List of Important Operas - 1700–1749


  • 1710 Agrippina (Handel). Handel's last opera that he composed in Italy was a great success, and established his reputation as a composer of Italian opera.
  • 1711 Rinaldo (Handel). Handel's first opera for the London stage was also the first all-Italian opera performed on the London stage.
  • 1724 Giulio Cesare (Handel). This Handel opera is noted for the richness of its orchestration.
  • 1724 Tamerlano (Handel). This work is described by Anthony Hicks, writing in Grove Music Online, as possessing a "taut dramatic power".
  • 1725 Rodelinda (Handel). Rodelinda is often praised for the fullness of the melodic writing among Handel's output.
  • 1728 The Beggar's Opera (Johann Christoph Pepusch). A satire of Italian opera seria based on a play by John Gay, the ballad opera format of The Beggar's Opera has proved popular even up to the current time.
  • 1731 Acis and Galatea (Handel). This is Handel's only work for the theatre that is set to an English libretto.
  • 1733 Orlando (Handel). An opera that is described by Anthony Hicks as "remarkable" and by Orrey as one of Handel's "best works".
  • 1733 La serva padrona (Giovanni Battista Pergolesi). La serva padrona became a model for many of the opera buffas that followed it, including those of Mozart.
  • 1733 Hippolyte et Aricie (Jean-Philippe Rameau). Rameau's first opera caused great controversy at its premiere.
  • 1735 Ariodante (Handel). Both this opera and Alcina enjoy high critical reputations today.
  • 1735 Alcina (Handel). Both this work and Ariodante were part of Handel's first opera season at Covent Garden.
  • 1735 Les Indes galantes (Rameau). In this work Rameau added emotional depth and power to the traditionally lighter form of opera-ballet.
  • 1737 Castor et Pollux (Rameau). Initially only a moderate success, when it was revived in 1754 Castor et Pollux was regarded as Rameau's finest achievement.
  • 1738 Serse (Handel). A deviation from the usual model of opera seria, Serse contains many comic elements rare in Handel's other works.
  • 1744 Semele (Handel). Originally performed as an oratorio, Semele's dramatic qualities have often led to the work being performed on the opera stage in modern times.
  • 1745 Platée (Rameau). Rameau's most famous comic opera. Originally a court entertainment, a 1754 revival proved extremely popular with French audiences.

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