The most famous Italian operas

Interested in the italian culture? Do You love famous italian operas? Here I have listed them in alphabetical order with information about the authors of the music and the libretto.

• AIDA by Giuseppe Verdi
One of the most famous Italian opera, it is a melodram in four acts of Giuseppe Verdi, libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni, from a subject of Auguste Mariette.
The first representation was at "Kedivial Opera House ", Cairo Egypt, Dec. 24th 1871, in occasion of the inauguration of Suez canal.

• ANDREA CHENIER by Umberto Giordano
It is an opera in four pictures of Umberto Giordano on the libretto by Luigi Illica. The first representation was at "Teatro alla Scala" (the Scala Theatre) in Milan, March the 28th 1896.

• ATTILA by Giuseppe Verdi
It is a liric drama with an introduction and three acts of
Giuseppe Verdi, libretto by Temistocle Solera, from the Tragedy "Attila, Koning der Hunnem" of Zacharias Werner.
The first representation was done at the "Teatro La Fenice"
(La Fenice Theatre) in Venice, on March 17th 1846.

• CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA by Pietro Mascagni
It is a liric opera in one single act of Pietro Mascagni, italian libretto by Giovanni Targioni-Tozzetti and Guido Menasci, from the novel of Giovanni Verga. The first representation was at the "Teatro Costanzi" (Costanzi Theatre) in Rome on May 17th 1890.

• COSI' FAN TUTTE by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
(Note: Mozart is listed because of the Opera italian libretto).
It is an opera in two acts of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, libretto by Lorenzo da Ponte based on a true Story. The first representation was at the "Burgtheater" in Vienna, Austria on January 26th 1790.

• DON PASQUALE by Gaetano Donizetti
This is an "opera buffa" (funny opera) in three acts, libretto by Giovanni Ruffini and Gaetano Donizetti.The first rapresentation was in Paris at the "Théâtre des Italiens", on January 3rd 1843.

• EDGAR by Giacomo Puccini
This famous italian opera was first developed in four acts, then rielaborate and reduced to three acts by Giacomo Puccini, libretto by Ferdinando Fontana from the dramatic poem "La coupe et les lèvres" of Alfred de Musset.The first rapresentation was at "Teatro alla Scala" in Milan, April 21th 1889.


• ERNANI by Giuseppe Verdi
It is a liric drama in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi, libretto by Francesco Maria Piave from the homonymous drama of Victor Hugo. The first rapresentation was at "Teatro La Fenice" (La Fenice Theatre), in Venice on March 9th 1844.


• FALSTAFF by Giuseppe Verdi
Famous italian opera, is the last of Giuseppe Verdi, composed of three acts, libretto by Arrigo Boito, based on "Le allegre comari di Windsor" (William Shakespeare's "The merry wives of Windsor").
The first rapresentation was at the "Teatro alla Scala" (the Scala Theatre), in Milan, on February 9th 1893.

• GIANNI SCHICCHI by Giacomo Puccini
It is an opera in one act by Giacomo Puccini to an Italian libretto by Giovacchino Forzano, based on a story that is referred to in Dante's "The Divine Comedy".


• IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA by Gioachino Rossini
This is a very famous italian opera in two acts by Gioachino Rossini, libretto by Cesare Sterbini from the homonymous comedy by P. Augustin Beaumarchais.The first representation was at "Teatro Argentina" in Rome, on February 20th 1816.


• I LOMBARDI ALLA PRIMA CROCIATA by Giuseppe Verdi
It is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi, libretto by
Temistocle Solera. The first representation was held at
"Teatro alla Scala", in Milan on February 11th 1847.


• LA BOHEME by Giacomo Puccini
Another famous italian opera in four pictures by Giacomo Puccini, libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa, from the novel "Scenes de la vie de Boheme" by Henry Murger. The first representation was at "Teatro Regio" (King's Theatre), in Turin on February 1st 1896, directed by the Maestro Arturo Toscanini.


• LA TRAVIATA by Giuseppe Verdi
Melodrama in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi, libretto by Francesco Maria Piave, from "La dame aux camelias" by Alexandre Dumas.
The first representation was at "Teatro La Fenice" in Venice,
on March 6th 1853.


• MADAMA BUTTERFLY by Giacomo Puccini
Opera originally in two acts by Giacomo Puccini (current version in three acts), with an Italian libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa. It is based on the short story "Madame Butterfly" (1898) by John Luther Long and on the novel "Madame Chrysanthème" (1887) by Pierre Loti.
The original version of the opera, in two acts, was premiered on February 17th, 1904, at "La Scala" in Milan.

• MANON LESCAUT by Giacomo Puccini
It is another famous italian opera in four acts by Giacomo Puccini. The story is based on the 1731 novel "L’histoire du chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut" by the Abbé Prévost. The Italian libretto was put togheter by Ruggero Leoncavallo, Domenico Oliva, Giuseppe Giacosa, Marco Praga and Luigi Illica. The first performance of Manon Lescaut took place in the Teatro Regio in Turin in 1893. It was Puccini's third opera and his first great success.


• OTELLO by Giuseppe Verdi
This famous Italian opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi, libretto by Arrigo Boito , was based on Shakespeare's play "Othello". It was Verdi's second to last opera and is considered by many to be his greatest. It was first performed at the Teatro alla Scala, Milan, on February 5, 1887.


• PAGLIACCI by Ruggero Leoncavallo
Also known as "I Pagliacci" (Players, Clowns) is an opera consisting of a prologue and two acts written and composed by Ruggero Leoncavallo. It premiered at the Teatro Dal Verme in Milan on May 21, 1892, conducted by Arturo Toscanini.


• RIGOLETTO by Giuseppe Verdi
It is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi, the Italian libretto was written by Francesco Maria Piave based on the play "Le roi s'amuse" by Victor Hugo. It was first performed at La Fenice in Venice on March 11, 1851.


• SUOR ANGELICA by Giacomo Puccini
Opera in one single act by Giovacchino Forzano and music by Giacomo Puccini.


• TOSCA by Giacomo Puccini
Lyric opera in three acts by Giacomo Puccini, libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa, from homonymous drama of Victorien Sardou.
The first representation was at "Teatro Costanzi" in Rome, January 14th 1900.


• TURANDOT by Giacomo Puccini
It is a famous italian opera in three acts by Giacomo Puccini, italian libretto by Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni. The first performance was held at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan on 25 April 1926 and conducted by Arturo Toscanini.


• I VESPRI SICILIANI by Giuseppe Verdi
It is an Opera in five acts by Giuseppe Verdi, libretto by Eugene Scribe and Charles Duveyrier, inspired by the "Vespri Siciliani" story.The first representation was at the "Opéra" Theatre in Paris, June 13th 1855.

In northern Italy, near Lake Garda, there is the city of Verona with its world famous ancient Arena and a very popular "Opera Season".


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