What Are Your Top Ten Opera Albums?
A British newspaper, The Mail on Sunday, has listed the top ten opera albums “you must own”, as compiled by Eugene Costello.
Apart from #1, there’s no indication of the version or artists involved, so it’s a rather thin exercise. Nevertheless, for what it’s worth here is the list, with my own modifications:
1. The Ring Wagner. Version: Sir Georg Solti [Excellent choice]
2. La Traviata Verdi.
3. La Boheme Puccini.
4. Madame Butterfly Puccini.
5. Carmen Bizet.
6. Don Giovanni Mozart.
7. Peter Grimes Britten.
8. The Barber of Seville Rossini.
9. The Marriage of Figaro Mozart.
10. Rigoletto Verdi.
Well, there you have it, a goodly list. But I would leave out Peter Grimes and The Barber of Seville and promote Tosca by Puccini, and Fidelio by Beethoven.
But, above all, I would include my favourite opera of all: Wagner’s Parsival, which, in my view, tops anything in range, except maybe Puccini at his very best.
And I would also find room for Richard Strauss’s masterpiece, Der Rosenkavalier, which rather makes a mess of Costello’s efforts.
It’s all a matter of taste, of course. What’s your top ten operas?