Opera: History, Facts, and Resources
Who Wrote the First Opera?
As opera became a sensation, the process of tracing its history back to a single work began; scholars have researched this question to find that the first such work appears to have been written more than 400 years ago. Ottavio Rinuccini’s Dafne, which was introduced to the world in 1597 is considered the first opera, but the 1607 opera L’Orfeo is widely regarded as the first operatic masterwork.
Where Did Opera Originate?
Opera started in Italy at the end of the 16th century and soon spread through the rest of Europe by way of Schütz in Germany, Lully in France, and Purcell in England.
Who Wrote the Opera Carmen?
María del Carmen is an opera in three acts composed by Enrique Granados to a Spanish libretto by José Feliú i Codina based on his 1896 play of the same name. It was Granados’s first operatic success and although largely forgotten today, he considered it to be his best opera.
Who Composed the Opera Cosi Fan Tutti?
Così fan tutte, ossia La scuola degli amanti translated to english means “Thus Do They All, or The School For Lovers”, is an opera buffa by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The libretto was written by Lorenzo Da Ponte.
List of Operas in English
There have been many operas that have been written and performed in English. Below you will find a short list of some of the well known operas in english.
Venus and Adonis, often thought of as the first true English-language opera
Dido and Aeneas
Shakespeare in Purcell’s The Fairy-Queen
Beaumont and Fletcher in The Prophetess
The Temple of Dullness
Henry and Emma
Thomas and Sally
Love in a Village
John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera
The Mountain Sylph
The Mines of Sulphur
Punch and Judy
Where the Wild Things Are
In the 20th century, American composers like Gershwin, Gian Carlo Menotti, and Carlisle Floyd began to contribute English-language operas infused with touches of popular musical styles. They were followed by modernists like Philip Glass, Mark Adamo, John Coolidge Adams, and Jake Heggie.