Running Times

Are all operas long?

Some operas are very long and some are very short - the shortest we know of, L'Enlèvement d'Europe, is a mere 8 minutes! Our list currently has about 160 or so operas - a good deal of the standard repertory plus a collection of assorted rarities.

These running times should be taken with a small pinch of salt. Conductors vary in their tempi and you'll need to factor in intervals/intermissions (both number of and duration) to work out how long you'll be at the theatre. In most cases we give the running times on an Act by Act basis except in cases where the Acts are conventionally run together (anyone who sticks a break between Acts III and IV of Aida should be shot). We've also tended towards longer running times rather than shorter: leaving the theatre earlier than expected is pleasant whilst leaving late means missing the train...

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Opera & Composer

Running Time

A Dog's Heart

Alexander Raskatov

2 hours and 15 minutes

70 mins

Act I

65 mins

Act II

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Benjamin Britten

2 hours and 35 minutes

50 mins

Act I

50 mins

Act II

55 mins

Act III

Acis and Galatea

G. F. Handel

1 hour and 30 minutes

Adriana Lecouvreur

Francesco Cilea

2 hours and 30 minutes

40 mins

Act I

35 mins

Act II

30 mins

Act III

45 mins

Act IV

Agrippina

G. F. Handel

3 hours and 15 minutes

75 mins

Act I

80 mins

Act II

40 mins

Act III

Aida

Giuseppe Verdi

2 hours and 30 minutes

40 mins

Act I

45 mins

Act II

65 mins

Acts III and IV

Akhnaten

Philip Glass

2 hours and 30 minutes

50 mins

Act I

55 mins

Act II

45 mins

Act III

Albert Herring

Benjamin Britten

2 hours and 10 minutes

60 mins

Act I

70 mins

Acts II and III

Amahl and the Night Visitors

Gian Carlo Menotti

50 minutes

Anna Bolena

Gaetano Donizetti

2 hours and 50 minutes

80 mins

Act I

90 mins

Act II

Anna Nicole

Mark Anthony Turnage

2 hours

60 mins

Act I

60 mins

Act II

Ariadne auf Naxos

Richard Strauss

2 hours and 10 minutes

45 mins

Prologue

85 mins

Opera

Artaxerxes

Thomas Arne

2 hours and 20 minutes

55 mins

Act I

35 mins

Act II

50 mins

Act III

Atys

Jean-Baptiste Lully

3 hours and 5 minutes

55 mins

Prologue and Act I

70 mins

Acts II and II

60 mins

Acts IV and V

Billy Budd

Benjamin Britten

2 hours and 40 minutes

80 mins

Prologue and Act I

80 mins

Act II and Epilogue

Bluebeard's Castle

Béla Bartók

1 hour and 5 minutes

Boris Godunov (1869)

Modest Mussorgsky

2 hours and 25 minutes

Boris Godunov (Revised)

