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Dream opera seasons

Let me imagine for a few minutes that I am in charge of season programming for an opera house. Let me further imagine that my opera house is guaranteed to sell out every performance. That is, there are no commercial incentives behind my choices–only artistic ones. Here are some dream seasons I would plan. They all include some operas I’ve never seen (so perhaps they’re not actually any good), but that’s part of the point!

Season #1–Ancient Greece and Rome

La clemenza di Tito at the Metropolitan Opera. Photo: Marty Sohl.

La clemenza di Tito at the Metropolitan Opera. Photo: Marty Sohl.

  • Lucio Silla (Mozart)
  • Idomeneo (Mozart)
  • La clemenza di Tito (Mozart)
  • Les Troyens (Berlioz)
  • Dido and Aeneas (Purcell)
  • Il ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria (Monteverdi)
  • L’incoronazione di Poppea (Monteverdi)
  • La vestale (Spontini)
  • The Rape of Lucretia (Britten)
  • Arianna in Creta (Handel)
  • Atalanta (Handel)
  • Iphigenie en Tauride (Gluck)
  • Ariadne auf Naxos (Strauss)
  • Sapho (Gounod)
  • Zelmira (Rossini)

Season #2–Nothing but Schiller

  • William Tell (Rossini)
  • I masnadieri (Verdi)
  • I briganti (Mercadente)
  • Die Räuber (Klebe)
  • Luisa Miller (Verdi)
  • Maria Stuarda (Donizetti)
  • Don Carlos (Verdi)
  • Don Carlos (anyone else–Buzzolla, Bona, Costa, or Moscuzza)
  • Giovanna d’Arco (Pacini)
  • Giovanna d’Arco (Verdi)
  • The Maid of Orleans (Tchaikovsky)
  • Das Mädchen aus Domrémy (Klebe)

Season #3–Angels, Demons, and Ghosts

Angels in America at Fort Worth Opera. Photo: Ellen Appel.

Angels in America at Fort Worth Opera. Photo: Ellen Appel.

  • Faust (Gounod)
  • Mefistofele (Boito)
  • The Demon (Rubinstein)
  • Die Teufel von Loudon (Penderecki)
  • The Devil and Kate (Dvořák)
  • Der Freischütz (Weber)
  • The Fiery Angel (Prokofiev)
  • Angels in America (Eötvös)
  • Tobias and the Angel (Dove; this one needs to be done in a small studio space)
  • Der fliegende Holländer (Wagner)
  • Pikovaya Dame (Tchaikovsky)
  • Don Giovanni (Mozart)
  • Macbeth (Verdi)
  • Turn of the Screw (Britten)
  • The Ghosts of Versailles (Corigliano)
  • Lulu (Berg)

Disagree with my choices? Think I missed a great opera for one of my themes? Want to schedule your own season? Let me know in the comments!

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