Opera Composers

by bderoes | created - 11 months ago | updated - 1 week ago | Public

Sources: 45 operas from (*)The Opera Companion, by George Martin, 1982, 0-369-08097-9 100 operas from (+)100 Greatest Operas and their stories, by Henry W. Simon, 1960, 0-385-05448-3

Not in IMDb: Italo Montemezzi, 1875-1952, +L'Amore dei tre re, 1913

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1567-1643 +La favola d'Orfeo, 1607

2. Henry Purcell

Soundtrack | Mr. Nobody

A master of religious and instrumental music as well as stage works.

1659-95 +Dido and Aeneas, 1689

3. George Frideric Handel

Soundtrack | Autómata

Born February 23 1685 in Halle, Germany, he was christened "Georg Friederich Händel" but always signed his name "Georg Friedrich Händel". His father intended for him to go into law, but Händel studied music clandestinely and was eventually allowed to study under an organist. He achieved some sucess...

1685-1759 +Giulio Cesare, 1724

1710-36 +La serva padrona, 1733

5. Christoph Willibald Gluck

Soundtrack | Slumdog Millionaire

Young Gluck was a singer in a church choir and thus decided to study music in Prague although his parents wanted him to work in the forest. Having to earn his own money he worked as a part-time musician and finished his studies in Milan where he wrote his first Italian style opera. Impressing the ...

1714-1787 *+Orfeo (Orphée et Eurydice ), 1762, 1 +Alceste, 1767

1749-1801 +Il matrimonio segreto, 1792

7. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Soundtrack | Amadeus

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart grew up in Salzburg under the regulation of his strict father Leopold who also was a famous composer of his time. His abilities in music were obvious even when Mozart was still young so that in 1762 at the age of six, his father took him with his elder sister on a concert ...

1756-1791 +Bastien und Bastienne, 1768 Idomeneo, 1781, 1 *+Die Entführung aus dem Serail, 1782, 1 *+Le Nozze di Figaro, 1786, 3 *+Don Giovanni, 1787, 1 *+Cosi fan Tutte, 1790, 2 *+Die Zauberflöte, 1791, 2

8. Ludwig van Beethoven

Soundtrack | Total Recall

Beethoven was the child of a Flamian musician family and became a member of the electoral orchestra of Bonn in 1783. In 1787 he studied at Mozart's in Vienna and in 1792 he moved all to Vienna becoming a student of Franz Joseph Haydn. The Vienna High Society loved him as a piano player as well as ...

1770-1827 *+Fidelio, 1805

9. Carl Maria von Weber

Soundtrack | 45 Years

Learining all about music and instruments Von Weber moved around Germany changing his teachers once in a while. In 1813 he became "Kapellmeister" in Prague and in 1816 music director of the "Deutsche Oper" in Dresden. There he supported German operas instead of the Italian ones which were very ...

1786-1826 +Der Freischütz, 1821 +Oberon, 1826

1791-1864 +Les Huguenots, 1836 +L'Africaine, 1865

11. Gioachino Rossini

Soundtrack | Strange Days

As a son of a horn player and a singer Rossini was taught instruments early in his life. When he was older he went to the conservatory of Bologna for lessons. His first opera was such a big success that a lot of people wanted him to write more pieces. But nevertheless in 1816 his masterpiece "The ...

1792-1868 *+Il Barbiere di Siviglia, 1816, 2 +La Cenerentola, 1817, 1 Semiramide, 1823, 2 +Guillaume Tell, 1829

12. Gaetano Donizetti

Soundtrack | The Fifth Element

Domenico Gaetano Maria Donizetti was born November 29, 1797 in Bergamo, Italy. He was born in a windowless cellar into a poor family of a government clerk. At the age of 9 he became a protégé of Johann Simon Mayr, Maestro di Cappella of the Lombard city. Johann Mayr hosted and educated young ...

1797-1848 *+L'Elisir d'Amore, 1832, 2 *+Lucia di Lammermoor, 1835, 1 *+Don Pasquale, 1843

13. Vincenzo Bellini

Soundtrack | Mr. Nobody

Vincenzo Salvatore Bellini was born on November 2, 1801 in Catania, Sicily, Italy. He was the first of seven children in a musical family. His grandfather gave him first piano lessons at the age of 3, and at the age of 5 young Bellini could play good piano to an audience. His first composition ...

1801-35 La Sonnambula, 1831, 1 +Norma, 1831, 2 +I Puritani, 1835

14. Hector Berlioz

Soundtrack | Star Trek: First Contact

Hector Berlioz was born on December 11, 1803, into the family of Dr. Louis Berlioz and Marie-Antoinette-Josephine. Hector was the first of six children, three of whom died. He took music lessons at home from a visiting teacher and played flute and guitar. By age 16 he wrote a song for voice and ...