Modest Mussorgsky

3 hours and 25 minutes

65 mins

Prologue & Act I

35 mins

Act II

45 mins

Act III

60 mins

Act IV

Caligula

Detlev Glanert

2 hours and 10 minutes

65 mins

Acts I and II

65 mins

Acts III and IV

Candide

Leonard Bernstein

2 hours and 40 minutes

75 mins

Act I

85 mins

Act II

Capriccio

Richard Strauss

2 hours and 30 minutes

Carmen

Georges Bizet

2 hours and 35 minutes

95 mins

Acts I and II

60 mins

Acts III and IV

Cavalleria rusticana

Pietro Mascagni

1 hour and 10 minutes

Cendrillon

Jules Massenet

2 hours and 20 minutes

75 mins

Act I

65 mins

Act II

Cherevichki

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

2 hours and 20 minutes

80 mins

Acts I and II

60 mins

Acts III and IV

Clemency

James MacMillan

50 minutes

Cosi fan tutte

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

2 hours and 55 minutes

90 mins

Act I

85 mins

Act II

Curlew River

Benjamin Britten

1 hour and 15 minutes

Cyrano de Bergerac

Franco Alfano

2 hours and 20 minutes

80 mins

Act I

60 mins

Act II

Das Rheingold

Richard Wagner

2 hours and 40 minutes

David et Jonathas

Marc-Antoine Charpentier

2 hours and 10 minutes

80 mins

Prologue, Acts I, II and III

50 mins

Acts III and IV

Dead Man Walking

Jake Heggie

2 hours and 15 minutes

80 mins

Act I

65 mins

Act II

Death in Venice

Benjamin Britten

2 hours and 25 minutes

80 mins

Act I

65 mins

Act II

Der fliegende Hollander

Richard Wagner

2 hours and 20 minutes

Der Rosenkavalier

Richard Strauss

3 hours and 25 minutes

75 mins

Act I

60 mins

Act II

70 mins

Act III

Dialogues des Carmélites

Francis Poulenc

2 hours and 40 minutes

90 mins

Acts I and II

70 mins

Act III

Dido and Aeneas

Henry Purcell

1 hour

Die Entführung aus dem Serail

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

2 hours and 15 minutes

40 mins

Act I

60 mins

Act II

35 mins

Act III

Die Frau ohne Schatten

Richard Strauss

3 hours and 30 minutes

70 mins

Act I

70 mins

Act II

70 mins

Act III

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

Richard Wagner

4 hours and 35 minutes

85 mins

Act I

65 mins

Act II

125 mins

Act III

Die Tote Stadt

Eric Wolfgang Korngold

2 hours and 10 minutes

90 mins

Acts I and II

40 mins

Act III

Die Walküre

Richard Wagner

3 hours and 55 minutes

65 mins

Act I

95 mins

Act II

75 mins

Act III

Die Zauberflöte

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

2 hours and 35 minutes

70 mins

Act I

85 mins

Act II

Doctor Atomic

John Adams

2 hours and 40 minutes

75 mins

Act I

85 mins

Act II

Don Carlos

Giuseppe Verdi

3 hours and 25 minutes

90 mins

Acts I and II

35 mins

Act III

80 mins

Acts IV and V

Don Giovanni

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

2 hours and 55 minutes

90 mins

Act I

85 mins

Act II

Don Pasquale

Gaetano Donizetti

2 hours and 20 minutes

90 mins

Acts I and II

50 mins

Act III

Einstein on the Beach

Philip Glass

4 hours and 15 minutes

Elegy for Young Lovers

Hans Werner Henze

2 hours and 25 minutes

50 mins

Act I

50 mins

Act II

45 mins

Act III

Elektra

Richard Strauss

1 hour and 50 minutes

Elisir d'amore

Gaetano Donizetti

2 hours and 20 minutes

75 mins

Act I

65 mins

Act II

Eugene Onegin

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

2 hours and 35 minutes

75 mins

Act I

45 mins

Act II

35 mins

Act III

Eurydice

Matthew Aucoin

2 hours and 15 minutes

85 mins

Acts I and II

50 mins

Act III

Falstaff

Giuseppe Verdi

2 hours and 20 minutes

90 mins

Acts I and II

50 mins

Act III

Fidelio

Ludwig van Beethoven

2 hours and 20 minutes

