the whole Handel's production could count as one single opera, too. For my ears, all Handel sounds very similar, what means all sounds marvellous.

    Well, my list:

    1. The Ring (Walküre the best, and Götterdämmerung silver medal) - Wagner
    2. Turandot - Puccini (Amazing, vibrant, magnificient and, sometimes, heroic music)
    3. Rigoletto - Verdi (A moving story about paternal feelings)
    4. Giulio Cesare - Haendel
    5. Tannhauser - Wagner (Pilgrim's chorus is... is... Sorry, I haven't words to it)
    6. Norma - Bellini (The top of beautiful tune)
    7. Mefistofele - Boito (Fantastic prologue, more fantastic end, and funny "Pur ch'io distenda questo mantel", "L'altra notte in fondo al mare" -aaahhh-, "Lontano, lontano, lontano", Elena&Pantalis duet, and Four Act's end)
    8. Nabucco - Verdi
    9. I Puritani - Bellini
    10. Mme Butterfly - Puccini
    11. Sansón y Dalila - Saint-Saëns
    12. Xerxes - Haendel
    13. Salustia - Pergolesi

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  10. #9
    Member Member Xavier35's Avatar
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    As they say just a casual list:

    Pelleas et Melisande

    Falstaff

    Das Rheingold

    Moses and Aron

    Palestrina

    Die Frau ohne Schatten

    The Trojans

    Oedipus der Tyrann

    The Rake's Progress

    Gotterdammerung

    Doktor Faust

    The Love for Three Oranges

    Simon Boccanegra

  11. #10
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xavier35 View Post
    As they say just a casual list:

    Pelleas et Melisande

    Falstaff

    Das Rheingold

    Moses and Aron

    Palestrina

    Die Frau ohne Schatten

    The Trojans

    Oedipus der Tyrann

    The Rake's Progress

    Gotterdammerung

    Doktor Faust

    The Love for Three Oranges

    Simon Boccanegra
    Nice list. I very much like 12 among the 13 you've quoted, and if we have such overlapping tastes, I probably should get to know the one that I'm not familiar with (I haven't seen Orff's Oedipus), and you included two of my very top favorites of all time, Les Troyens and Die Frau Ohne Schatten.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  12. #11
    Member Member Xavier35's Avatar
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    Almaviva,

    Quote Originally Posted by Almaviva View Post
    Nice list. I very much like 12 among the 13 you've quoted, and if we have such overlapping tastes, I probably should get to know the one that I'm not familiar with (I haven't seen Orff's Oedipus)
    I think Oedipus der Tyrann will remain for serious connoisseurs only. I've never come across an enthusiast of this work. Not even the 'The Opera Critic' website contains a single entry:

    http://www.theoperacritic.com/review...=daroedtyr1206

    Here is a line from a 2010 Opera magazine review of the DVD:

    Oedipus der Tyrann is like retsina after sweet spatlese [.....] I suppose in the end it is for committed Orffians only

    http://www.wergo.de/shop/en_UK/Audio...ow,266953.html

    And this:

    When it appeared on the scene back in 1960 it suffered a round of performances and quickly disappeared from view. At its premiere it was roundly trashed by opera critics. Even the famous Vienna opera critic Joseph Wechsberg deemed it.... "rhythmic themes repeated ad nauseam"

  13. #12
    Staff Writer & Reviewer - Life-time Donor Veteran Member Jephtha's Avatar
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    I only heard Oedipus der Tyrann once, and as I recall there was precious little singing in it. I could be wrong. Seemed like it was mostly recitation and spoken dialogue, but I could be thinking of something else.

  14. #13
    Senior Member Involved Member jflatter's Avatar
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    I did say in no particular order.

  15. #14
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schigolch View Post
    They don't need to be the best ones. This is a quite elusive concept.

    Just the ones we love the most, as of January, 2012. Of course, each personal list will likely evolve (or not) with the passing of time.

    Why 13?... Well, why not?. It's a nice number, just above a dozen and below fourteen...

    The Ring counts as a single opera.
    Mine as of 2018:

    La Sonnambula
    Martha (Flotow)
    L'Amico Fritz
    Fidelio
    Der fliegende Hollander
    Maria Stuarda
    Capuleti e i Montecchi
    La Fanciulla del West
    Il Trovatore
    Giulio Cesare
    Boris Godunov
    Eugene Onegin
    Der Ring des Nibelungen

    Well that is 13 but I ought to also have a Monteverdi opera in there.
    "Music is enought for a whole lifetime--but a lifetime is not enough for music." --Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff

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  17. #15
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    Mine as at one minute before midday on Monday the eighteenth of June of the year two thousand and eighteen

    Jephtha
    Theodora
    Alcina
    Saul
    Les fêtes d'Hébé
    Dardanus
    Phaëton
    Psyché
    Thésée
    L'incoronazione di Dario
    Griselda (Viv's one)
    L'Orfeo (Monty's one)
    Götterdämmerung

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