An Opera Odyssey

The four century history of opera from Peri and Monteverdi to Birtwistle, Bruči, and Tkach

About the series

An Opera Odyssey is a truly gargantuan production undertaking by Elbrus TV.  Currently scheduled to be filmed across 39 countries, it will truly be the most substantial, significant, and meaningful visual history of opera ever to be produced.

Viewers will see how the communicative power of opera with its intoxicating mix of live orchestral music, the unique quality of the human voice, poetry-like stories, and inspiring stage designs, affects us both intellectually and emotionally.  And it will demonstrate how we need all of these elements to coalesce to give us a true opera experience.

The series will bring viewers on an unrivalled journey through the four-century history of this rich and multifaceted musical genre, in an insightful and approachable manner.  They will learn not only of opera’s development from the 1600s in an alluring, at times amusing, and always engaging way – but also how vocal technique evolved, how the role of the orchestra changed through time, and they will gain a valuable insight into the lives of the great composers, who quite paradoxically, are frequently the forgotten element in opera productions, to say nothing of the librettists.  Viewers will be brought inside some of the most opulent and majestic opera houses, and they will hear from musicologists, conductors, operatic singers, archivists, designers, and museum curators.  Far more than being a series solely with an emphasis on the troika of composers, operas, and singers, we will also explore the socio-political, philosophical, economic, religious, and aesthetic factors.  We look at human behaviour by examining some notable operatic characters and try to ascertain if they were inherently bad or mentally disordered.  And given opera’s penchant for murder and mourning, we take a look at how some poor unfortunates met their end. 

Uniquely, Opera Odyssey is a Massive Open Participatory Arts Project in which the public, as well as corporate entities, can play an invaluable part and leave a lasting educational legacy, by supporting our Friends & Patrons programme.

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Music Director

Maestro Gianmaria Griglio

TV Director

Gerard Patrick

Recording Engineer

Adaq Khan

Head of Translation

Mehdi Adlany

Graphic Designer

BILJANA NEDELKOVSKA

Artist & Caricaturist

Alexander Novoseltsev

A Word from the Music Director

In spite of, or maybe thanks to, Hermann Hesse’s Age of Feuilleton, opera is an integral part of modern society: starting with theatrical representations in the dawn of western culture, opera, in its various forms, moved through centuries, wars, political and cultural turmoils growing as one of the most popular artform expressions.

Sometimes funny, sometimes dramatic, sometimes tragic, opera traverses the entire spectrum of human emotions, summing up history in just a few hours: from Monteverdi’s Orfeo through Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte to Puccini’s Turandot and all the way to Bruci’s Gilgamesh we can observe history – our own history – through the glass of time, recognizing ourselves in all those characters that are nothing but a mirror exposing our flaws, our regrets, our passions, and making us love life to its very core.

Opera Odyssey is a fantastically inspiring journey, a coup de théâtre in the age of tweets that is bound to fascinate newcomers and aficionados alike, enticing them into exploring more of the magic of opera, and to realize that their stories, our stories, the composers’ stories are everything but one: the story of humankind.

Parsifal poster

The Series

The series profiles more than 170 composers presenting a brief, but essential biographical portrait of them.  More than 360 operatic works are discussed, offering a background, plot synopsis, and a musical commentary. These have been specifically chosen by our musical director Maestro Gianmaria Griglio, to demonstrate the development of opera from the final years of the 16th century to modern times.

Outside of broadcast, the series will be available as a stunning DVD collection, presented in English (original version), with dubbing and subtitles in Russian, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Dutch, Czech, Hungarian, Turkish, Greek, Arabic, Japanese, and Mandarin. 

Podcast No 1

Opera’s extraordinary phenomenon of the 16th to 18th centuries

A Philanthropic project

The Opera Odyssey project is a non-profit and philanthropic undertaking for our production company. We are very pleased that upon its completion, Opera Odyssey will provide substantial support for the sterling work of the renowned charity Musicians Without Borders. We fully support the charity’s mission in using the power of music to bridge divides, connect communities, and heal the wounds of war.

Update - 28th April 2020

As the world remains immured due to the global pandemic, we sincerely hope that all of you and your loved ones remain safe and healthy. Should any vestige of normality return by the end of year, it will allow us to schedule the filming and recording of the arias required for the TV series, early in the new year.  

The interregnum has not been wasted as it has provided a time for us to reflect on and reconsider our filming plans.  With more than 300 people involved in the production, this has, paradoxically, proven to be quite a luxury! 

