Watch & Listen
Tosca • Faust • The Barber of Seville
Music by Giacomo Puccini
Libretto by Giacomo Puccini and Luigi Illica
Puccini’s classic tells the story of an opera diva in love with a painter and the treacherous police chief who comes between them. Tosca is set in Rome, where it premiered in 1900. Musically, it is considered to be Puccini’s greatest work, even surpassing the classics La bohème and Madama Butterfly.
Music by Charles-François Gounod
Libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré
Faust is a classic example of French grand opéra – enchanting music, sweeping emotion, and luscious sets and costumes transport the audience into the hearts of the characters as Faust makes his famous deal with the devil. The “Jewel Song” aria from Faust was recently performed by soprano Mary Dunleavy in Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-winning movie Lincoln.
Oh Dieu! que de bijoux
Angela Gheorghiu as Marguerite
Royal Opera House, ©2004
Music by Gioachino Rossini
Libretto by Cesare Sterbini
Rossini’s masterpiece, a classic example of Italian opera buffa, is widely considered to be the funniest opera of all time. Premiered in 1816 at the height of the classical period, The Barber of Seville contains lighthearted melodies and orchestrations. Warner Brothers made Bugs Bunny an opera star with the cartoon version, The Rabbit of Seville.