The first of the "Three Queens" operas by Donizetti tells of Anne Boleyn's disastrous marriage to Henry VIII. Anna Netrebko plays the doomed queen, Ildar Abdrazakov is her Henry VIII, and Stephen Costello is Lord Percy.
The nobleman Don Giovanni has apparently lost all his manners: not only does he rape the Commander's daughter and murder the old man; later on he invites his statue to dinner. It's completely inappropriate, and there will be Hell to pay.
Ring Cycle, pt 3. Years later, the twins' baby is a man; he goes forth to do manly things, like kill his guardian, slay dragons, steal the Ring and talk to animals. He finds a woman imprisoned by a wall of fire; they fall instantly in love.
Bertarido escaped to Hungary after Grimoaldo's armies had attacked, even though he had once been an ally of Bertarido. Now he has returned in disguise to rescue his wife and son, whom he left behind. But Rodelinda believes him to be dead.
The oft-told tale of the scientist Faust, who sold his soul to the devil in exchange for an extra 24 years to live, is updated, apparently happening entirely in the confines of Faust's lab, which makes the Act 2 carnival hard to fathom.
Ring Cycle, pt 4. Siegfried is drugged and tricked into kidnapping his wife, since she has the Ring now. More double-crossings, Siegfried ends up dead. Brunnhilde has had enough of this, tosses the Ring into the river and torches the place.
The opera that pushed Verdi onto the world stage. Ernani, outlawed nobleman, heads a resistance effort against Don Carlo, who killed Ernani's father. He also plans to elope with Elvira. Unfortunately, Don Carlo also is in love with Elvira.
Naive Manon is seduced by Chevalier Des Grieux and she runs away with him to avoid being sent to the convent. Gradually she learns to use her beauty to her advantage in the world of men. In opera, that usually spells bad news for the woman.
The self-sacrificing courtesan with a heart of gold, and yes, she's going to die before it's over, and it will be too late to make amends for those who have wronged her. That's why the big clock in the background is ticking away like that.