Ambroise Thomas: Hamlet (1868)

Grand Opera en cinq actes. Running Time: 3 hours 19 minutes (including 7 minutes of supplementary material). SETTING: Elsinore, Denmark, some time when Denmark was still Roman Catholic. Oft told tale of melancholy Dane (baritone) who sees his dead dad (bass) leading to the drowning of his would-be-girlfriend (soprano), the murder of her father (bass, although […]

Gaetano Donizetti: Parisina (1833)

Opera in three acts. Running Time: 2 hours 40 minutes. A favourite of its composer, much of the score is taken from Ugo, conte di Parigi. I am inclined to recommend this one because its plot is more interesting than the idiocy of the former opera. The role of Ugo was also the first written by Donizetti for […]

Gaetano Donizetti: Fausta (1832)

Opera in due atti. Running Time: 2 hours 53 minutes. So I am starting to run out of 1830s Donizetti tragedies (this is my 33rd Donizetti review but I think I have Parisina, Ange de Nisida, and Alba left), and there are the earlier operas and most of the comedies to get through. I have […]

Gaetano Donizetti: Gabriella di Vergy (1838)

Opera in tre atti. Running Time: 2 hours 2 minutes. This opera never really had a chance. Written originally in 1826, numbers were later refitted into multiple other operas, including Il Paria and Anna Bolena. It was rewritten in 1838 and music from Maria di Rudenz and Rosmonda d Inghilterra was re-purposed   in order to lengthen the […]

Benjamin Britten: Gloriana (1953)

Opera in three acts (because this one is in English!) Running Time: 2 hours 38 minutes. FYI: This post was released on the 420th anniversary of the execution of Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex. Written for the coronation festivities of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, this was one of the few failures of an otherwise […]

Friedrich von Flotow: Martha (1847)

Romantisch-Komische Oper im fier Akten. Running Time: 2 hours 5 minutes. The most famous and perhaps only well known Flotow opera, this thing has one of the most hilariously bizarre plots in all opera that doesn’t attempt to suspend reality with the likes of a giant serpent. Based on a ballet for which Flotow composed […]

Saverio Mercadante: Il giuramento (1837)

Opera in tre atti. Running Time: 2 hours 12 minutes. This is the first of three reviews I finished in August 2020 because I just can’t get enough of Mercadante. In essence La Gioconda forty years before the fact, this was the first opera of the Mercadante reform, and his greatest international success (there is just something […]

Alessandro Nini: La Marescilla da Ancre (1839)

Opera in due atti. Running Time: 2 hours. Hi, this is Historian Phil coming to you with yet another of my famous opera-history connection lessons, and this one is très compliqué. This is one I know almost no one knows. I didn’t even know about it until I started writing this review. The husband of […]