Friday, February 03, 2006


Who wrote only one opera? - search terms

I get the above search term ALL THE TIME, so I figured it is time to answer it! :)
Some great composers have written only one opera, the supreme examples being Beethoven, whose Fidelio is regarded by many as the greatest of all operas, and Debussy (Pelléas et Mélisande), while others have written none, this would include Brahms, Bruckner, Elgar, Mahler, and Ives.
There are many 20th-21st- century composer who as yet, have written only one opera, and time will tell before they join that august list of "composers who wrote only one opera".

2 Comments:

Blogger Paul said...

Wha a pleasant coincidence that my next bit of blog commentary will discuss this very topic - tentatively titled "One-Hit Wonders of Opera." I hope to have something on this posted within the next several days.

2:55 PM  
Blogger Canadian Basso said...

Thanks for the post! This is an awesome blog you have, I would love to cross links with you. It's nice to see someone else talking about this music as a living, fun thing!

I'm reminded of a quote by the great up and coming pianist Lang Lang:

"For me, music is a language. That's why I like to perform, because it's the way I speak out. But most people my age, you talk to them about classical music and it's this forbidden thing, this weird thing wrapped in plastic. I'm trying to change that. Put me on MTV, man. Let people see how cool Beethoven is."

BTW, I don't know that Fidelio can really be called the greatest opera. The orchestration is incredible, and the scope of the thing, the way the voice intertwines with the music, is something incredible that no one could approach until Wagner made it an art.

I suppose what I'm saying is, Fidelio isn't a traditional approach to opera. If you like it's different approach, then I think Wagner took it further and did it better. If you don't, then you would never choose Fidelio over Rigoletto anyways, so it's a moot point. :)

11:31 AM  

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