Re: Opera Buffs I have a question for you.
I know nothing about opera but would like to learn. What recordings would you recommend to a novice?
Well, what have you heard that you've liked? You might want to start with highlight CDs, they'll feature the most popular parts of an opera like the arias, duets, choruses, etc. and leave out the recitative, the dialogue and narrative sections of an opera.
The repertoire is enormous starting way back with the Baroque Period. Check out "Dido's Lament" from Henry Purcell's Dido & Aeneas
. Mozart wrote some of the most famous operas like The Abduction from the Seraglio
(the final chorus "Never will I thy kindness forget")
, The Marriage of Figaro
("canzonetta sull'aria" is a beautiful duet), The Magic Flute (there are so many great pieces).
Check out Léo Delibes' Lakmé
, and the duet "Viens, Mallika" the so called "Flower Duet." Mady Mesplé and Danielle Millet's interpretation is the standard by which all others are to be compared, IMO.
And then there are the Italians. There are, of course, the warhorses by Giacomo Puccini, Madama Butterfly; Pietro Mascagni, Cavaleria Rusticana
; Ruggero Leoncavallo, Pagliacci
. But there are many more lesser known composers like Gaetano Donizetti, check out L'elisir d'amore
, and the aria "una furtiva lacrima"
The list goes on, and on. . .