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Which opera would you recommend to a newcomer who's a fan of musicals?

Inspired by boundary-blurring works Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny and King Size, we're after your recommendations.

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

24 March 2015 at 5.47pm | 13 Comments

Despite the fact that musicals and opera share the same dramatic roots, many fans of the former have never taken the plunge with the latter. It may be that they feel opera isn't for them, or that they don't know where to begin with an art form with four hundred years of history.

Do a little research though, and fans of musicals are likely to find plenty to enjoy in opera. Inspired by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht's cabaret-flavoured opera Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, and Christoph Marthaler's King Size — a reimagining of an evening of song featuring works by The Kinks, The Jackson 5 and Schumann among others — we asked our Twitter following which operas they'd recommend to a newcomer who's a fan of musicals:

Which opera would you recommend to a newcomer who's a fan of musicals?

 

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

24 March 2015 at 5.47pm

This article has been categorised Opera, Theatre and tagged by Christoph Marthaler, by John Fulljames, cabaret, King Size, musicals, opera, Production, Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny

This article has 13 comments

  1. W J Owen responded on 24 March 2015 at 7:10pm Reply

    The Twitter suggestions are all great. Carmen, Boheme and Tosca are all operas I'd take a lover of musicals to. You just need an opera with a good story and great music. I'd also suggest Butterfly and my all time favourite, Eugene Onegin. Can't say the latest ROH production of Eugene Onegin was a favourite though - sorry, ROH!

  2. W J Owen responded on 24 March 2015 at 7:12pm Reply

    Or try something more modern like Nixon in China or Dr Atomic.

  3. Stephen Greenman responded on 25 March 2015 at 12:55pm Reply

    Massenet's Cendrillon, preferably the Santa Fe version - fabulous show and a plot that's easy to follow

  4. Clive Robinson responded on 25 March 2015 at 5:35pm Reply

    Barber of Seville. It accessible, fun, great music and won't scare the horses

  5. La Rondine Giacomo Puccini......
    This opera is every ones experience of love !
    I would not rule out the comedy of Gianni Schicchi..........

  6. Judith Berry responded on 26 March 2015 at 9:47am Reply

    Prince Igor. It has song, dance and comedy and the musical Kismet borrowed its melodies.

  7. Mark responded on 26 March 2015 at 8:06pm Reply

    Probably Tosca. Not too long, easy to follow story, dramatic storyline, dramatic music and I think an all round crowd pleaser.

    La Boheme or Figaro is also a good bet, depending I guess on whether the person would prefer tragedy or comedy.

  8. Deti Leal responded on 28 March 2015 at 6:35pm Reply

    Cats - Indubitavelmente.

  9. Time for a London production of Maria de Buenos Aires perhaps? Some of Piazzolla's most luscious music would be attractive to a very diverse audience, and the wonderfully dense poetry could be a stimulus to some fabulous design and dramaturgy. Dance can play a big role in the piece and that is another way to attract a new audience.

  10. David responded on 14 May 2015 at 8:16pm Reply

    Many wonderful choices. I don't know enough about opera to offer a definitive recommendation, but it definitely should be something big, dramatic and ITALIAN.

  11. jomlinton responded on 15 November 2015 at 9:35am Reply

    Carmen.== its almost an operetta and its full of movement and drama. not too heavy.

  12. Andy Gilliland responded on 14 January 2017 at 1:03pm Reply

    Opera Buffa - The Magic Flute or Rescue from the Serail - classic singspiel!

  13. Pour un débutant venant de comédies musicales, désirant s'initier à l'opéra, je recommanderai La Traviata pour une bonne transition vers la ligne de chant quand on est formé à l'italienne. La Bohème en second lieu.

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