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List of famous operas

Useful lists are either complete lists or selective lists. This is a selective list.

Famous operas arranged by composer.

This list, intended to reflect the standard operatic repertory, consists of the most famous and historically significant operas, arranged alphabetically by composer followed by city and date of first staged performance. Many splendid and under-appreciated masterpieces, aside from operatic curiosities, can be found in entries under the names of their individual composers.

In many opera houses this international repertory is supplemented by local standards. An American list, for example, would include George Gershwin's Porgy and Bess and Samuel Barber's Vanessa. A French list would not omit Delibes' Lakmé. Wagner's Rienzi is missing. Skirmishing about any accepted canon tends to be most intense around the periphery. All the operas in this list are discussed in standard guidebooks, such as The Penguin Guide to Opera, ed. Amanda Holden, 1994.

Details of plot, anecdotes and history of composition and production, etc. are found in the operas' individual entries (linked). These lists are not complete: complete lists of composers' operas are to be found in the composers' individual entries (linked), and in Category:Operas.

  • Mikhail Glinka
    • A Life for the Tsar (performed as Ivan Susanin since 1939)
    • Ruslan and Ludmila
  • Leos Janacek
    • Jenufa (Brno 1904)
    • The Cunning Little Vixen (Brno 1924)
    • The Makropulos Case (Brno 1926)
  • Francois Poulenc
    • Dialogues of the Carmelites (Dialogues des Carmelites) (Milan 1957)
  • Maurice Ravel
    • L'Heure Espagnole (Paris 1911)
    • L'Enfant et les Sortilèges (Monte Carlo 1926)

Last updated: 10-24-2004 05:10:45