BBC MUSIC magazine’s October issue just came out. On its cover: “The 20 Greatest Operas” (fanfare). Immediately I had to look. To my surprise, the list included rarities like Janáček’s Jenůfa and less rare works like Wozzeck, but no French opera, few Puccini’s, a couple of Verdi’s, hardly any Bel Canto warhorses and amazingly (this being a British publication) no Britten!

Singers put together this list and, meaning no disrespect, singers know what they like – greatest or not – because they like to sing it. But nonetheless I was glad the list was not assembled by (horror!) critics.

Then I thought, why not ask the Facebook readers of Music for All Seasons and our followers on to put together their individual lists of not twenty but ten operas without which they could not live – a sort of desert island opera bucket list.

So here’s my list. No comments needed. This is MY list. Let’s see yours. Post your comments here on the blog (rather than on Facebook) or email me at I will select one list I like the best and offer a pair of complimentary tickets to our December 3 concert at Peteloon to the “winner”.

Rafael’s List (in random order)
La traviata – Verdi
La boheme – Puccini
Fidelio – Beethoven
La cenerentola – Rossini
The Flying Dutchman – Wagner
Peter Grimes – Britten
The Consul – Menotti
Manon – Massenet
Don Giovanni – Mozart
Eugene Onegin – Tchaikovsky

Rafael de Acha

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