How Many Operas Are There? (How Many Worth Listening To?)

How many operas are there? a few hundred? A thousand? Fifteen hundred? We’re aware of more and more from the past as the years progress. “Strange then that the part of the repertoire least certainly alive is the modern, the new, the freshly commissioned. But perhaps 50 years from now people will look back on us and pity us for our ignorance of our contemporaries, who are as obscure to us as Handel was to Dent.”