Last Updated: July 15, 1999

Ideas for New Operas

(Facetiousness allowed; please address your complaints to the sources.)

Please send suggestions to: Lyle Neff, Respond to the individual contributors via their e-mail.

The serious (or at least half-way serious) suggestions first:

The Chronicles of Narnia: [C.] S. Lewis would marvel at the thought of his fantasies become opera, to apply another dimention to the already thick environment. More operas need to be fantastical and fun, i.e. The Magic Flute. The Narnia Chronicles, would also present the idea of having a sequel. (Tom Garcia,
Crime and Punishment, novel by Dostoyevsky (Mark R. Penney,
Their Eyes Were Watching God, novel by Zora Neale Hurston (Naomi Gurtz,
Swedish Opera: I think we need to see the development of more Swedish opera (I'm of swedish descent so my bias is showing). I think that any of Ingmar Bergman's film plots would make excellent operas! Just think of all the betrayals and deaths set in some God forsaken hinterland! I would especially love to see an opera with the scene of a man playing chess with Death! (
Whatever Happened to Baby Jane (Vincent Kling,

And now for the less-than-serious:

Abnorma (LN)
L'Affair de Presidente: The leader of a country suffers from a sexual addition and is loved by his constituents but despised by his political opponents and tolerated by his political allies. He is accused of having an affair with a young intern and urging her to lie to the Grand Inquisitor about an alleged sexual indiscretion with another woman whose supporters comprise the leader's political opponents. Not sure how it ends. (

L'Affair de Presidente obviously ends with the president being castrated by his enraged wife (a mezzo, of course); repenting his sins; and reviving baroque opera in its purest form. He interrupts an aria in the second act of "Alcina" (performed in La Scala) to beg his wife's forgiveness in an unforgettable coloratura plea. She grants his wish, and they are reconciled. (Kristen, <>)

The Annulment of Figaro (LN)
The Common-Law Marriage of Figaro (LN)
Diana, Princess of Wales: Or at least as a dark music theatre piece. I can see it going over really big at the Volksoper in Vienna. (Robert W. Tudor,
The Divorce of Figaro (LN)
Electraition: It is all About a frustrated female electrician named Electra that get back at her Step-Mother by encouraging her merchent marine brother Orest, that was hard at work for Nabisco delivering Oreos,just returned home, to make her Step-Mother to pay all of the work she did for her. To which her sister the florist, named after her favorite flower, Chytamnestra struck a deal with FTD. Electra that was so happy that Orest got rid of the evil Step-Mother for got that she was not grounded while working on the Bilboard nouncing the Setp-Mother's death, dance a jig from the shock and died. (Raymundo Morales,
Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serial (last word pronounced as in English): in which soap opera characters are abducted against their will by the newscasters in the neighboring studio. (Mark R. Penney,
Erfartung: The story of an unnamed woman wandering along a forest path in search of medication that will relieve her flatulence. Distraught after discovering that her lover has died from food poisoning, she blames "the woman with the white arms" who cooked the meal. Scratch-and-sniff participation guarantees audience enjoyment. (Author unknown.)

In honor of the flea infestation at San Francisco Opera, Mark Burstein ( sent the following:

[Here's] this canonical list from the San Francisco Opera. In the '94 season we were invaded by mites, scabies, and fleas and the entire company had to be "dipped" at once. We (I'm a "super" in the company) reacted by thinking of other Operas which could be performed in this context, and several versions of this list were circulated. Here's mine.

