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Thread: Our 13 favourite operas

          
   
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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 AnaMendoza's Avatar
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    Okay, I'm going to just start listing operas, and see what I come up with--I'll probably accidently leave off some of my most favorite of all....

    I'm listing ones that've stood the test of obsessive over-and-over listening.

    Mozart--Cosi fan Tutte
    Mozart--Don Giovanni
    Beethoven--Fidelio
    Rossini--La Cenerentola
    Bellini--Norma
    Verdi--La Traviata
    Verdi--Rigoletto
    Verdi--Don Carlos
    Wagner--Die Walkure (preferably entire Ring cycle if that were allowed)
    Bizet--Carmen
    Puccini--Tosca
    Strauss--Ariadne auf Naxos--if I were more familiar with all of Strauss's operas, this would probably be replaced with something else.

    And for a totally off-the-wall 13th:
    Rimsky-Korsakoff--Le Coq d'Or

  9. #9
    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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  11. #10
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    My No. 1 will always remain the same but the other 12 are in no particular order & the order changes according to my mood

    -1. Verdi - Simon Boccanegra
    -2. Verdi - Macbeth
    -3. Verdi - Falstaff
    -4. Verdi - Rigoletto
    -5. Verdi - Don Carlos
    -6. Boito - Mefistofele
    -7. Mussorgsky - Boris Godunov
    -8. Donizetti - Lucia di Lammermoor
    -9. Rossini - Il viaggio a Reims
    10. Bellini - I Puritani
    11. Puccini - La bohème
    12. Berlioz - Les Troyens
    13. Offenbach - Les contes d'Hoffmann
    " … if you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it at full speed ahead. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it, and above all become passionate about it."
    Roald Dahl

  12. #11
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    @Loge - Salustia - Pergolesi? This one I don't know. One for a purchase wish list, then. Do you recommend a recording?
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  13. #12
    Senior Member Involved Member
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    I think this is the only version that exists:
    Montpellier, 2008
    Maria Ercolano - Salustia
    José Maria Lo Monaco - Alessandro
    Marina De Liso - Marziano
    Raffaella Milanesi - Giulia
    Cyril Auvity - Claudio
    Valentina Varriale - Albina

    LA CAPPELLA DELLA PIETÀ DE' TURCHINI - Antonio Florio, direction

    You have it, complete, in youtube. [No longer available - link deleted by Admin]
    Last edited by Ann Lander (sospiro); January 7th, 2018 at 01:46 PM.

  14. #13
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    My top 13, with obsession first and the rest in general order of preference:
    1. Fidelio (Beethoven)
    2. Rigoletto (Verdi)
    3. Die Zauberflöte (Mozart)
    4. La Clemenza di Tito (Mozart)
    5. Il Trovatore (Verdi)
    6. Anna Bolena (Donizetti)
    7. La Traviata (Verdi)
    8. Tosca (Puccini)
    9. Madama Butterfly (Puccini)
    10. Lohengrin (Wagner)
    11. Lucia di Lammermoor (Donizetti)
    12. Leonora (Paer)
    13. Don Giovanni (Mozart)

  15. #14
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Almaviva View Post
    @Loge - Salustia - Pergolesi? This one I don't know. One for a purchase wish list, then. Do you recommend a recording?
    I just coincidentally posted a playlist on "Complete operas on YouTube". Haven't watched it yet, but the production looks beautiful.
    Natalie

  16. #15
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soave_Fanciulla View Post
    I just coincidentally posted a playlist on "Complete operas on YouTube". Haven't watched it yet, but the production looks beautiful.
    Great, thanks, subtitles in French so it's all good, I'll watch it later.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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