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Thread: Is any opera story literature-worthy?

  1. #1
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    Aug 2018

    Is any opera story literature-worthy?

    I'd like to slowly tell opera stories to my young child. Then when he's aware of the story I can introduce the songs.

    But any opera I've seen so far has pretty lousy story lines.

  2. #2
    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    Apr 2012
    Reading, England
    I do not know much about opera, but that surprises me. Carmen was based on a short story by Prosper Mérimée. Otello was based on Shakespeare's play Othello. Tristan and Isolde was based on an old Celtic legend.
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
    Charles Dickens, by George Orwell

  3. #3
    Bibliophile JBI's Avatar
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    Feb 2007
    Many regard Wagner's Ring Cycle as having high literary value. That being said, I like to think of opera as something that should be seen and heard, rather than read. That being said, I am also of the mind that Shakespeare's dramatic works should be watched primarily and read closely secondarily.

    Works have intentions -- Opera is no different.

  4. #4
    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
    The USA... or thereabouts
    Blog Entries
    I'll agree with JBI. Good to see you are still around.
    Beware of the man with just one book. -Ovid
    The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them.- Mark Twain
    My Blog: Of Delicious Recoil

  5. #5
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    Sep 2013
    Tales of Hoffman has 3 stories which could work like fairy tales. The middle part of Coppelia & Hoffman might work. Rigalleto, Don Giovanni, The Pearl Fishers & the Marriage of Figaro could be adapted a bit and that might work too. Tristian & Isolde - the idea of a love potion causing all manner of trouble would be a fine tale - and probably be be better without Wagner's renowned brevity. The Pearl Fishers - all of them could make bedtime stories that would not be too far off fairy tales.

  6. #6
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    Mar 2015
    New York, NY
    I’d say very likely if the opera is any good

    The Greek choruses are sung, the epic poetry of Homer and the Old English bards was sung.

    So there’s a conjunction between great music and great literature

    Oh, and Shakespeare’s Songs in the play

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