Flashcards in Operas Deck (94):
Ludwig von Beethoven
Damnation of Faust
Les Troyens (The Trojans)
Beatrice and Benedict
The Rape of Lucretia
Lucia di Lammermoor
Daughter of the Regiment
Orpheus and Eurydice
Iphigenia in Aulis
Iphigenia in Taurus
I Pagliacci (The Strolling Players)
Cavalleria Rusticana (Rustic Chivalry)
Abduction from the Seraglio
Marriage of Figaro
Cosi fan tutte
The Magic Flute
Orpheus in the Underworld
The Tales of Hoffman
La Fanciulla del West (Girl of the Golden West)
La Cenerentola (Cinderella)
Die Fledermaus (The Bat)
Ariadne auf Naxos
The Woman Without a Shadow
La rossignol (The Nightingale)
The Rake's Progress
The Queen of Spades
Il Travatore (The Troubadour)
La Traviata (The Lost One)
The Sicilian Vespers
The Masked Ball
The Force of Destiny
The Flying Dutchman
Tristan and Isolde
Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg
The Ring of the Nibelungen
(Das Rheingold, Die Walkure, Siegfried, Gotterdammerung)
Operas Based on Shakespeare
Berlioz: (Beatrice and Benedict-Much Ado About Nothing)
Verdi: (Falstaff, Macbeth, Otello)
The "Don" Operas
Massenet: Don Quixote
Mozart: Don Giovanni
Verdi: Don Carlos
Operas Set in Seville
Mozart: Don Giovanni, The Marriage of Figaro
Rossini: The Barber of Seville
Florestan, a freedom fighter
Leonore, Florestan's wife
Pizarro, Florestan's political enemy
(Seville) Florestan is arrested by Pizarro. Leonore disguises herself as a young man, calling herself Fidelio, to see Florestan in prison. In the end, justice triumphs; Florestan i freed and Pizarro is arrested.
Don Jose, a guardsman
Carmen, a gypsy
Escamillo, a bull fighter (toreador)
(Seville) Don Jose is led astray by his love for the fickle Carmen; Escamillo is his rival for her affection. In the end, Jose kills Carmen. Two famous arias: Carmen's "Habanera"; Escamillo's "Toreador Song".
The Daughter of the Regiment [Characters]
Marie, a canteen manager in a French regiment
Tonio, Marie's lover
Countess of Berkenfeld
The Daughter of the Regiment [Plot]
(The Tyrol, 1815) Marie has been raised in the regiment; she loves Tonio, whose life she saves. Marie is revealed to be, first, the niece and then the daughter of the Countess, who tries to marry off Marie to a nobleman. The regiment's soldiers intervene, allowign Marie to wed Tonio.
Lucia de Lammermoor [Characters]
Lord Enrico Ashton of Lammermoor, Lucia's brother
Edgardo of Revenswood, Lucia's lover
Lucia de Lammermoor [Plot]
(Scotland 17th Century) Lord Ashton treacherously disrupts Lucia's romance with Edgardo in order to force her marriage to rich Lord Bucklaw. Lucia goes mad and kills Bucklaw (the famous "Mad Scene") and later dies; Edgardo kills himself. Based on Sir Walter Scott's novel, The Bride of Lammermoor.
I Pagliacci [Characters]
Canio, head of a theatrical company
Nedda, wife of Canio
Tonio, a clown
Silvio, a villager
I Pagliacci [Plot]
(Village of Montalto) Nedda is unfaithful to Canio, who sings the famous aria Vesti la giubba, despairing deeply while playing a comedy role. During the performance of a comedy, Canio, playing the role of Pagliaccio, kills Nedda and Silvio on stage.
Manon / Manon Lescaut [Characters]
Count de Grieux
Manon, an adventuress
Manon / Manon Lescaut [Plot]
(France 18th Century) Two operas about the tempestuous affair between the Count and the sometimes fickle Manon. Eventually, Manon is forced into exile (for prostitution, by Massenet; for thievery, by Puccini); she falls ill and dies in the Count's arms.
