Since its beginnings in 16th Century Italy, operas have been written the world over by men and women with different political, cultural and emotional backgrounds. Well, actually... there haven't been many women, but over the last few decades Kaija Saariaho and Judith Weir amongst others have finally started to address the huge imbalance. The Opera 101 currently covers Giacomo Puccini and Giuseppe Verdi in depth but they are merely two of many great composers. For more historic information check out our Opera History. Know all this already?
The final great Romantic composer bringing 20th Century influences into his later works. His works have thrilling melodies, sumptuous orchestrations and gloriously melodramatic stories.
Verdi dominated Italian opera for much of the 19th Century and he still dominates our opera stages today.