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Opera for first-timers: Your suggestions

We asked you for your suggestions for what newcomers should see as part of Royal Opera LIVE.

By Chris Shipman (Content Producer (Social Media and News))

8 January 2013 at 1.25pm | 15 Comments

Opera for first-timers: Your suggestions

We asked you for your suggestions for what newcomers should see as part of Royal Opera LIVE.

Storified by Royal Opera House· Tue, Jan 08 2013 04:00:08

@RoyalOperaHouse La Boheme: epic music, memorable tunes, people like we all know, joy, humour, real, timeless, intimacy & larger-than-life.Alexandra Honigsberg
@RoyalOperaHouse Carmen big tunes, exciting dramatic, fun and no recitative to get lost in!Ione Chadwick
@RoyalOperaHouse either Boheme or Butterfly: newcomer learns to release emotionsSharon McCarthy
Tosca © Catherine Ashmore/ROH 2010Royal Opera House Covent Garden
@RoyalOperaHouse Don Giovanni... funny, sharp and powerful. Caught Grandage's version @MetOpera recently. Superb.richmajor
@RoyalOperaHouse We showed a friend who writes musicals & has always avoided opera Rigoletto: he was bowled over.Jacky Tarleton
@RoyalOperaHouse Tosca. It's all there: love, death & a fabulous baddie with one of the best arias in opera!Penny Murphy
Anna Devin as Papagena and Christopher Maltman as Papageno in Die Zauberflöte © Mike Hoban/ROH 2011Royal Opera House Covent Garden
@RoyalOperaHouse La Traviata... up beat at the beginning to get u hooked then it hits u with sadness... & everyone likes a love story !jo randle
@RoyalOperaHouse Aida, it's such a visual spectacle as well.Jess Fitzgerald
@RoyalOperaHouse Magic Flute. It's a lot of fun and the music is beautiful.William Stafford
Gerald Finley and Marco Spotti in Don Giovanni © Mike Hoban/ROH 2012Royal Opera House Covent Garden
@RoyalOperaHouse Cosi fan tutte! Classic Mozart, funny, fast paced, engaging and beautiful. It was my first and I fell in love instantly.Ana Jenkins
@RoyalOperaHouse Definitely Figaro! But anything with Christopher Maltman or Jonas Kaufmann would be enough to get anyone hooked! #ROLiveLaurie O'Brien
@RoyalOperaHouse L'elisir d'amore as it'll make them laugh *and* cry. Otherwise let them try an operatic version of a story they know & loveShyam Bhatt
What opera would you recommend to a first timer?

Upcoming productions recommended for newcomers include La bohème in cinemas around the world on 15 January and The Minotaur, top price tickets to which are just £65.

By Chris Shipman (Content Producer (Social Media and News))

8 January 2013 at 1.25pm

This article has been categorised Opera and tagged by John Copley, La bohème, Production, recommendations, Royal Opera Live, Social Media, twitter

This article has 15 comments

  1. I like very much this Article keep it up!!!! my sugestion for the Opera if you ask me can be Aida or Madam Butterfly!!!!

  2. Tosca. Because it's fantastic!

  3. Penny Dravers responded on 8 January 2013 at 1:58pm Reply

    Barber of Seville - hilarious. Or Don Giovanni - which is the first opera I ever saw and was so mesmerised by the performance that on coming away afterwards I drove down a one way street the wrong way only to enocounter a police car driving towards me! For me Madame Butterfly would not be a good idea as it has too much recit - so difficult to understand what's going on.

  4. I think L'elisir d'amore is a good idea. Alagna as Nemorino too.

  5. Pedro Ferreira responded on 8 January 2013 at 3:53pm Reply

    I think that something down the lines of Traviatta, Rigoletto, or La Boheme would go down well. They aren't long, the plot is simple, and the music is easy on the ear.

  6. chromettes responded on 8 January 2013 at 6:19pm Reply

    I would definitely recommend La Traviata for a first timer, it is easy and simple

  7. Stefan Kirchner responded on 8 January 2013 at 9:35pm Reply

    I agree with Laurie O'Brien: Everything with Christopher Maltman would be perfect - perhaps his Papageno in April is a good suggestion for beginners.
    Otherwise I think L'elisir d'amore, La Traviata, Rigoletto, La Boheme, Tosca or Barber of Seville are a good idea. In my opinion Figaro and Cosi are extremely boring (too much recit), but in the end it depends: you can never know what's the right opera to fix a special person. One of my friends fell in love with opera after a Salome.

  8. Liliana Lede responded on 8 January 2013 at 9:45pm Reply

    La Bohéme y mucho más todavía si es cantada por Rolando Villazón, Es una ópera que llega a lo más profundo y también divierte. Gracias.

  9. Ivan responded on 9 January 2013 at 6:35am Reply

    Der Freischuets! It's beautifully and harmoniously!

  10. ANDRE CHEN responded on 9 January 2013 at 1:45pm Reply

    I suggest "The Magic Flute" K620 is the best opera for the beginner.

  11. Rosa Cullell responded on 9 January 2013 at 3:04pm Reply

    I really think that Rossini and Mozart are very good choices for Opera beginners. Even more than the obvious Verdi titles. I'll always remember my first Barber and also my first Magic Flute.

  12. I will never forget the first time I went to La Scala performing La Gioconda di Ponchielli. Great the combinations of Opera and dance, with music familiar and easy to listen to, dinamic and emotional.
    Another one could be Il Viaggio a Reims di Rossini, ideal to introduce Opera to a beginner, allegra and exiting.

  13. Shelley from Australia responded on 12 January 2013 at 1:09pm Reply

    I once introduced a group of my young piano students to opera with a video of La Boheme by the Australian Opera. They were enthralled and talked about it for years afterwards.
    For newcomers I would also recommend L'Elisir d'Amore. Rolando Villazon is my tenor of choice in the role of Nemorino - delightfully portrayed with just the right mix of sensitivity and humour.

  14. Ian Munro responded on 27 February 2013 at 8:50pm Reply

    BBC i.e. Carmen, Boheme and Butterfly. If you are not moved by any if these popular operas (and they are popular for a reason) then you have a heart of flint.

  15. Rupert Johnson responded on 15 April 2013 at 3:06pm Reply

    We saw our first opera in March 2013 and picked Tosca because it was playing on my wife's birthday. All I can say is wow! We were totally bowled over. We were told Tosca was a hard opera but we found it wonderful :)

    Go see, you won't regret it!

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