Abduction from the Seraglio [Characters]
Blonde, Constanze's maid
Abduction from the Seraglio [Plot]
(Turkey 16th Century) Belmonte helps Constance and Blonde escape from the Pasha's seraglio (harem), where they were sold by pirates. Mozart's first stage work after settling in Vienna.
Don Giovanni (Don Juan) [Characters]
Don Giovanni [Plot]
(Seville) Don Giovanni is a scandalous rake, whose libertine ways lead to his consignment to hell by the statue of the Commandant. Don Giovanni had killed him in a duel and later invited the statute to dinner. This is often called Mozart's finest opera.
The Marriage of Figaro [Characters]
Figaro, a valet
Count Almaviva, Figaro's master
Susanna, Figaro's betrothed
The Marriage of Figaro [Plot]
(Seville 17th Century) A typical "opera bouffe," with lovers and would-be lovers, and mistaken identities. Like The Barber of Seville, based on plays by Beaumarchais.
Tales of Hoffman [Characters]
Hoffmann, a poet
Coppelius, a magician in different guises
Tales of Hoffman [Plot]
(Nuremberg, Venice and Munich, 19th century) Hoffman, in a tavern narrates three unfortunate affairs and his recurrent rivalry with Coppelius. After telling his story, Hoffman loses his latest love, Stella, to his rival, Linsdorf. Offenbach died before this opera was ever performed.
La Boheme [Characters]
Rodolfo, a poet
Mimi, a seamstress
La Boheme [Plot]
(Paris 19th Century) The turmoils of love among Parisian artists and their friends, ending with Mimi's death in their attic. Leoncavallo wrote a similar opera with the same name.
Girl of the Golden West [Characters]
Minnie, owner of the Polka Saloon
Sheriff Jack Rance
Dick Johnson, an outlaw
Girl of the Golden West [Plot]
(Gold rush California) Minnie strives to protect Johnson (aka the outlaw Ramerrez) from the law: once, she cheats at poker with Rance to save Johnson's life; in the end she talks lynchers out o hanging him.
Madame Butterfly [Characters]
Cio-Cio-San (Madame Butterfly), a geisha
Lt. Pinkerton, a U.S. naval officer
Madame Butterfly [Plot]
(Nagasaki, early 1900s) Pinkerton has a cavalier affare with Butterfly, who loves him deeply. After his ship sails, she waits faithfully for him. He returns with his American wife, who asks Butterfly to relinquish the son she had with Pinkerton. She agrees and commits suicide. Famous aria: "Un Bel Di." Ironically this classic opera had a disastrous premier and had to be revised by Puccini.
Floria Tosca, an opera singer
Mario, her lover
Scarpia, chief of police
(Rome 1800) Tosca and Mario's love, against the background of Napoleon's invasion of Italy. Scarpia arrests Mario and tries to woo Tosca, who gives herself to him to save Mario's life. Tosca kills Scarpia, but Mario's supposedly phony execution turns out to be real. Tosca throws herself from a prison parapet.
The servants (Ping, Pang and Pong)
The Unknown Prince
Liu, a save girl
(Ancient Peking) Turandot poses three riddles to her would-be suitors and executes each who fails to answer. Calaf succeeds and Turandot tries to reneg on her pledge to marry; he agrees to release her if she can discover his identity. Liu, who loves Calaf, commits suicide rather than reveal that he is a prince of the Tartar enemy. Turandot realizes she loves Calaf. Puccini's last opera; he died before finishing it. Although Toscanini completed the work, the first performance stopped where Puccini had left off.
The Barber of Seville [Characters]
Figaro, a barber
The Barber of Seville [Plot]
(Seville) One of the great Italian comic operas ("opera bouffe"), with conspiring lovers and mistaken identities. Like Mozart's Marriage of Figaro, based on plays by Beaumarchais.