1803-69 +Les Troyens, 1863, Part II only

1811-96 +Mignon, 1866

1812-83 +Marta, 1847

17. Richard Wagner

Soundtrack | Watchmen

Richard Wagner was a German composer best known for his operas, primarily the monumental four-opera cycle "Der Ring des Nibelungen". He was born Wilhelm Richard Wagner on May 22, 1813, in Leipzig, Germany. He was the ninth child in the family of Carl Wagner, a police clerk. Richard was only six ...

1813-1883 *+Der Fliegende Holländer, 1843, 1 *+Tannhäuser, 1845, 1 *+Lohengrin, 1850, 1 *+Tristan und Isolde, 1865, 1 *+Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, 1868 *(Der Ring des Nibelungen) +Das Rheingold, 1869, 1 *+Die Walkure, 1870, 1 +Siegfried, 1876, 1 +Die Gotterdammerung, 1876, 1 *+Parsifal, 1882

18. Giuseppe Verdi

Soundtrack | Mad Max: Fury Road

Giuseppe Verdi was born Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi on October 10, 1813, in Le Roncole di Busseto, Parma, Italy. His parents were landowners and innkeepers. Young Verdi received his first organ lessons at the age of 7. He studied composition privately with Ferdinando Provesi in Busseto. At ...

1813-1901 +Ernani, 1844 *Nabucco, 1842 Attila, 1846, 1 *Macbeth, 1847 Luisa Miller, 1849, 1 *+Rigoletto, 1851, 2 *+Il Trovatore, 1853, 1 *+La Traviata, 1853, 3 *+Simon Boccanegra, 1857, 1 *+Un Ballo in Maschera, 1859, 1 *+La Forza del Destino, 1862 *+Don Carlo, 1867, 1 *+Aida, 1871, 2 *+Otello, 1887, 5 +Falstaff, 1893, 1

1818-1893 *+Faust, 1859 +Romeo et Juliette, 1867

20. Jacques Offenbach

Soundtrack | Moulin Rouge!

Jacques Offenbach, the son of a synagogue cantor, was born in Cologne, Germany, June 20, 1819. So strong were his musical talents that the Paris Conservatory waived the rule forbidding foreigners and enrolled him. At the completion of his studies he began playing the cello in the orchestra of the ...

1819-80 +Les contes d'Hoffman, 1881, 1

21. Bedrich Smetana

Soundtrack | Sneakers

A musical prodigy, Smetana was encouraged and trained by his father. His move to Prague in 1843 was disheartening when he was unable to generate interest in his abilities; however, he did form a friendship with Liszt, and dedicated several of his works to him. He opened a music school and performed...

1824-84 +The Bartered Bride, 1866

22. Johann Strauss

Soundtrack | 2001: A Space Odyssey

Johann Strauss (or Johann Strauss son), one of Austrian music's most famous names who studied music secretly against his father's will, later became the leader of his father's band and the indisputable "waltz king"; his waltz 'On the Beautiful Blue Danube', is the main theme in Stanley Kubrick's ...

1825-99 +Die Fledermaus, 1874

23. Aleksandr Borodin

Soundtrack | Peggy Sue Got Married

Aleksandr Borodin was born on November 12, 1833 in St. Petersburg, Russia. He was in fact the illegitimate son of the Georgian Prince, Lukas Gedevanishvili, who registered his son under the name of his serf and payed for Borodin's private education in music, languages and sciences.

Young Borodin ...

1833-87 +Prince Igor, 1890 (completed by Rimsky-Korsakoff Glazunov), 1

24. Amilcare Ponchielli

Soundtrack | No Reservations

Italian classical composer.

1834-86 +La Gioconda, 1876

25. Camille Saint-Saëns

Soundtrack | Moonrise Kingdom

Composer chiefly remembered for his symphonic poems -the first of that genre to be written by a Frenchman- and for his opera 'Samson et Dalila'. Notable for his pioneering efforts on behalf of French music, he was also a gifted pianist and organist, and a writer of criticism, poetry, essays, and ...

1835-1921 *+Samson et Dalila, 1877, 1

1836-91 +Lakme, 1883

27. Georges Bizet

Soundtrack | Match Point

Georges Bizet was a child prodigy. Entering the Paris Conservatory at the age of nine, he counted among his teachers Antoine Marmontel, François Benoist and Jacques Halévy. At nineteen Bizet won a Prix de Rome. That same year he wrote his first opera, 'Le Docteur Miracle', a one-act comedy. After ...

1838-1875 The Pearl Fishers, 1863, 1 *+Carmen, 1875, 3

28. Modest Mussorgsky

Soundtrack | Dracula 2000

In 1856 Moussorgsky joined the Russian army where he met the piano player and composer 'Balakirev' who taught him composition. As he could not finish his studies in music, Moussorgsky did not know all stylistic means of composition perfectly and thus had to follow his instinct in his works becoming...

