Sunday, December 31, 2017

Operas written since 1945: an impressive list

Vagne Thierry has created an impressive (and extensive) list of operas written since 1945. He includes the names of composers (with dates and nationalities), titles of their works, and links to their websites and to media (CDs and DVDs).

Just glancing through I learned that Beth Anderson wrote an opera about Queen Christina of Sweden (so now I don't have to), Giancarlo Aquilanti wrote an opera about Lot's women (so now I don't have to), and Hubert Bird wrote an opera about John Dee, the Astrologer to Queen Elizabeth I (so now I don't have to).

I see friends on the list: Gary Bachlund's fable operas are on the list, and a good number of Seymour Barab's operas are there (with links).

Mr. Thierry kindly sent me an email message letting me know about the list (my operas The Snow Queen, Sister Beatrice, and EMMA are listed). I imagine he sent messages to all the living composers on the list with an email address, and that other composers are looking through the list and enjoying it as much as I am. I could spend all day with this (it took an hour just to make it through from A to C), but I will have to wait until later to dip in again. There's a lot to be learned from this list.

Writing an opera is a HUGE amount of work, and is, in my case, a labor of love. That love is so often unrequited because works by "unknown" composers are so rarely produced these days. I would venture to guess that most of the operas on this list have had few performances, and that many have never been produced.

Thierry is doing a great service for the musical community. I'm hoping opera-minded people (i.e. people who like to produce and perform operas) might find material for future productions here.

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