Opera 100

Here we write a 100-word précis of numerous opera plots. This is an ongoing and serendipitous series, the idea being to present the storyline in an instant.

The rumour that the dead Buoso Donati left his fortune to a monastery prompts his relatives, who have gathered round his deathbed, all feigning grief to impress each other, to...
As the nuns finish their prayers, Sister Angelica, sent to the convent by her family because she had an illegitimate child, tries unsuccessfully to hide her unhappiness at having heard...
At sunset on the River Seine, Michele, owner of a barge, watches the stevedores finish their work, unaware that one of them, Luigi, is the lover of his wife Giorgetta....
Leonore (disguised as Fidelio) infiltrates the prison of Don Pizarro to rescue her husband Florestan whom has been illegally incarcerated for two years. Marzelline, the daughter of Rocco the gaoler,...
Ostracised by the stifling Borough community after losing an apprentice at sea, rough fisherman Peter Grimes takes on another workhouse boy. Only sympathetic teacher Ellen Orford supports him. When she...
Gennaro is drawn to a masked lady. His friends including Orsini insult her, unmasking her as the hated Lucrezia Borgia. She vows revenge. Her secret visits to Gennaro arouse her...
Tannhäuser escapes Venus’s realm of bacchanalian excess. Wolfram leads him to the Wartburg, reuniting him with Elisabeth, the Landgrave’s niece. Minstrel knights then sing of Love’s purity, provoking Tannhäuser to...
On Madame Larina’s country estate the bookish Tatyana meets Eugene Onegin, friend of the poet Lensky. Infatuated, Tatyana writes Onegin an effusive love-letter overnight which he returns, coolly admonishing her...
Actress Adriana Lecouvreur loves Maurizio, giving him a posy of violets as a love-token. Maurizio meets the Princess of Bouillon, his former lover, passing her the posy to placate her...
After the Trojan War, Idomeneo, King of Crete, is missing. His son, Idamante, loves the captured Trojan princess, Ilia; the jealous Elettra looks-on. Neptune calms a storm, and Idomeneo, rescued,...
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