A short history of opera

Now that we’re half way through Verdi’s opera and the term, I thought that this might be a good moment to look at the work in its broader historical and cultural context. So this week it’s a lightning tour of opera starting from Monteverdi (the beginning, more or less) and travelling – via Gluck, Mozart, Bellini, Rossini, Weber, Wagner et al. – up to (and slightly(?) beyond) the moment at La Scala when the curtain rose on the The Garter Inn for the first time.


Gluck: Orfeo ed Euridice
Coro de la Comunidad de Madrid, Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia & Peter Maag – Atto III, Scena I: Aria “Che Farò Senza Euridice” (Orfeo) (Gluck)

Mozart: Don Giovanni
Philharmonia Orchestra – Don Giovanni (2002 – Remaster), Act I, Scene One: Introduction: Notte e giorno faticar (Leporello)

Wagner: The Valkyrie
Sebastian Weigle – Die Walkure: Act III Scene 3: Der Augen leuchtendes Paar (Wotan)

Puccini: Madama Butterfly
Ying Huang – “Dovunge al mondo…” (Pinkerton, Goro, Sharpless)

Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as “fair use”, for the purpose of study, and critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of the copyright owner(s).