The Essential Opera? Readers Offer Their Lists

Last month, Tim Page offered a list of 25 opera recordings he felt could give a listener a good overview of the artform. Not surprisingly, (are there any fans more rabid than opera fans?) Page’s readers scrambled to modify his list. “A few recurring themes can be isolated: Neither baroque nor modern opera seems to be especially popular with many operaphiles (although there are listeners who take to these genres more quickly than they do to much of the standard repertory); it was widely believed that Mozart, Verdi and Wagner should have been represented by more than two operas apiece (and Puccini and Richard Strauss by more than one); and, more than a quarter-century after her death, Maria Callas may still be the world’s most popular opera singer.”