Every opera lover will have their own top ten list and they will all be different, so where do you start as you begin to compile your own?
One good place is to begin might be to think about the kind of movies you enjoy. So, if you like a really good dramatic story, Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin might be up your street.
On the other hand, if you’re into romantic comedy, Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore (The Elixir of Love) could be the one.
What about sophisticated comedy? Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro) is for you.
If (reasonably) contemoprary politics is your thing, then Nixon in China is a must.
And if you like Game of Thrones fantasy with big explosions, theatrics and sex, you could try Wagner. Though if you do, word of warning: he did write some of the longest operas in the repertoire!
Wherever you start, before going to see an opera it is a good idea to do a little bit of homework – you will enjoy it all the more. Have a look at the synopsis (or storyline) ahead of time so you are familiar with the story – that way you can be swept along by the music and drama more freely. There are lots of synopses available here on Operaworld. Just use the search facility or A-Z of opera in the menu bar above. If you find there is one missing – let us know!
And if you’re interested in listening to the music beforehand, there are excerpts and recordings on many of the relevant pages as well.