Opera - An introduction needed - I know nothing beyond the highlights on compilation discs

My Opera knowledge is almost zero apart from my Dad’s love of Gilbert & Sullivan and the aria highlights on compilation discs. If I wanted to try listening to just one all the way through any suggestions for one opera and a particular performance available on Tidal?
(I could just Google it but as I have experts on tap, so to speak)

The opera I always suggest to new listeners is:

Also, Opera is as much a visual medium. So, if you can you should also try and watch it (not this version, but the Met has one On Demand).

Why? Because if you have ever watched Bugs Bunny you will know much of the opening Overture. :smiley:

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One of my favorites from Living Stereo classic catalogue.
Especially trk #2

Avail on qobuz/tidal.

I think I have that :slight_smile:
It’s a full on opera I was looking for.

Found it, thanks.

As a starting point, I’d recommend something with clear, strong melodies, like Puccini’s Tosca or Turandot.

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I think Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro is quite approachable.

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Akimo

As a starting point, I’d recommend something with clear, strong melodies, like Puccini’s Tosca or Turandot.

Saw the thread title & immediately thought Turandot as a good starting place.

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If you have access to the BBC iPlayer there are three full length Live from the Met recordings currently available of Rossini, Wagner, and Mozart:

They’re good as introductions because they describe the story in detail before each act, have very approachable analysis, and they have interviews with the cast in intermission. Enjoy!

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Thanks the explanations would help.

Carmen. The music is catchy and popular, you’ll probably recognize a lot of it. The story isn’t bad either.

There was a movie version of it made back in the 80s I think. A good way to start. Placido Domingo starred.

It remains the only opera I’ve ever seen live (in Vienna), although I’ve watched other televised performances.

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Oh dear - how to pick just one? I’ve got lots to choose from… Still, I would definitely second the suggestions of The Barber of Seville, Turandot and Carmen. Then there’s Madame Butterfly and Don Carlos, also favourites of mine. Perhaps, though, try Hansel & Gretel by the original Engelbert Humperdink (the version conducted by Charles Mackerras).

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Othello and MacBeth by Verdi would also be great starting places.

If you want to try something more modern (and in English), you might want to consider Glass’ Galileo.

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Never a better time to enjoy opera as during this quarantine, though this doesn’t involve Roon.

The Metropolitan Opera is streaming one opera a day for free in HD from their archived performances. This week they are doing the entire Wagner Ring series - not the best place to start, though. Go to metopera.org and look for “on demand”.

The Vienna State Opera also got in on this and are streaming their archives. https://operawire.com/vienna-state-opera-to-offer-daily-live-streams-from-its-opera-archives/

Since opera is visual as well as audible, like others above I’d recommend seeing it as well as listening to it. It also helps a lot to read a plot synopsis since 90% of the classic repertory is in a language other than English. (The classic Victor Book of the Opera is great for this, but most operas have synopses on-line now.)

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