What many consider to be the earliest known English opera shares its mythological subject with Shakespeare’s most popular published work during his lifetime: the epic poem Venus and Adonis. Here we see great artists from different centuries using different art forms to make new creations from the same source material, putting their own mark on… Continue Reading »
Posts Tagged: Shakespeare operas
I find it fascinating that Verdi’s last two operas were both inspired by Shakespeare: Otello (1887) and Falstaff (1893), yet they are very different in story, style, and tone. Verdi looked to the Bard’s plays of Othello (1604) and the Merry Wives of Windsor (1600), plus the Henry plays, as a catalyst. There are plenty… Continue Reading »
“L’opera senza amore!” That was the Italians’ reaction to Verdi’s Macbeth when it premiered in Florence in 1847. Despite its immediate success and subsequent popularity, an opera that involved no great love affair struck audiences as an oddity. It was not as if Verdi was known for any blatantly amorous scenes in his operas—quite the… Continue Reading »
Charles Gounod’s 19th-century opera “Roméo et Juliette” is a love story of heartbreaking tragedy, punctuated by four masterful duets. Matthew Shilvock of San Francisco Opera explains why the work is such a masterpiece.
There’s no other character from Shakespeare who has charmed the imaginations of opera composers and librettists more than Sir John Falstaff.
Shakespeare and opera is a winning combination, with the plays providing compelling dramatic material and a ‘name’ that would help sell tickets.