The Bartered Bride [Characters]
Kezal, a marriage broker
The Bartered Bride [Plot]
(Bohemia 19th Century) Marie is betrothed to Wenzel but loves Hans, who apparently is bribed to give her up, but only as a trick to actually gain her. First important Bohemian folk opera.
Der Rosenkavalier (The Cavalier of the Rose) [Characters]
The Fieldmarshallin (Princess von Werdenberg)
Octavian, the Princess' lover
Sophie, loved by the Baron
Der Rosenkavalier (The Cavalier of the Rose) [Plot]
The Baron falls for Octavian, disguised as a maid. The Princess uses Octavian to convey a silver rose, the Baron's love token, to Sophie. Octavian and Sophie fall in love. After various intrigues and mistaken identities, the Princess blesses the marriage of Octavian and Sophie.
Aida, an Ethiopian slave
Radames, the captain of the guard
Amneris, daugter of Pharaoh
King of Ethiopia, Aida's father
(Ancient Egypt) Amneris wants to marry Radames, who loves Aida. Radames betrays Egypt's strategy against Ethiopia to Aida and is condemned to be buried alive; Aida joins him for his entombment. Opera was written to celebrate opening the Suez Canal in 1869, but performance was postponed until after the Franco-Prussian war.
A Masked Ball [Characters]
Renato, Ricardo's secretary
Amelia, REnato's wife
Ulrica, a fortune-teller
A Masked Ball [Plot]
(Sweden 18th Century) Ricardo and Amelia are in love, jealous Renato kills the King at a masked ball. Based on the assassination of King Gustavus III in 1792, because its regicide them was politically dangerous in the 19th century, the opera was initially presented as being set in colonial Massachusetts.
(Ancient Babylonia) Story of the Israelites in exile in Babylon, and their yearning for their homeland. Famous chorus: Va pensiero. One of Verdi's earliest operas, and seen as a political metaphor for the growing Italian desire for unification.
Rigoletto, a hunchback court jester
Gilda, Rigoletto's daughter
Duke of Mantua
(Mantua 16th Century) Rigoletto helps the Duke with his various love affairs, until Gilda becomes the Duke's next desire. Rigoletto's plot to kill the Duke results in Gilda's death instead. Famous arias: "La donna e mobile," "Caro nome".
La Traviata (The Lost One) [Characters]
Violetta Valery, a courtesan
Alfredo Germot, Violetta's lover
La Traviata (The Lost One) [Plot]
(Paris 1840) Based on Dumas' La Dame aux Camelias (Camille). Alfredo loves Violetta despite his fatehr's protest about her status. At last, she breaks off the affair for Alfredo's sake, without telling him why. They are reconciled just as she dies of tuberculosis. This opera was considered a failure when first produced.
Il Travatore [Characters]
Count di Luna, Manrico's rival
Azucena, a gypsy
Il Travatore [Plot]
(Biscay and Aragon 15th Century) The rivalry of Manrico and the Count for Leonora, complicated by the machinations of the gypsy Azucena, who knows the two men are actually brothers. Famous chorus: "The Anvil Chorus."
The Flying Dutchman [Characters]
Vanderdecken, a sailor
Daland, a sea captain
Senta, Daland's daughter
Eric, Senta's lover
The Flying Dutchman [Plot]
(Norwegian village 18th Century) For challenging heaven and hell, Vanderdecken must sail the seas forever on his ship, "The Flying Dutchman," until he is redeemed by the love of a faithful woman. Senta gives up Eric for Vanderdecken, who now fears that she will betray his as well. Vanderdecken sails away; Senta, still faithful, throws herself into the sea.
Lohengrin, a Knight of the Holy Grail
Elsa of Brabant
(Antwerp 10th Century) Lohengrin is the son of Parsifal. He arrives in a swan-drawn boat, saves Elsa's life and marries her.. She promisees never to attempt to discover his true identity, but betrays that promise, which forces them to part.