One would need to be Solomonic to predict what the future holds, but it is with adamantine will that we will ensure the filming of the series will be complete by the end of next year.

Some of the exemplary singers selected from our auditions in January

Arias being filmed & recorded

Baroque

Opprimete i contumaci
Son pien di giubilo
Lascia ch’io pianga
Dover, giustizia, amor
Revenez, Amours
Disprezzata regina
Sempre in contrasti
When I am laid
Aux langueurs d’Apollon Daphne
Sussurrando il venticello

Classical & Belcanto

Casta diva
E che? Io sono Medea!
Una furtiva lagrima
Che faro’ senza Euridice
Rachel quand du Seigneur
Oh, wie will ich triumphieren
Mi tradi’ quell’alma ingrata
Largo al factotum
Nell’impero di Cupido

Romantic

Votre toast
Song to the Moon
M’appari tutt’amor
Death of Boris
Mon coeur s’ouvre à ta voix
Kuda kuda
Bella figlia dell’amore
Credo in un Dio crudel
Dich teure Halle
Die Frist ist um
Durch die Wälder, durch die Auen

Verismo & beyond

Now the great bear
Acerba volutta’
Nemico della patria
Marcello mio
To this we’ve come
Si’ morir ella d’e’
E lucevan le stelle
In questa reggia
Sein wir wieder gut
Aria of Katerina Izmailova act I

We are truly honoured to have the celebrated artist and caricaturist Alexander Novoseltsev working with us on the Opera Odyssey project.  Alexander will work for the next three years at least, in providing respectful caricatures of each of our featured composers, but additionally, he has the considerable task of producing paintings that represent a scene from each of operas discussed in the series.

All of the artworks will appear in the TV series but we are also making them available as giclée fine art prints.  Apart from general release fine art paper prints, there are also limited edition giclée canvas prints, limited to 25 copies per print. These are available exclusively through our online shop, and their sale helps towards funding the Opera Odyssey project.

Friends

By being part of a society that values the heritage of classical music and how it enriches and impacts favourably on our lives, the Friends of Opera Odyssey are vital in ensuring the promotion of opera for generations to come.  Our Friends are cultural collaborators of this entertaining and comprehensive educational resource, and as such, they make a valuable worldwide cultural and artistic contribution.

Corporate Patrons & Product Placement

Opera Odyssey’s Corporate Patrons provide significant and strategic operational support. In particular, patrons ensure the series documents recherché operatic works, that are so vital to a comprehensive history. In light of that, Opera Odyssey works intently with corporate entities to establish how best it can meet their specific business goals across a range of media. 

The Opera Odyssey Book

Accompanying the TV series, but being published in advance of it, is the Opera Odyssey book.  It will resemble nothing like you have ever seen before.  A limited edition, large format, lavishly illustrated, glorious work on opera’s history, it will be an expression of excellence and beauty. Written in an authoritative yet approachable style, the book will be a veritable treasure trove of opera’s life from its earliest times.

And for a truly exceptional experience, some may be interested in the Exclusive Edition, of which only 100 are being produced.  Quarter bound in fine Moroccan leather, with gilt-edged pages, this exquisite volume is presented in a hand-made clamshell box.

Aav
Adams
Albeniz
Atanasov
Auber
Bajić
Balfe
Barber
Bartok
Beethoven
Bellini
Berezovsky
Berg
Berio
Berlioz
Bibalo
Birtwistle
Bizet
Boieldieu
Boito
Borodin
Boughton
Bræin
Bretan
Britten
Bruči
Busoni
Buys
Caccini
Caldara
Carrer
Catalani
Cavalli
Chabrier
Charpentier
Cherubini
Cilea
Cimarosa
Cornelius
Dallapiccola
Davies
De Falla
de Sarno San Giorgio

Debussy
Delibes
Delius
Donizetti
Dukas
Dvorak
Eggert
Enescu
Galuppi
Gerschwin
Giordani
Giordano
Glass
Glinka
Gluck
Gotovac
Gounod
Granados
Gretry
Hajibeyov
Halevy
Handel
Henze
Hindemith
Holst
Honegger
Hristic
Huber
Humperdinck
Jakova
Janacek
Joplin
Kalniņš
Karnavicius
Keil
Ketting
Klova
Kodaly
Kokkonen
Konjović
Korngold
Krenek
Lalo

