Favorite Opera Composers: The Eclectic Quartet

Here is my eclectic "quartet" of opera composers, who may or may not be mainly considered as opera composers or "major" opera composers. But there is one thing in common, they all produced quality (very subjective here) operas of low quantity (well, it's as objective as one can get). In fact, two seems to be the magic number, Carmen and Pearl Fisher for Bizet, Lulu and Wozzeck for Berg, Boris Godunov and Khavaschina for Mussorgsky, and Lady Macbeth and Nose for Shostakovich. Whatever prevented them from writing more, whether its premature death or redirected output venue, two from each enriched opera scene greatly and to me personally and enormously.

Favorite Opera Composers: The Mainstream/Major Quartet

As you can guess from the above list, many (most?) opera lovers would probably disagree with me for not mentioning any great Italian operas (whether by Italians or others writing Italian operas), and for that matter, German operas. To make things worse, I didn't have any "major" (in productivity, at least) opera composers in my eclectic quartet. I'm by no means so narrow-minded to expect all the opera houses performing a handful operas only. I do enjoy many mainstream operas by major opera composers, and count them among my personal favorites. So, here is my list, or my mainstream/major quartet, "Italian/German" operas/composers that I truly enjoy:

Other (semi-)Favorite Opera Composers

Other Favorite Operas by Other Composers

Performances: Live vs. Video/Audio Recordings

Prepared by Jeff Tian (tian@engr.smu.edu).
Created in 1997? Last update: April 4, 2011.
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