I’ve now reviewed 200 opera performances on DVD and Blu-Ray. They range alphabetically from Adams to Zemlinsky and chronologically from Monteverdi to Reimann. The oldest performance is a 1931 film of Die Dreigroschenoper and the latest a 2012 recording of Arabella. Just for fun I did some quick stats on four parameters; century of composition, decade of performance, language of performance and place of performance.
The century of composition stats show, perhaps unsurprisingly, that my tastes don’t lie in opera’s temporal sweet spot, the 19th century. My most popular century is the 20th with lots of Britten and Richard Strauss contributing a good chunk of the 73 disks. The 19th does come in second at 58 but it’s only just ahead of the 18th at 51 with strong contributions from Mozart (of course), Handel and Rameau.
The top language is Italian, at 69, but that’s very much driven by a big contingent of non-Italians setting Italian libretti, notably Mozart and Handel. German, English and French make up the bulk of the remainder with minor contributions from Russian and Czech.
Decade of performance is utterly dominated by the 2000s with 121 entries. The 1990s and 1980s contribute 52 between them with a handful of recordings from the 1960s and 1970s, one from the 1930s and a few more recent efforts.
Place of performance continues to show a weird bias to Glyndebourne with 21 entries. Close behind are Salzburg and Paris with 19 and 18 and the Met and the ROH with 14 each. In total the recordings were mad in something like 45 different houses in Europe, North America and China. Curiously a full 10% of the performances are films rather than recordings of stage productions.
On to the next 200 I guess.