Leoncavallo
Ligeti
Lully
Madetoja
Makedonski
Mariotte
Marschner
Martinu
Mascagni
Massenet
Menotti
Messiaen
Meyerbeer
Moniuszko
Monteverdi
Moruzi
Mozart
Mussorgsky
Nani
Nicolai
Nielsen
O’Dwyer
Osterc
Paisiello
Paliashvili
Papandopulo
Penderecki
Pepusch
Pergolesi
Peri
Pfitzner
Piccinni
Pijper
Ponchielli
Portugal
Poulenc
Prokofiev
Puccini
Purcell
Rameau
Rangström
Rautavaara
Ravel

Riemann
Rimsky-Korsakov
Rossini
Saint-Saëns
Salieri
Samaras
Scarlatti
Schjelderup
Schoenberg
Schreker
Shostakovich
Smetana
Spendiaryan
Spontini
Statkowski
Strauss
Stravinsky
Suchon
Szymanowski
Taktakishvili
Taneyev
Tchaikovsky
Thomas
Tippett
Tkach
Ullmann
van Gilse
Vaughan Williams
Verdi
von Einem
von Flowtow
von Weber
von Zemlinsky
Wagner
Wallace
Walton
Weill
Wolf-Ferrari
Zajc
Zelenski
Zimmermann

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The Operas

When looking for the names of operas, please be aware they may not be listed here in English.
For example, Mozart’s The Magic Flute is featured here as Die Zauberflöte.

A Hand of Bridge
A life for the Tsar
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
A village Romeo and Juliet
Abesalom da Eteri
Acis and Galatea
Adriana Lecouvreur
Agnese Visconti
Agrippina
Aida
Albert Herring
Alceste
Alcina
Almast
Amahl and the Night Visitors
Andrea Chenier
Anna Bolena
Anne Pedersdotter
Anthony and Cleopathra
Antigone
Arabella
Ariadne auf Naxos
Ariane et Barbe-bleue
Ariodante
Armide
Attila
Atys
Balkanska Carica
Baņuta
Bastien und Bestienne
Bellerophon
Benvenuto Cellini
Billy Budd
Bluebeard’s Castle
Boris Godunov
Boulevard Solitude
Capriccio
Cardillac
Carmen
Cavalleria rusticana
Cendrillon
Čerëmuški
Cosi fan tutte
Dafne
Dalibor
Dantons Tod
Das Liebesverbot
Das Rheingold
Death in Venice
Demofonte
Der Barbier von Bagdad
Der ferne Klang
Der fliegende Hollander
Der Freischütz
Der Kaiser von Atlantis
Der Rosenkavalier
Der Schauspieldirekor
Der Simplicius
Der Vampyr
Der Zwerg
Dialogues des Carmelites
Dido and Aeneas
Die Entführung aus dem Serail
Die Frau ohne Schatten
Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor
Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg
Die Schneider von Schönau
Die Soldaten
Die tote Stadt
Die Walküre
Die Zauberflöte
Doktor Faust
Don Carlos
Don Giovanni
Don Pasquale
Don Quichotte
Edgar
Edipo re
Eine florentinische Tragödie
Einstein on the beach
Eithne
Elektra
Ernani
Ero s onoga svijeta
Erwartung
Eugene Onegin
Europa Riconosciutta
Euryanthe
Falstaff (Salieri)
Falstaff (Verdi)

Faust
Fedora
Fidelio
Flora Mirabilis
Fra’ Diavolo
From the House of the Dead
Gawain
Genius of Ireland
Gergana
Gianni Schicchi
Giasone
Gilgamesh
Giulio Cesare
Goce
Goplana
Götterdämmerung
Goyescas
Grazina
Guillaume Tell
Halewijn
Halka
Hamlet
Hansel und Gretel
Hary Janos
Haunted Manor
Herodiade
I Capuleti e I Montecchi
I Lombardi alla prima crociata
I puritani
Idomeneo
Il barbiere di Siviglia (Paisiello)
Il barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini)
Il filosofo di campagna
Il matrimonio segreto
Il pirata
Il prigioniero
Il re pastore
Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria
Il Tabarro
Il Tigrane
Il Trovatore
Il Turco in Italia
Intermezzo
Iolanta
Iphigenie en Aulide
Iphigenie en Tauride
Isabella d’Aspeno
Ithaka
Jenufa
Jonny spielt auf
Julietta
Kata Kabanova
Khovanshchina
King Roger
Knez Ivo od Semberije
Konigskinder
Koštana
Krog s kredo
Kronbruden
Krútňava
La bohème (Leoncavallo)
La bohème (Puccini)
La buona figliuola
La Calisto
La Cenerentola
La clemenza di Tito (Caldara)
La clemenza di Tito (Mozart)
La dame blanche
La damnation de Faust
La Dolores
La donna del lago
La fanciulla del West
La favorite
La fille du regiment
La finta giardiniera
La forza del destino
La gazza ladra
La Gioconda
La Huron
La Juive
La liberazione di Ruggiero
La Martire
La Rondine
La scala di seta
La serva padrona
La siege de Corinthe
La sonnambula
La Traviata
La vestale
La Vida breve

