Friday, March 4, 2011

Night at the Opera

I've decided to set myself a goal this year. I'm an avid opera-fan, but I've never done a good job at investigating the source material for the librettos of some of my favorite pieces. I want to change that. I decided to read 5 novels that were turned into operas I like.

So I started looking around for books upon which operas have been based. Turns out, most of the pieces I know come from source material are actually from mythology or plays. So I expanded, and now it's a big goal: 5 novels, 5 plays, and 5 mythological sources (plays or poems). I think it's a good project.

Here's what I'm looking at:


  • Bride of the Lammermoors / Walter Scott (Lucia di Lammermoor / Donizetti)
  • Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District / Nikolai Leskov (Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District / Shostakovich)
  • Manon Lescaut / Abbé Prévost (Manon / Massenet)
  • Eugene Onegin / Alexander Pushkin (Eugene Onegin / Tchaikovsky)
  • Le Mariage de Loti / Pierre Loti (Lakmé / Delibes)


  • Othello / William Shakespeare (Otello / Verdi)
  • Les mamelles de Tirésias / Apollinaire (Les mamelles de Tirésias / Poulenc)
  • Le Viol de Lucrèce / André Obey (The Rape of Lucretia / Britten)
  • The Figaro Trilogy / Pierre Beaumarchais (The Barber of Seville / Rossini ; The Marriage of Figaro / Mozart ; La Mère Coupable / Milhaud ; The Ghosts of Versailles / Corigliano)
  • The Merry Wives of Windsor / William Shakespeare (Falstaff / Verdi)


  • Daphnis and Chloe / Longus (Daphnis et Chloé / Offenbach)
  • Iphigenia in Tauris / Euripedes (Iphigénie en Tauride / Gluck)
  • Oedipus Rex / Sophocles (Oedipus Rex / Stravinsky)
  • Metamorphoses / Ovid (a ton of stuff)
  • Electra / Sophocles (Elektra / Strauss)

Since this exploded, I'm not looking at an end date or anything.... but hopefully I'll make a big dent in it this year. And then I can make a new list! Whee.

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