Lust, political corruption, police brutality, torture, rape, murder, execution, suicide: opera. Tosca's lover Mario is arrested for treason when she spills the beans about the escape of a political prisoner. Evil Baron Scarpia wins again.
Pharoah's daughter loves Radames, leader of the Egyptian army. So does slave-girl, Aida, who happens to be (unknown to anyone) Princess of Ethiopia. Aida must choose either her country or Radames. The outcome leaves both gasping for breath.
To win the hand of Princess Turandot, suitors must first answer her three riddles, but an incorrect answer sends the suitor to the executioner. A stranger with no name, who no-one knows, tries. Will he win her hand, or lose his head?
Three acts, book-ended by a Prologue and Epilogue, tell the poet Hoffman's failed loves. The first was just a doll, the second a dying singer, and the third a lady of the evening. That's Hoffman, looking for love in all the wrong places.
The aristocratic Marschallin is increasingly aware of things: middle-age is approaching, her beauty is fading, and her young lover Octavian has fallen in love with someone younger and prettier than she. She knew this would happen one day.
It's a familiar story: Act 1, boy meets girl, goes to jail for her. Act 2, boy is out of jail, girl rewards him with special favors. Act 3, girl is bored already, moving on. Act 4, boy kills girl for ruining his life. We've all been there.
Verdi's opera tells the story of Simon Boccanegra (literally: Simon the Black-Mouth), a reformed pirate who becomes chief magistrate of Genoa. Infants swapped at birth, estranged families, and political intrigue threaten to topple his rule.
French composer Ambroise Thomas sticks close to Shakespeare's basic plot, with an added Mad Scene for Ophelia. Simon Keenlyside is the brooding Prince of Denmark, for whom the play's the thing in which to catch the conscience of the king.
Soldiers rally outside Jerusalem, where a beautiful woman claims to be the rightful ruler. She begs the men to help her take the crown from evil uncle, Idraote. Little do they know, however, that this is a plot to destroy them from within.