Ai itcha (Aida)
Amahl and the Mite Visitors
L'Amico Nits
The Ballad of Scabie Doe
Beatrice et Benedryl
Billy Bugg
The Bitten Bride
Boris Scratchemoff
The Contamination of Faust
La In-Cortizone di Poppea
The Critters of Promethius
Dangerous Fleazones
The Death of Fleahopper
Dialogue of the Elimites
Don Pestquale
La Excema del Tito
The Exterminator of Seville
La Fanicootie del West, aka The Girl of the Golden Pest
The Fiery Tingle
La Flea du Regiment
Der Fleagender Hollander
Die! Fleatermites
La Forza del Infestino
Die Frau ohne Scratchen
Gianni Scratchy
Le Gnatzze de Figaro, aka The Marriage of Chiggaro
Die Harmonie der Welts
Les Hugenits
Die Inflamedermaus
Infection from the Seraglio
Itching Ointment (Eugene Onegin)
Katerina Itchmailova
A Little Mite Music
Liccia de Scratchermoor
Madama Butterflea
Manon Licescaut
Mefistopthefleas, aka Infestofele
The Merry Hives of Windsor
A Midsummer Mite's Cream
Die Mitestersinger von Nurnberg
The Mitescrawlonus Case
The Mitesiah
(N)itchin' in China
Orpheus and Euriditchy
I Pagli-itchy
Pelleas et Meliceande
The Queen of Scabies
The Rash's Progress
Der Ring der Nibblybugs
Il Ritorno di Ulitchy in Patria
Ruslan and Scabmilla
Il Scabarro
Il Scabatore
The Scales of Hoffman
The Scrape of Lucretia
Simon Buganegra
Sore Angelica
Toesi fan Cootie
I Vespri Scabesiana
Die Walkueritch

and not to forget the Ballet "Nutscratcher"

Der Fliegende Fleishbrot: A Faustian tale in which a vegetarian sailor is forced to sail from port to port on a raft made out of meatloaf. (
Hi-Fidelio: An early autograph of Beethoven's where he attempted a failed experiment with placing players and singers around the opera hall. (Terry Kuny,
Italians in West Virginia (from a headline in some journal years ago -- LN)
Madama Buttercup: obviously, identical with HMS Pinafore, except that Buttercup commits hara-kiri at the end. (Mark R. Penney,
Madame Butterworth: "he story of a black cook who falls in love with an American ship captain, not realizing that he actually has a lover in San Francisco who runs a four-star restaurant. She sacrifices the approval of her family and her registry at Williams-Sonoma for him, and has his child (famous chef Wolfgang Puck). In the end, he comes to claim their child and return him to the United States to start a cooking academy. Betrayed, she sings her moving aria 'Un bel sciroppo' and stabs herself with a giant fork. (Vince Kniffin, <>)
Mary, Scot of Queens: The trials and tribulations of a woman who emigrates from Scotland to a New York borough. (LN)
Die Meisterbrau: In which a singing competition is held, the prize for which is a keg of cheap American beer. (Mark R. Penney,
Nabob: "A million Brazilian coffee plantation workers are enslaved by a ruthless multinational corporation and long for the greener days of life in the rainforest" (Terry Kuny,
The Prenuptial Agreement of Figaro (Teresa Muir,
The Reconciliation of Figaro (sent by
The Remarriage of Figaro (Terry Kuny,
The Replique of the Autodidact (LN)
Salami: The story of a frustrated young woman who wants the head of the man who has spurned her advances. Her attentive father tries to appease her with a replica of the young man's head carved from luncheon meat and served on a platter. Overly zealous guards inadvertently crush her while performing the Heimlich maneuver. (Lars Rains,

"Does she do the 'Dance of the 7 Veals?'" (,

Sampson and the Dalai Lama (Laura Rottmann,
La Traviata II: The opera opens with a repeat of the ending of La Traviata, but seconds after the curtain falls with Pere Germont and Alfredo standing at the bedside of a dying Violetta, it rises again. A specialist summoned by Pere Germont has arrived just after what we thought was her last sigh. Violetta miraculously recovers. Gratefully she takes up with Pere Germont where she can get the understanding and comfort she needs. Act two has Daddy G. and Violetta moving to Paris where Alfredo drops in now and again to storm and sulk. Act three ends with Pere Germont dying, broke but happy. (Thanks, in part, to a suggestion made by a panelist on a Texaco Metropolitan Opera broadcast.)

Anyone want to propose a La Traviata III?"(Arnold Berger,

The Trial of Figaro: Ostentacious sequel to the Marriage of Figaro where Figaro, after a successful career as a professional soccer player, divorces Susannah, then murders her and Cherobino in a jealous rage. Don Bartolo represents the prosecution against Figaro in a lengthy trial filled with lively testimony and scandal. (Chris Call,
The Trial Separation of Figaro (sent by La
La Triviata
: Basically, the plot of Hepburn & Tracy's film 'The Desk Set' turned into an opera. (Vince Kniffin, <>)
Xerxes in Boston

Xerxes in Chicago
(both from thread headings on - LN)
Compiler and partial author: Lyle Neff,