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Your forgotten operatic gems

As The Royal Opera stages Robert le diable for the first time in 122 years, we asked you what forgotten opera you'd revive.

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

21 November 2012 at 11.37am | 26 Comments

Your forgotten operatic gems

In the spirit of staging Robert le diable for the first time in 122 years, we asked you what forgotten opera you'd revive.

Storified by Royal Opera House · Tue, Nov 20 2012 07:23:56

@RoyalOperaHouse Elisabetta, Regina d'Inghilterra, by Rossini. Would have been perfect in this jubilee year. #forgottenoperaEmile Myburgh
@RoyalOperaHouse I want to see Herodiade, Sadko and pretty much any verismo opera, most of which never get done. #forgottenoperaTrevor Bowes
@RoyalOperaHouse Emilia di Liverpool. Long to see the set of the convent in the mountains surrounding the city.Judith Flanders
@manx_maid @heresfinn @RoyalOperaHouse <Cavalry arrives> Cléopâtre is a wonderful opera & was my nomination when ROH last posed this Q!Mark Pullinger
Laurent Pelly on his production of Robert le diable (The Royal Opera)royaloperahouse
@RoyalOperaHouse Edgar by Puccini, Die ägyptische Helena, Capriccio & Intermezzo by Strauss, Parisina d'este by Donizetti... #forgottenoperaMarc Busquets
@RoyalOperaHouse it’s not exactly ‘forgotten’, but more houses should put on owen wingrave. it’s awesome.Emilie Renard
@RoyalOperaHouse Isis by Lully, banned by Louis XIV, time for a full length revivalKerry Shaw
@RoyalOperaHouse "Un giorno di regno", Verdi's first opera. I saw it at La Scala years ago; it's funny, sexy, lovely: an unexpected Verdi.Marta Maria Casetti
Painting the scenic cloth for The Royal Opera's Robert le diable (Time-lapse)royaloperahouse
@RoyalOperaHouse blodwen. It's the only welsh opera (I think) I'm sure @bryn_terfel would love it. (Even though its a bit duff)Tom
@RoyalOperaHouse Il Filosofo di Campagna by Baldassare Galuppi. Probably a bit thin dramatically but fun and nice music. #forgottenoperaSuzanne
@RoyalOperaHouse #forgottenopera I would love to see more contemporary operas being performed, like Carlisle Floyd's Susannah.Rebecca Farmer
@RoyalOperaHouse I want to see Herodiade, Sadko and pretty much any verismo opera, most of which never get done. #forgottenoperaTrevor Bowes

If you could revive a forgotten opera, which would you choose and why?

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

21 November 2012 at 11.37am

This article has been categorised Opera and tagged debate, Laurent Pelly, Production, rare, rarity, Robert le diable, Social Media

This article has 26 comments

  1. Cesar Moreno responded on 22 November 2012 at 8:00am Reply

    La Locandiera by Salieri, I also agree with Suzanne for Il filosofo di campagna by Galuppi.

  2. Will Wyatt responded on 23 November 2012 at 11:05am Reply

    Semiramide with Joyce DiDonato and Renee Fleming if possible.

  3. Tony Glenville responded on 26 November 2012 at 12:59pm Reply

    Les Indes Galantes possibly semi staged but with someone like Vivienne Westwood designing the costumes and would love to see live on stage L'Amore de Tre Rei with a strong cast of singing actors,and Cinq Mars in spite of its lukewarm reception at the premier is a wonderfully exciting score by Gounod.

  4. Arnold Saxton responded on 27 November 2012 at 2:04pm Reply

    Several French operas contend for revival, perhaps 'Louise' most of all, but I'd love to see again Rabaud's 'Marouf' ( to be revived in Paris shortly) and Bruneau's 'L'Attaque du Moulin', heard long ago as a broadcast from Monte Carlo.

  5. Rienzi - uncut, perhaps over two nights. Halevy's 'Charles VI' or 'La reine de Chypre'. Felicien David's 'Herculaneum' or 'La perle du Bresil'. Nidermeyer's 'Marie Stuart' or 'Stradella'.

  6. Halévy's La Reine de Chypre? Yes. Noé? (A fabulous opera by Halévy, deliciously finished by Bizet): Yes. Complete La Juive? Yes. And -of course, integral revivals of the biggest box office draw and most important artistic influence of the 19th c. before Wagner: Meyerbeer. Le Prophète, Les Huguenots and L'Africaine, Dinorah and L'Etoile du Nord, in complete performances of the new editions, please.

  7. Peter Erdos responded on 29 November 2012 at 9:31am Reply

    I would like to see all the early Verdi operas which are totally ignored (Un giorno di regno, Il corsaro,Attila,Ernani,Jerusalem, Oberto and from the later period of course Vespri siciliani, and performances of Forza del destino are long overdue.)Flotow's delightful Martha has not been heard for ages.

  8. Richard Woodall responded on 29 November 2012 at 6:00pm Reply

    A recent recording of Arthur Sullivan's 'Ivanhoe' has shown what a neglected masterpiece this work is, deserving a full-scale professional staging. Donizetti's 'Rosmonda d'Inghilterra' and Rossini's 'Le Siege de Corinth' are both crying out for British stagings, and I would love to see Meyerbeer's 'L'Africaine' revived, which the ROH staged so spectacularly in the 1970's but, sadly, before I came to London.

