Opera is a performing art form in which singers perform a dramatic story usually together with an orchestra. The opera text is called libretto. It is combined with music, acting, scenery and costumes. The Italian word opera means work, both in the sense of the labor done and the result produced. Photo by Roman Boed, check his page!


Don Giovanni is based on the legend of Don Juan, a fictional libertine and seducer. The opera is one of the most performed operas worldwide and is a fruitful subject for writers and philosophers...more

Left: The 1988 Royal Opera House, Covent Garden production conducted by Colin Davis.

(7) Mozart

Madame Butterfly is the tragic love story of a 15 year old Japanese girl who marries a U.S. Lieutenant that does not take the relationship seriously... more

Left: Madame Butterfly cinematic adaption by Frederic Mitterrand in 2002 with Ying Huang, Richard Troxell, Ning Liang, Richard Cowan, Jing Ma Fan.

(8) Puccini

La Traviata is the story about the courtesan Violetta who falls in love with the nobleman Alfredo. Their love and live is messed up by his father who fears about the reputation of his family... more 

Left: La Traviata Salzburg Festival 2005 by Carlo Rizzi and Willy Decker, with Anna Netrebko, Roando Villazon, Thomas Hampson, Helene Schneidermann, Salvatore Cordella

(9) Verdi


The opera was invented around 1600 in Italy with the intention to revive the ancient Greek tragedy. The composer Claudio Monteverdi happened to be among the witnesses and saw the potential of putting together poetry, music, scenery and acting. In 1607, he wrote the earliest Opera that is still regularly performed: Orfeo.

Today, the five most performed Operas are La Boheme and Madame Butterfly (both Puccini), La Traviata (Verdi), Carmen (Bizet) and the Barber of Seville (Rossini). However, many musicians perceived Mozart's Don Giovanni as the most inspiring one of their lives.

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(7) "Croce-Mozart-Detail" by Johann Nepomuk della Croce (1736-1819) - [1]. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons ;(9) "Verdi" by Giovanni Boldini - http://www.operany.com/LudginFund/competition.htm (file). Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons; "GiacomoPuccini" by Original uploader was NewYork1956 at en.wikipedia - Originally from en.wikipedia; description page is/was here.. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons