Guides for Musicals, Plays, Operas & Operettas

Read expert-written show guides with context, plot, characters and video examples.

...
...

Carmen

The Spanish gypsy Carmen lives only for sensuality and manages to seduce the naïve sergeant Don José with her wiles. His love for Carmen leads him to attack his superior officer, desert his military duties and abandon his childhood sweetheart. He then joins Carmen and her band of smugglers. Unf... read more

Aida (Opera)

A tragic tale of forbidden love, Aida follows the struggle of the Ethiopian princess, Aida, and the young Egyptian warrior, Radamès, to decide between love or loyalty to their countries. Aida has been captured by the Egyptians, who do not know her true identity, and is being held as a slave. She... read more

Otello

Based on the famous play by Shakespeare, Verdi’s Otello follows the story of the happy couple, Otello, the governor of Cyprus and Venetian general, and Desdemona as they are dragged through an evil plot constructed by Iago. Iago is the slighted ensign of Otello, who has been passed over for a pro... read more

Così fan tutte

A hilarious farce, Così fan tutte revolved around a bet made among three men; Don Alfonso, the older and more cynical of the bunch, bets Ferrando and Guglielmo that he can prove that their girlfriends, Fiordiligi and Dorabella, are unfaithful like all women. Don Alfonso, with the help of Despina,... read more

Don Giovanni

The famous tale of Don Giovanni centers around the womanizing libertine and his conquests. Don Giovanni sneaks into Il Commendatore’s house, with his side kick, Leporello, standing guard and attempts to rape or seduce his daughter, Donna Anna. Upon fleeing, after Donna Anna screams, Don Giovanni... read more

Tosca

A tragic and political love story, Tosca explores how love overcomes all. Mario Cavaradossi, a painter, is deeply in love with Floria Tosca, a famous singer. Cavaradossi helps aid his friend Angelotti who is being pursued by the Chief of Police, Scarpia. He bursts in the church where Cavaradossi... read more

Madama Butterfly

This tragic tale revolves around the young Japanese geisha, Butterfly. She is to be married to Pinkerton, an American Officer on assignment in Nagasaki. Butterfly is young and naive, and fully believes her marriage to Pinkerton to be true and everlasting, while Pinkerton intends on marrying an Am... read more

Rigoletto

A tragic tale, the story of Rigoletto revolves around the libertine Duke of Mantua and his hunchbacked Court Jester, Rigoletto, whose beautiful daughter, Gilda, falls prey to a dreadful curse.  Rigoletto, fearing for his daughter’s safety, has kept her hidden away.  Unbeknownst to Rigoletto, Gild... read more

The Turn of the Screw

Written in 1954, The Turn of the Screw is the last of Benjamin Britten’s chamber operas, based on the gothic horror novella of the same title.  A sheltered young governess is sent to care for two children in a country house called Bly.  At first, her new post seems perfect--the children, Miles an... read more

Roméo et Juliette

In this retelling of Shakespeare's story, two families in Verona, the Capulets and the Montagues, are bitter enemies. Conflict ensues when Romeo, a Montague, and Juliet, a Capulet, fall in love. The two young lovers exchange secret vows, but within hours a fight has broken out between the two fam... read more