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Our motto: "Critical thinking in the cheap seats." Unbiased, honest classical music and opera opinions, occasional obituaries and classical news reporting, since 2007. All written content © 2016 by Paul J. Pelkonen. For more about Superconductor, visit this link. For advertising rates, click this link. Follow us on Facebook.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

200th Post! Opera By the Numbers

Breaking down the math of going to the opera.
Last night, at a performance of Attila, a lady sitting next to us bragged that she had gone to see over 100 operas. Now, I'm 37 next month (and celebrating with the premiere of Armida at the Met!) So in honor of this blog's 200th post, I decided to break down my life at the opera...by the numbers.



I started going to the opera in 1982 with my parents when I was 9 years old.

By my (probably inaccurate) count, I have attended:

  • 315 opera performances and "opera-in-concerts."
  • 133 different operas.
  • by 57 different composers.
  • 5 of those were rock operas.
The numbers, by composers:
  • 50 performances of 15 different operas by Verdi.
  • 44 performances of 10 different operas by Wagner.
(5 complete performances of the Ring, which is 4 parts) = 20 operas.
  • 32 operas by Mozart.
  • 30 operas by Puccini.
  • 22 operas by Rossini.
  • 16 operas by Richard Strauss
I was surprised that Strauss didn't make the top five. His works are harder to cast, not always
as popular and therefore, done less frequently.

I've seen:
  • 15 of Verdi's 28 operas
  • 10 of Wagner's 13 operas,
  • 10 of Strauss' 15 operas
  • 7 of Mozart's 22 operas. Some of those were written when he was really young and they are almost never performed.
Operas I've seen the most times:
  • Il Barbiere di Siviglia (15)
  • Die Zauberflöte (10)
  • Le Nozze di Figaro (8)
  • Tosca (8)
  • Turandot (8)
There are also a number of operas I've seen 6 times, but who's counting?

And by the time you read this, you can add "one" to those numbers because I'm off tonight to see the US premiere of Purcell's The Fairy Queen!
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Critical Thinking in the Cheap Seats

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Since 2007, Superconductor has grown from an occasional concert or CD review to a near-daily publication covering classical music, opera and the arts in and around NYC, with excursions to Boston, Philadelphia, and upstate NY. I am a freelance writer living and working in Brooklyn NY. And no, I'm not a conductor.