1839-1881 *+Boris Godunov, 1874

29. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Soundtrack | Minority Report

Pyotr (Peter) Ilyich Tchaikovsky was born on May 7, 1840, in Votkinsk, Vyatka region, Russia. He was the second of six children (five brothers and one sister). His father, named Ilya Chaikovsky, was a mining business executive in Votkinsk. His father's ancestors were from Ukraine and Poland. His ...

1840-1893 *+Eugene Onegin, 1879, 1

30. Arrigo Boito

Soundtrack | Match Point

Brother of writer Camillo Boito.

1842-1918 +Mefistofele, 1868

31. Jules Massenet

Soundtrack | Transamerica

A major composer of French opera in the late 19th century, author of the important works "Werther" and "Manon."

1842-1912 *+Manon, 1884 +Thais, 1894 Cendrillon, 1899, 1

32. Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

Soundtrack | Brokeback Mountain

Rimsky-Korsakov was a navy officer but soon discovered his love for music. Since 1861 he belonged to the group of Balkirev but later he returned to the traditional way of composing. He combined uniquely the Russian folksongs with the music of the Orthodox Church. Rimsky-Korsakov wrote the first ...

1844-1908 +Le coq d'or, 1909

33. Engelbert Humperdinck

Soundtrack | Hannibal Rising

His opera, "Hansel and Gretel", was the first complete opera ever broadcast on network radio. It was broadcast on NBC Radio, from the Metropolitan Opera house, on the afternoon of December 25, 1931.

1854-1921 +Hansel und Gretel, 1893, 1

1858-1919 *+I Pagliacci, 1892, 1

35. Giacomo Puccini

Soundtrack | The Island

Italian composer, one of the greatest exponents of operatic realism, who virtually brought the history of Italian opera to an end. His mature operas include "La Bohème" (1896), "Tosca" (1900), "Madama Butterfly" (1904), and "Turandot" left incomplete.

1858-1924 *+Manon Lescaut, 1893 *+La Boheme, 1896, 5 *+Tosca, 1900, 4 *+Madama Butterfly, 1904, 3 +La fanciulla del West, 1910, 1 *+Il Tabarro, 1918 *+Gianni Schicchi, 1918, 1 +Suor Angelica, 1918 *+Turandot, 1926, 4

36. Gustave Charpentier

Writer | Louise

Gustave Charpentier was born on June 25, 1860 in Dieuze, Moselle, France. He was a writer, known for Louise (1939), Aria (1987) and Louise (1980). He died on February 18, 1956 in Paris, France.

1860-1956 +Louisa, 1900

37. Claude Debussy

Soundtrack | Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Claude Debussy was born in St. Germain-en-Laye, near Paris, France. His father was a salesman and kept a china shop. His mother was a seamstress. Some traumatizing events in his childhood caused him a depression and he never spoke about his early years. Later he could not compose without having his...

1862-1918 *+Pelleas et Melisande, 1902

38. Pietro Mascagni

Soundtrack | Raging Bull

Pietro Mascagni was born on December 7, 1863 in Livorno, Tuscany, Italy as Pietro Antonio Stefano Mascagni. He was married to Lina Carbognani. He died on August 2, 1945 in Rome, Lazio, Italy.

1863-1945 *+Cavalleria Rusticana, 1890, 1

39. Richard Strauss

Soundtrack | 2001: A Space Odyssey

Richard Strauss was a German composer best known for symphonic poem 'Also sprach Zarathustra' (Thus Spoke Zarathustra, 1896) used as the music score in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) by director Stanley Kubrik.

He was born Richard Georg Strauss on June 11, 1864, in Munich, Bavaria (now Germany). His ...

1864-1949 +Salome, 1905, 1 +Elektra, 1909, 1 *+Der Rosenkavalier, 1911, 1 +Ariadne auf Naxos, 1912 +Arabella, 1933 +Capriccio, 1942

40. Umberto Giordano

Music_department | Andrea Chénier: the Feature Film Opera

Italian composer.

1867-1948 +Andrea Chenier, 1896 Fedora, 1898

41. Sergei Rachmaninoff

Soundtrack | Dawn of the Dead

Sergei Rachmaninov (also spelled Rachmaninoff) was a legendary Russian composer and pianist who emigrated after the Communist revolution of 1917, and became one of the highest paid concert stars of his time, and one of the most influential pianists of the 20th century.

He was born Sergei Vasilevich ...

The Miserly Knight, 1906, 1

42. Maurice Ravel

Soundtrack | Basic

Maurice Ravel was born on March 7, 1875 in Ciboure, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, France as Joseph-Maurice Ravel. He died on December 28, 1937 in Paris, France.