La voix humaine
La Wally
Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District
L’Africaine
Lakme
L’amico Fritz
Le comte Ory
Le Grand Macabre
Le nozze di Figaro
Le prophete
Le roi d’Ys
Le roi malgre lui
Le Villi
Lear
L’elisir d’amore
L’enfant et les sortileges
Les enfants terrible
Les Huguenots
Les Indes galantes
Les mamelles de Tiresias
Les pecheurs de perles
Les Troyens
Les vepres siciliennes
L’etoile
Leyli and Majnun
L’heure espagnole
L’incoronazione di Poppea
L’italiana in Algeri
Lohengrin
L’Orfeo
Louise
Luceafărul
Lucia di Lammermoor
Lucio Silla
Lucrezia Borgia
Luisa Miller
Lulu
Macbeth
Madama Butterfly
Maid of Orleans
Manon
Manon Lescaut
Maometto II
Maria
Maria Stuarda
Maritana
Martha
Maskarade
Mathis der Maler
Mazepa
Medee
Mefistofele
Merlin
Mignon
Mindia
Mireille
Mitridate, re di Ponto
Mosè in Egitto
Moses und Aron
Mrika
Nabucco
Nikola Subic Zrinski
Nixon in China
Norma
Oberon
Oberto, conte di San Bonifacio
Oedipe
Oedipus Rex
Oresteia
Orfeo ed Euridice
Orlando
Otello (Rossini)
Otello (Verdi)
Owen Wingrave
Pagliacci
Palestrina
Parsifal
Pelleas et Melisande
Pepita Jimenez
Pescarii din Sulina
Peter Grimes
Pilenai
Platee
Pohjalaisia – The Ostrobothnians
Porgy and Bess
Prince Igor
Punch and Judy
Riders to the Sea
Rienzi, der letzte der Tribunen
Rigoletto

Rinaldo
Rise and Fall of the City of Mahogonny
Robert le diable
Roberto Devereux
Rodelinda
Romeo et Juliette
Rusalka
Ruslan and Lyudmila
Sadko
Saint Francois d’Assise
Salomè (Mariotte)
Salomè (R. Strauss)
Samson et Dalila
Saul og David
Savitri
Semele
Semiramide
Serrana
Serse
Siegfried
Silvain
Simon Boccanegra
Sly
Spring night
Stiffelio
Sunčanica
Suor Angelica
Suton
Svante Sture och Märta Leijonhufvud
Tamerlano
Tancredi
Tannhäuser
Tavener
Thais
The Bartered Bride
The Bassarids
The Bear
The Beggar’s Opera
The Bohemian Girl
The Consul
The Cunning Little Vixen
The Devil and Kate
The Devils of Loudun
The Fairy Queen
The Fiery Angel
The Golden Cockerel
The Immortal Hour
The Knot Garden
The last temptations
The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh
The Lighthouse
The Love for Three Oranges
The Makropulos Affair
The Marriage of Figaro
The Mask of Orpheus
The Medium
The Midsummer Marriage
The Nightengale
The Nose
The Pilgrim’s Progress
The Queen of Spades
The Rake’s Progress
The Rape of Lucretia
The smile at the foot of the ladder
The Snow Maiden
The Telephone
The Threepenny Opera
The Turn of the Screw
The Two Widows
Thijl
Tosca
Treemonisha
Tristan und Isolde
Troilus and Cressida
Turandot
Un ballo in maschera
Un giorno di regno
Un re in ascolto
Unchiul meu din Paris
Vanessa
Vikerlased
Vincent
War and Peace
Werther
Wozzeck
Zaza

Film locations include premiere venues, museums, and composers' places of birth & burial
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Opera Odyssey is wholly owned by
Baikal Developments Ltd.
Registered in Ireland
No. 623069
The Opera Odyssey book is published by
Baikal Publishing
part of Baikal Developments
Printed in Malta by
Gutenberg Press Ltd.

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