Guides for Musicals, Plays, Operas & Operettas

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

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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, Gilda... 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

Le Nozze di Figaro

Le Nozze di Figaro is a fantastic farce, continuing the story of the characters from Il barbiere di Seviglia.  The once young and romantic couple, Rosina and Count Almaviva, are now established in their estate near Seville, but their marriage is in a rocky state.  Count Almaviva has now become 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

Albert Herring

In the small town of Loxford in East Sussex, the old-fashioned autocrat Lady Billows is in a tizzy. She has assembled a committee of the most important people in town to try to find a suitable Queen for their annual May Day Feast, but none of the young women in town are of suitable moral charact... read more

Das Rheingold

The Rhinegold harbors a deep magic in it. Anyone who should make a ring from it could rule the whole world, but the smithy that creates it has to renounce love forever. When Wotan, the ruler of the Gods, finds out that the Rhinegold has been stolen from the protection of the Rhinemaidens by the d... read more

Die Zauberflöte

Die Zauberflöte was Mozart’s final opera before he died in 1791. Its magical setting and show stopping arias made the opera’s premiere a major success, and have constantly led many to consider it one of if not his best opera ever. The aria “Der Hölle Rache”, also referred to as the Queen of the N... read more

Fidelio

As Beethoven’s only opera, Fidelio has delighted audiences for centuries with its themes of justice, freedom, and the strength of the human spirit. Fidelio is formally a singspiel , and it tells the story of a determined wife, Leonore, trying to find her husband, Florestan. Leonore goes through m... read more

La Traviata

A story of sickness, love, and death, La Traviata follows Violetta, a young courtesan who is ill with consumption as she falls, unwillingly, in love with a young man Alfredo. While she struggles with the fact that she is dying, she falls for him and they escape the city to live together in the Fr... read more

Turandot

The famous tale of Turandot revolves around the cold-hearted Princess of Peking, Turandot, and the young Prince of Tartary, Calaf, who falls in love with her at first sight. Having deemed all men unworthy of her hand, Turandot requires her suitors to answer three riddles correctly, and if he fail... read more