1875-1937 L'Heure espagnole, 1911

1876-1948 +Il segreto di Susanna, 1909

44. Igor Stravinsky

Soundtrack | Allied

Igor Stravinsky's father was a singer at the opera, and thus Stravinsky became a student of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov after a short stint as a law student. Very much influenced by Russian composers, only his sponsor Sergei Diaghilev in Paris was able to convince him to try new styles of ballet, e.g. ...

1882-1971 Oedipus Rex, 1927, 1 +The Rake's Progress, 1951

45. Alban Berg

Soundtrack | Natural Born Killers

Alban Maria Johannes Berg was born on February 9, 1885, in Vienna, Austria. He was the third of four children in the upper-class family of Conrad Berg and his wife Johanna, nee Braun. He was trained for a career in accounting, but his father died in 1900, causing him a depression and the onset of ...

1885-1935 +Wozzeck, 1925

46. Sergei Prokofiev

Soundtrack | Red Heat

Prokofiev was a multi-talented man and an innovative composer. He learned piano from his mother and chess from his father. He always had a chess set on his piano, and was able to play against the chess champions of his time. He studied music with Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, graduated with highest ...

1891-1953 +The Love for Three Oranges, 1921

47. Virgil Thomson

Composer | Louisiana Story

One of the driving forces, both as critic and musician, of 20th century American music, Thomson studied music at both Harvard University and elsewhere in the Boston area before moving to Paris to study with Nadia Boulanger in 1921. After spending a short time in his native land, he returned to ...

1896-1989 +Four Saints in Three Acts, 1934

48. George Gershwin

Soundtrack | Manhattan

He was born Jacob Gershowitz, 26 September 1898, in Brooklyn, New York, of Russian-Jewish immigrants. As a boy he could play popular and classical works on his brother Ira's piano by ear. In 1913 he quit school to study music and began composing for Tin Pan Alley; by 1919 he had his first hit "...

1898-1937 +Porgy and Bess, 1935, 1

49. Gian Carlo Menotti

Writer | The Medium

Gian Carlo Menotti was born on July 7, 1911 in Cadegliano-Viconago, Lombardy, Italy. He was a writer and composer, known for The Medium (1951), NBC Television Opera Theatre (1949) and Great Performances (1971). He was married to Samuel Barber. He died on February 1, 2007 in Monte Carlo, Monaco.

1911-2007 +The Medium, 1946 +The Telephone, 1947 +The Consul, 1950 +Amahl and the Night Visitors, 1951

50. Benjamin Britten

Soundtrack | Moonrise Kingdom

Benjamin Britten was born on November 22, 1913 in Lowestoft, Suffolk, England as Edward Benjamin Britten. He is known for his work on Moonrise Kingdom (2012), The Machine (2013) and Mr. Nobody (2009). He died on December 4, 1976 in Aldeburgh, Suffolk.

1913-76 +Peter Grimes, 1945

51. Kaija Saariaho

Composer | Suuri illusioni

Kaija Saariaho was one of the group of Finnish modernists who received their early training under Paavo Heininen at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki (Magnus Lindeberg was another), where she was one of the founder members of the group Korvat auki ("Ears Open"), which met to discuss new music and ...

L'Amour de Loin, 2000, 0.5

52. Douglas J. Cuomo

Composer | Sex and the City

Douglas J. Cuomo was born on February 13, 1958 in Tucson, Arizona, USA. He is known for his work on Sex and the City (1998), Sex and the City (2008) and Sex and the City 2 (2010).

Doubt, 2013, 1

53. Thomas Adès

Music_department | Colette

Thomas Adès is known for his work on Colette (2018), Mozart in the Jungle (2014) and The Metropolitan Opera HD Live (2006).

The Exterminating Angel, 2016, 1

54. Nico Muhly

Composer | The Reader

Nico Muhly was born on August 26, 1981 in Randolph, Vermont, USA as Nicolas Asher Muhly. He is known for his work on The Reader (2008), The Manchurian Candidate (2004) and The Illusionist (2006).

Marnie, 2017, 1

55. Riccardo Zandonai

Composer | Amami, Alfredo!

Italian composer and conductor, married to the singer Tarquinia Tarquini.

56. John Adams

Soundtrack | Shutter Island

John Adams was born on February 15, 1947 in Worcester, Massachusetts, USA as John Coolidge Adams. He is known for his work on Shutter Island (2010), Run Lola Run (1998) and Call Me by Your Name (2017).

57. Francis Poulenc

Soundtrack | Call Me by Your Name

Francis Poulenc was born on January 7, 1899 in Paris, France as Francis Jean Marcel Poulenc. He is known for his work on Call Me by Your Name (2017), The Great Beauty (2013) and The City of Your Final Destination (2009). He died on January 30, 1963 in Paris.

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