  9. James Gordon responded on 30 November 2012 at 10:55am Reply

    Rienzi - still repertory fare in Germany. And why not Die Feen or Das Liebesverbot? - languishing in oblivion due more to Wagner's selective autohagiography than to any intrinsic weakness. Anything by Marschner, Lortzing, or Weber beyond Freischütz. Guillaume Tell. Thaïs. Moses und Aron. Il segreto di Susanna (Wolf-Ferrari), because it poses the greatest un-PC challenge for any producer today! (I'm a non-smoker.)

  10. Ric Graebner responded on 30 November 2012 at 11:12pm Reply

    More suggestions:
    Marschner Hans Heiling and/or Der Vampyr
    Eugen d'Albert Tiefland.
    Puccini Le Villi
    Also - a general point - if you go to the trouble of rare revivals can we at least hear them complete. I saw a Les Huguenots at ROH, in the 70's I think, which was full of cuts including the (musically) important duet in Act 3 for Marcel and Valentine, presumably cos the tonedeaf director thought it was dramatically superfluous.

  11. Gillian Ward responded on 1 December 2012 at 12:58pm Reply

    [I have been trying to send you a message, but I'm not sure if it was actually posted, so I'll try again]

    I agree with previous comments, particularly Halevy and lesser-known Verdi. Other suggestions:
    Roberto Gerhard La Duena; Mendelssohn Die Hochzeit des Camacho; almost any lesser-known Donizetti; Dallapiccola Il Prigioniero, Ulisse; Charpentier Louise, Schumann Genoviefa; Berthold Goldschmidt Beatrice Cenci, Der gewaltige Hahnrei; lesser-known Mascagni; Weill Royal Palace, Der Zar, Silbersee, Lost in the Stars; Kenneth Leighton Columba; Granados Goyescas; Busoni Arlecchino, Turandot. I would be very interested indeed if you presented any of these operas.

  12. Rossini's Othello. And please, record it on video and broadcast it.

  13. Manuel del Pópulo García's "Il califfo di Bagdad".

  14. Mark Bennett responded on 2 December 2012 at 8:22pm Reply

    Albert Herring, but with a full company on the main stage. First saw it when I was 12 and was blown away by the May feast scene; the meat pies were even steaming. More Britten, please!

  15. Alexander Jacoby responded on 2 December 2012 at 10:04pm Reply

    La Fiamma by Respighi. Of special interest to a film scholar like myself since it shares a plot with Carl Dreyer's classic of Danish cinema, Day of Wrath.

  16. Martin Huckerby responded on 3 December 2012 at 5:58pm Reply

    I'd second quite a few of the suggestions above. But rather than list my personal enthusiasms, why not actually ask all Covent Garden operagoers?
    Could you not propose a current wish list of lesser-known works which ROH are considering for possible future stagings, and ask us all to vote in order of enthusiasm?
    Traditionally intendants keep their ideas close to their chests, but a poll circulated to everyone on your mailing list, all the Friends, and more widely, would give you some indication of public demand - and would encourage opera lovers to know that you care about their opinions.

  17. Martin Fujerik responded on 4 December 2012 at 5:24pm Reply

    Please Rossini's La gazza ladra...

  18. Wendy Sheridan responded on 5 December 2012 at 10:56am Reply

    Please, Arthur Bliss - The Olympians ...

  19. Ioana responded on 5 December 2012 at 4:30pm Reply

    How about a new production of Louise, with Sonya Yoncheva in the title role? (What's the use of having rarely staged operas if you don't cast them properly? Hint, hint...)

  20. Omnivore responded on 25 June 2013 at 12:43pm Reply

    Please may I second the recommendation of


    by Kenneth Leighton. I've never heard it or seen a score.

    But the rest of his music, choral, orchestral, whatever, is mesmerising ....

  21. Brenda Johnson responded on 15 September 2013 at 8:41pm Reply

    I would love to see Donizetti's Alfred the Great: 'Alfredo le Grande', and also 'Herodiade', 'L'Amore de Tre Rei' and a home grown rarity 'Iernin' by George Lloyd.

  22. Chiaki Ohashi responded on 16 February 2016 at 4:50am Reply

    I would recommend the following pieces:
    L'Amore dei Tre Re (Italo Montemezzi, 1913)
    Nozze Istriane (Antonio Smareglia, 1895)
    Edgar (Giacomo Puccini, 1889, original four act version)
    Esclarmonde (Jules Massenet, 1889)
    Ernani (Giuseppe Verdi , 1844)
    Francesca da Rimini (Riccardo Zandonai, 1914)

  23. Chiaki Ohashi responded on 16 February 2016 at 4:54am Reply

    sorry, I would also add: Amica (Pietro Mascagni, 1905)

  24. Chiaki Ohashi responded on 24 September 2016 at 8:44am Reply

    Maid of Orleans (Tchaikovsky, 1879)
    Gwendoline (Chabrier, 1885)
    Moïse et Pharaon (Rossini, 1827)
    Philémon et Baucis (Gounod, 1860)
    I Lituani (Ponchielli, 1874)

  25. David Evans responded on 4 May 2018 at 4:06pm Reply

    Any opera seria by Hasse

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