This Mozart's opera based on a stage play by Pierre Beaumarchais is often called the greatest opera ever written. Certainly contains the best overture ever written for an opera. Some roles are common with the ones in The Barber of Seville.
The Marriage of Figaro
This American opera by George Gershwin is set in Catfish Row of Charleston, South Carolina and concerns two African-American lovers.
Porgy and Bess
Puccini last opera that has an oriental setting. Concerns a haughty Chinese princess who sets riddles for her suitors. Calaf, the prince of Persia wins over her. Contains the famous aria "Nessun dorma."
Wagner's opera based on the legend of the Holy Grail. For several years since it was written, it wasn't allowed to play this opera outside Bayreuth in an opera house custom built for it.
This first successful opera of Wagner has its origins in his voyage to England during a storm. Senta, the daughter of a ship captain breaks a curse by sacrificing herself and frees an eternal voyager.
The Flying Dutchman
Concerns the rescue of Constanze from a harem by Belmonte aided by his side-kick Pedrillo. A possibly apocryphal story goes that after its staging, Emperor Joseph II said that there were too many notes to which Mozart replied that "There are just as many notes as there should be."
The Abduction from the Seraglio
Rossini's comedy based on a play by Beaumarchis. Concerns the attempts of Count Almaviva to wed the beautiful and rich Rosina aided by Figaro, who is the title character.
The Barber of Seville
Wagner's take on the traditional swan tale and a loose sequel to Parsifal. Contains the "Bridal Chorus", played at many weddings.
Much loved opera of Mozart with a confusing plot. The title object is given to Tamino to rescue Princess Pamina. Contains the famous "Queen of the Night's Aria."
The Magic Flute
Mozart's opera about the adventures of a libertine who is dragged to hell in the climax for his misdeeds.
Beloved opera of Menotti that was inspired by Hieronymus Bosch's painting The Adoration of the Magi. About a crippled boy who is healed upon offering his crutch as a gift to the Christ child.
Amahl and the Night Visitors
Composer Engelbert Humperdinck's opera based on a beloved fairy tale of a brother and sister written by brothers Grimm. Contains the aria "Abendsegen." Usually performed during Christmas.
Hansel and Gretel
Puccini's tragedy set in Nagasaki that was the basis of the Broadway hit Miss Saigon. Plot is the doomed love of Cio-Cio-San for Lieutenant Pinkerton of the U.S. Navy.
This 1892 Leoncavallo's opera is a tragedy about clowns, of all people!
Verdi's last opera and his only comedy that saw success. About the adventures of the titular fat knight on a mission to seduce Mrs. Ford and Mrs. Page.
Opera by Donizetti based on a Walter Scott novel that concerns the feuding Ashton and Ravenswood families. Contains the "Mad Scene" which is used by many sopranos to showcase their talent.
Lucia di Lammermoor
Richard Strauss' opera famous for its "Dance of the Seven Veils." Ends with the title character kissing a severed head and her disgusted father ordering her killing.
Bizet's opera that contains two of the most famous opera songs of all time - "Love is a Rebellious Bird" and "Toreador, be careful." Set around the adventures of a gypsy girl and Escamillo the bullfighter.
Puccini's tragedy in four acts. Story is set around two pairs - Rodolfo and Mimì, and Marcello and Musetta in Paris. Mimì famously suffers and dies from tuberculosis. The 1996 musical Rent by Jonathan Larson is based on this.
One of the many melodies in this Verdi classic is the "Anvil Chorus" performed by a group of gypsies.
Verdi's most popular opera commissioned by the Khedive of Egypt. Concerns a slave girl loved by Radames and ends with him entombed with his beloved.
Modest Mussorgsky's only completed opera. About a real-life Russian ruler who reigned as Tsar from 1598 to 1605.
Puccini tragedy which ends with the titular heroine's lover meeting his end at the hands of a firing squad and she jumping to her death.
Just name the four operas of Wagner's Ring Cycle.
Das Rhinegold, Die Walküre, Siegfried, and Götterdämmerung
Though he is better known for his waltzes, Johannn Strauss wrote this opera which means "The Bat" in German. The title comes from one of the character Dr. Falk dressing up as one in a costume party.
Popular German opera by Richard Strauss. Concerns the presentation of a silver rose by Octavian to Sophie.
Verdi's tragedy about a prostitute named Violetta ends when she loses her life to tuberculosis.
Mozart's opera whose title translates as "All Women Are Like That" from Italian. Several people attempted to write librettos for it.
Così fan tutte
Most successful opera of Tchaikovsky that has several references to Pushkin's verse novel of the same name. Mainly about the title character rebuffing and then longing for Tatiana.
Several version of this tale exist and Charles Gounod's work is the best known opera form. Concerns a certain Méphistophélès who tempts the protagonist with a beauty named Marguerite.
Trivia buffs would know this is Beethoven's only opera. Synopsis is the heroine Leonore disguising herself as a prison guard and calling herself with the titular name to rescue her husband Florestan.
One act play by Mascagni set in Sicily. Often performed with Pagliacci. Featured in the climax of Godfather III. Contains Intermezzo used in the soundtracks of several films and radio shows.
Verdi's tragedy about a hunchbacked jester ends with him crying over his daughter Gilda's dead body.