80 mins

Act I

60 mins

Act II

Fire Shut Up in My Bones

Terence Blanchard

2 hours and 40 minutes

75 mins

Act I

85 mins

Acts II and III

Gianni Schicchi

Giacomo Puccini

1 hour

Giulio Cesare in Egitto

G. F. Handel

3 hours and 45 minutes

80 mins

Act I

70 mins

Act II

75 mins

Act III

Gloria von Jaxtberg

HK Gruber

1 hour and 30 minutes

Götterdämmerung

Richard Wagner

4 hours and 35 minutes

125 mins

Prologue and Act I

70 mins

Act II

80 mins

Act III

Guillaume Tell

Gioachino Rossini

3 hours and 35 minutes

80 mins

Act I

100 mins

Acts II and III

35 mins

Act IV

Hamlet

Brett Dean

2 hours and 45 minutes

105 mins

Act I

60 mins

Act II

Hänsel und Gretel

Engelbert Humperdinck

1 hour and 55 minutes

65 mins

Act I

50 mins

Act II

Hin und zurück

Paul Hindemith

14 minutes

I puritani

Vincenzo Bellini

2 hours and 35 minutes

75 mins

Act I

45 mins

Act II

35 mins

Act III

Idomeneo

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

2 hours and 45 minutes

55 mins

Act I

50 mins

Act II

60 mins

Act III

Il barbiere di Siviglia

Gioachino Rossini

2 hours and 50 minutes

100 mins

Act I

70 mins

Act II

Il Pirata

Vicenzo Bellini

2 hours and 30 minutes

80 mins

Act I

70 mins

Act II

Il Tabarro

Giacomo Puccini

50 minutes

Il Trovatore

Giuseppe Verdi

2 hours and 25 minutes

75 mins

Acts I and II

70 mins

Acts III and IV

Il turco in Italia

Gioachino Rossini

2 hours and 40 minutes

85 mins

Act I

75 mins

Act II

In the Penal Colony

Philip Glass

1 hour and 20 minutes

Into the Little Hill

George Benjamin

40 minutes

Iolanta

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

1 hour and 40 minutes

Iphigénie en Tauride

Christoph Willibald Gluck

1 hour and 35 minutes

25 mins

Act I

30 mins

Act II

20 mins

Act III

20 mins

Act IV

Jenůfa

Leoš Janáček

2 hours and 5 minutes

45 mins

Act I

50 mins

Act II

30 mins

Act III

Káťa Kabanová

Leoš Janáček

1 hour and 40 minutes

40 mins

Act I

30 mins

Act II

30 mins

Act III

L'amour de loin

Kaija Saariaho

2 hours and 10 minutes

70 mins

Acts I, II and III

60 mins

Acts IV and V

L'Enlèvement d'Europe

Darius Milhaud

8 minutes

L'heure espagnole

Maurice Ravel

55 minutes

L'incoronazione di Poppea

Claudio Monteverdi

2 hours and 20 minutes

90 mins

Act I

50 mins

Act II

La Bohème

Giacomo Puccini

2 hours

40 mins

Act I

20 mins

Act II

30 mins

Act III

30 mins

Act IV

La Calisto

Francesco Cavalli

2 hours and 30 minutes

65 mins

Act I

85 mins

Act II

La Cenerentola

Gioachino Rossini

2 hours and 50 minutes

105 mins

Act I

65 mins

Act II

La clemenza di Tito

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

2 hours and 25 minutes

70 mins

Act I

75 mins

Act II

La damnation de Faust

Hector Berlioz

2 hours and 5 minutes

60 mins

Act I

65 mins

Act II

La donna del lago

Gioachino Rossini

2 hours and 35 minutes

95 mins

Act I

60 mins

Act II

La fanciulla del West

Giacomo Puccini

2 hours and 15 minutes

60 mins

Act I

45 mins

Act II

30 mins

Act III

La fille du régiment

Gaetano Donizetti

2 hours and 10 minutes

80 mins

Act I

50 mins

Act II

La Traviata

Giuseppe Verdi

2 hours and 15 minutes

35 mins

Act I

65 mins

Act II

35 mins

Act III

Le Comte Ory

Gioachino Rossini

2 hours and 20 minutes

70 mins

Act I

70 mins

Act II

Le Grande Macabre

György Ligeti

1 hour and 50 minutes

45 mins

Acts I and II

65 mins

Acts III and IV

Le Nozze di Figaro

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

2 hours and 55 minutes

95 mins

Acts I and II

80 mins

Acts III and IV

Les contes d'Hoffmann