The Mastersingers of Nuremberg [Characters]
Pogner, a goldsmith
Eva, Pogner's daughter
Walther von Stolzing, a knight
Hans Sachs, a cobbler
The Mastersingers of Nuremberg [Plot]
(Nuremberg 16th Century) Pogner offers Eva in marriage to the winner of a song contest. Walther hopes to win, but doesn't know the contest rules. Hans recognizes Walther's talent and helps Walther win. Wagner's only comedy, similar in plot to his Tannhauser.
Various Knights of the Holy Grail
Klingsor, a magician
(The Castle of Montsalvat) Wagner's last drama, concerning the Knights of the Holy Grail, the Grail itself and the Spear that pierced Jesus at the crucifixion.
1. Das Rheingold (The Rhinegold) [Characters]
Wotan, ruler of the gods
Fasolt, a giant
Fafner, a giant
Alberich, King of the Nibelungs
Mime, Alberich's brother
1. Das Rheingold (The Rhinegold) [Plot]
(Ancient Europe) The Rhine Maidens guard magic gold; whoever makes it into a ring could rule the world if he renounces love. Alberich does so. Wotan reneges of giving Fafner and Fasolt his sister in marriage as the price for their building his palace; he offers them Alberich's ring instead. Mime creates the helmet Tarnhelm, which allows the wearer to change form. Fafner kills Fasolt to get the ring.
2. Die Walkure (The Valkyrie) [Characters]
Brunhilde, Wotan's daughter
Siegmund, Wotan's mortal son
Sieglinde, Siegmund's twin sister
2. Die Walkure (The Valkyrie) [Plot]
Siegmund and Sieglinde, unaware of their relationship, become lovers. Siegmund steals the sword Nothung; together they flee her husband, Hunding. Brunhilde helps them despite Wotan's orders. Siegmund is killed, his sword broken. Brunhilde is deprived of her divinity and put to sleep in a ring of fire; the man who penetrates this ring will be her husband.
3. Siegfried [Characters]
Siegfried, son of Siegmund and Sieglinde
3. Siegfried [Plot]
Mime tells Siegfried of his parentage and tries to repair the sword Nothung for Siegfried to use against Fafner, who is now a dragon and has the Ring. Siegfried slays Fafner; Alberich and Mime argue over the treasure. Siegfried enters the circle of flame and takes Brunhilde. Siegfried slays Fafner.
4. Die Gotterdammerung (The Twilight of the Gods) [Characters]
Gunther, chief of the Gibichungs
Hagen, Gunther's brother
Gutrune, sister of Gunther and Hagen
4. Die Gotterdammerung (The Twilight of the Gods) [Plot]
Siegfried gives Brunhilde the Ring. Hagen wants Gunther to marry Brunhilde and Gutrune to marry Siegfried. Siegfried is given a potion that erases his memory; he forgets Brunhilde and agrees to marry Gutrune. When his memory is restored, Hagen kills him. Hagen kills Gunther over the Ring. Brunhilde dies on Siegfried's funeral pyre. The Rhine floods and the Rhine Maidens retrieve the Ring; Valhalla, the home of the gods, crumbles in flames, destroying the gods.
Tannhauser, a minstrel knight
Elizabeth, niece of the landgrave
(Thuringia 13th Century) Tannhauser enters a song contest, the subject of which is love, to win Elizabeth's hand. Offending everyone by singing a sensual song about Venus, he is banished and joins a pilgrimage to Rome. He returns having failed to receive absolution (it will come when the Pope's staff sprouts), and dies as Elizabeth's funeral bier passes by. Later pilgrims bring news that the Pope's staff has sprouted.
Tristan and Isolde [Characters]
King Mark of Cornwall, Tristan's uncle
Isolde, Princess of Ireland