Jacques Offenbach

2 hours and 55 minutes

75 mins

Prologue and Act I

35 mins

Act II

65 mins

Act III + Epilogue

Les pêcheurs de perles

Georges Bizet

1 hour and 50 minutes

45 mins

Act I

35 mins

Act II

30 mins

Act III

Linda di Chamounix

Gaetano Donizetti

3 hours

70 mins

Act I

60 mins

Act II

50 mins

Act III

Lohengrin

Richard Wagner

3 hours and 55 minutes

70 mins

Act I

85 mins

Act II

80 mins

Act III

Lost Highway

Olga Neuwirth

1 hour and 30 minutes

Love and Other Demons

Péter Eötvös

2 hours and 25 minutes

90 mins

Act I

55 mins

Act II

Lucia di Lammermoor

Gaetano Donizetti

2 hours and 15 minutes

40 mins

Act I

40 mins

Act II

55 mins

Act III

Lucrezia Borgia

Gaetano Donizetti

2 hours and 25 minutes

40 mins

Prologue

50 mins

Act I

55 mins

Act II

Luisa Miller

Giuseppe Verdi

2 hours and 35 minutes

65 mins

Act I

45 mins

Act II

45 mins

Act III

Lulu

Alban Berg

3 hours

65 mins

Act I

55 mins

Act II

60 mins

Act III

L'Italiana in Algeri

Gioachino Rossini

2 hours and 30 minutes

75 mins

Act I

75 mins

Act II

Macbeth

Giuseppe Verdi

2 hours and 25 minutes

50 mins

Act I

30 mins

Act II

65 mins

Act III

Madama Butterfly

Giacomo Puccini

2 hours and 20 minutes

55 mins

Act I

50 mins

Act II

35 mins

Act III

Manon

Jules Massenet

2 hours and 55 minutes

70 mins

Acts I and II

50 mins

Act III

55 mins

Acts IV and V

Manon Lescaut

Giacomo Puccini

2 hours and 15 minutes

35 mins

Act I

45 mins

Act II

55 mins

Act III

Maria Stuarda

Gaetano Donizetti

2 hours and 10 minutes

70 mins

Act I

60 mins

Act II

Marnie

Nico Muhly

2 hours and 20 minutes

70 mins

Act I

70 mins

Act II

Matilde di Shabran

Gioachino Rossini

3 hours and 10 minutes

120 mins

Act I

70 mins

Act II

Matsukaze

Toshio Hosokawa

1 hour and 20 minutes

Médée

Marc-Antoine Charpentier

2 hours and 45 minutes

80 mins

Acts I and II

30 mins

Act III

55 mins

Acts IV and V

Nabucco

Giuseppe Verdi

2 hours and 15 minutes

80 mins

Acts I & II

55 mins

Acts III & IV

Norma

Vincenzo Bellini

2 hours and 35 minutes

90 mins

Act I

65 mins

Act II

Orfeo ed Euridice

Christoph Willibald Gluck

1 hour and 30 minutes

Orlando

G. F. Handel

2 hours and 55 minutes

65 mins

Act I

55 mins

Act II

55 mins

Act III

Otello

Giuseppe Verdi

2 hours and 45 minutes

80 mins

Acts I and II

85 mins

Acts III and IV

Pagliacci

Ruggero Leoncavallo

1 hour and 15 minutes

Parsifal

Richard Wagner

4 hours and 5 minutes

105 mins

Act I

65 mins

Act II

75 mins

Act III

Partenope

G. F. Handel

2 hours and 50 minutes

65 mins

Act I

55 mins

Act II

50 mins

Act III

Pelléas et Mélisande

Claude Debussy

2 hours and 40 minutes

30 mins

Act I

30 mins

Act II

35 mins

Act III

40 mins

Act IV

25 mins

Act V

Peter Grimes

Benjamin Britten

2 hours and 25 minutes

55 mins

Act I

50 mins

Act II

40 mins

Act III

Porgy and Bess

George Gershwin

2 hours and 50 minutes

95 mins

Act I

75 mins

Act II

Powder Her Face

Thomas Ades

1 hour and 50 minutes

60 mins

Act I

50 mins

Act II

Punch and Judy

Harrison Birtwistle

1 hour and 45 minutes

Radamisto

G. F. Handel

2 hours and 40 minutes

80 mins

Act I

80 mins

Act II

Riders to the Sea

Ralph Vaughan Williams

55 minutes

Rigoletto

Giuseppe Verdi

2 hours and 10 minutes

60 mins

Act I

35 mins

Act II

35 mins

Act III

Rodelinda

G. F. Handel

2 hours and 55 minutes

60 mins

Act I

60 mins

Act II

55 mins

Act III

Roméo et Juliette

Charles Gounod

3 hours

70 mins

Acts I and II

40 mins

Act III

70 mins

Acts IV and V

Rusalka

Antonín Dvořák

2 hours and 35 minutes

60 mins

Act I

45 mins

Act II

50 mins

Act III

Salome

Richard Strauss

1 hour and 40 minutes

Satyagraha

Philip Glass

2 hours and 35 minutes

50 mins

Act I

50 mins

Act II

55 mins

Act III

Semiramide

Gioachino Rossini

3 hours and 30 minutes

120 mins

Act I

90 mins

Act II

Siegfried

Richard Wagner

4 hours and 10 minutes

85 mins

Act I

80 mins

Act II

85 mins

Act III

Simon Boccanegra

Giuseppe Verdi

2 hours and 10 minutes

75 mins

Prologue and Act I

30 mins

Act II

25 mins

Act III

Stiffelio

Giuseppe Verdi

2 hours and 20 minutes

60 mins

Act I

80 mins

Acts II and III

Suor Angelica

Giacomo Puccini

55 minutes

Tamerlano

G. F. Handel

3 hours and 40 minutes

70 mins

Act I

75 mins

Act II

75 mins

Act III

Tannhäuser

Richard Wagner

3 hours and 30 minutes

75 mins

Act I

75 mins

Act II

60 mins

Act III

Thaïs

Jules Massenet

2 hours and 20 minutes

50 mins

Act I

45 mins

Act II

45 mins

Act III

The Beggar's Opera

John Gay

2 hours and 25 minutes

65 mins

Act I

80 mins

Acts II and III

The Capulets and the Montagues

Vincenzo Bellini

2 hours and 30 minutes

90 mins

Act I

60 mins

Act II

The Cunning Little Vixen

Leoš Janáček

1 hour and 45 minutes

30 mins

Act I

40 mins

Act II

35 mins

Act III

The Enchanted Wanderer

Rodion Shchedrin

1 hour and 40 minutes

The Exterminating Angel

Thomas Adès

2 hours and 15 minutes

80 mins

Act I

55 mins

Act II

The Fairy-Queen

Henry Purcell

3 hours and 10 minutes

100 mins

Acts I, II and III

90 mins

Acts IV and V

The Gambler

Sergei Prokofiev

2 hours and 10 minutes

25 mins

Act I

35 mins

Act II

30 mins

Act III

40 mins

Act IV

The Importance of Being Earnest

Gerald Barry

1 hour and 30 minutes

60 mins

Acts I and II

30 mins

Act III

The Makropulos Case

Leoš Janáček

1 hour and 35 minutes

35 mins

Act I

30 mins

Act II

30 mins

Act III

The Mikado

Arthur Sullivan

2 hours and 10 minutes

70 mins

Act I

60 mins

Act II

The Minotaur

Harrison Birtwistle

2 hours and 20 minutes

85 mins

Act I

55 mins

Act II

The Nose

Dmitri Shostakovich

1 hour and 50 minutes

The Queen of Spades

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

3 hours and 5 minutes

70 mins

Act I

115 mins

Acts II & III

The Rake's Progress

Igor Stravinsky

2 hours and 45 minutes

80 mins

Act I

85 mins

Act II

The Rape of Lucretia

Benjamin Britten

1 hour and 55 minutes

60 mins

Prologue & Act I

55 mins

Act II

The Raven

Toshio Hosokawa

50 minutes

The Tempest

Thomas Ades

2 hours and 10 minutes

85 mins

Acts I & II

45 mins

Act III

The Tsar's Bride

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

2 hours and 35 minutes

55 mins

Act I

35 mins

Act II

30 mins

Act III

35 mins

Act IV

The Turn of the Screw

Benjamin Britten

1 hour and 40 minutes

50 mins

Act I

50 mins

Act II

Thebans

Julian Anderson

1 hour and 40 minutes

50 mins

Act I

20 mins

Act II

30 mins

Act III

Tosca

Giacomo Puccini

1 hour and 55 minutes

45 mins

Act I

40 mins

Act II

30 mins

Act III

Tristan und Isolde

Richard Wagner

3 hours and 55 minutes

80 mins

Act I

75 mins

Act II

80 mins

Act III

Turandot

Giacomo Puccini

2 hours and 5 minutes

35 mins

Act I

50 mins

Act II

40 mins

Act III

Two Boys

Nico Muhly

1 hour and 50 minutes

65 mins

Act I

45 mins

Act II

Un Ballo in Maschera

Giuseppe Verdi

2 hours and 25 minutes

55 mins

Act I

35 mins

Act II

55 mins

Act III

Werther

Jules Massenet

2 hours and 20 minutes

45 mins

Act I

35 mins

Act II

60 mins

Acts III & IV

Wozzeck

Alban Berg

1 hour and 40 minutes

Written on Skin

George Benjamin

1 hour and 35 minutes