List of Famous Opera Composers People

List of Famous Opera Composers

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List of famous opera composers, with photos, bios, and other information when available. Who are the top opera composers in the world? This includes the most prominent opera composers, living and dead, both in America and abroad. This list of notable opera composers is ordered by their level of prominence, and can be sorted for various bits of information, such as where these historic opera composers were born and what their nationality is. The people on this list are from different countries, but what they all have in common is that they're all renowned opera composers.

List features people like Gian Carlo Menotti, Thomas Pasatieri, and many more

From reputable, prominent, and well known opera composers to the lesser known opera composers of today, these are some of the best professionals in the opera composer field. If you want to answer the questions, "Who are the most famous opera composers ever?" and "What are the names of famous opera composers?" then you're in the right place. (103 items)


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  1. 1
    Giuseppe Verdi
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    Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi was an Italian Romantic composer primarily known for his operas. He is considered, with Richard Wagner, the preëminent opera composer of the 19th century. Verdi dominated the Italian opera scene after the eras of Bellini, Donizetti and Rossini. His works are frequently ...more

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    • Age: Died at 88 (1813-1901)
    • Birthplace: Europe, Eurasia, Italy, Le Roncole, Southern Europe, + more
    • Profession: Conductor, Opera composer, Composer
    • Credits: Senso, One Hundred Men and a Girl, Aria, The Simple-Minded Murderer, The Great Caruso, + more
  2. 2
    Gian Carlo Menotti
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    Gian Carlo Menotti was an Italian-American composer and librettist. Although he often referred to himself as an American composer, he kept his Italian citizenship. He wrote the classic Christmas opera Amahl and the Night Visitors, along with over two dozen other operas intended to appeal to popular ...more

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    • Age: Died at 96 (1911-2007)
    • Birthplace: Cadegliano-Viconago, Italy
    • Profession: Opera composer, Librettist
    • Credits: The Medium, Menotti: Help, Help the Globolinks
  3. 3

    Thomas Pasatieri is an American opera composer.more

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    • Age: age 70
    • Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America
    • Profession: Opera composer, Pianist, Composer
  4. 4
    Christoph Willibald Gluck
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    Christoph Willibald Ritter von Gluck was a German composer of Italian and French opera in the early classical period. After many years at the Habsburg court at Vienna, Gluck brought about the practical reform of opera's dramaturgical practices that many intellectuals had been campaigning for over the ...more

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    • Age: Died at 73 (1714-1787)
    • Birthplace: Berching, Germany
    • Profession: Opera composer
    • Credits: The War of the Worlds: Next Century
  5. 5
    Jules Massenet
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    Jules Émile Frédéric Massenet was a French composer best known for his operas, of which he wrote more than thirty. The two most frequently staged are Manon and Werther. He also composed oratorios, ballets, orchestral works, incidental music, piano pieces, songs and other music. While still a schoolboy, ...more

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    • Age: Died at 70 (1842-1912)
    • Birthplace: Montaud, Hérault, France
    • Profession: Opera composer
    • Credits: Manon Lescaut, Pishto Goes Away, Thais
  6. 6
    Vincenzo Bellini
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    Vincenzo Salvatore Carmelo Francesco Bellini was an Italian opera composer, who was known for his long-flowing melodic lines for which he was named "the Swan of Catania". Many years later, in 1898, Giuseppe Verdi "praised the broad curves of Bellini's melody: 'there are extremely long melodies as no-one ...more

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    • Age: Died at 34 (1801-1835)
    • Birthplace: Catania, Italy
    • Profession: Opera composer, Composer
    • Credits: A Lady's Morals
  7. 7
    Rodolphe Kreutzer
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    Rodolphe Kreutzer was a French violinist, teacher, conductor, and composer of forty French operas, including La mort d'Abel. He is probably best known as the dedicatee of Beethoven's Violin Sonata No. 9, Op. 47, though he never played the work, declaring it unplayable and incomprehensible. Kreutzer made ...more

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    • Age: Died at 65 (1766-1831)
    • Birthplace: Versailles, France
    • Profession: Conductor, Opera composer, Music pedagogue, Composer, Violinist
  8. 8
    Alfredo Catalani
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    Alfredo Catalani was an Italian operatic composer. He is best remembered for his operas Loreley and La Wally. La Wally was composed to a libretto by Luigi Illica, and features Catalani's most famous aria "Ebben? Ne andrò lontana." This aria, sung by American soprano Wilhelmenia Fernandez, was at the ...more

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    • Age: Died at 39 (1854-1893)
    • Birthplace: Europe, Province of Lucca, Eurasia, Italy, Lucca, + more
    • Profession: Opera composer
  9. 9
    Carlisle Floyd
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    Carlisle Floyd is an American opera composer. The son of a Methodist minister, he has based many of his works on themes from the South. His best known opera, Susannah, is based on a story from the Apocrypha, transferred to contemporary, rural Tennessee, and is set in a Southern dialect.more

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    • Age: age 89
    • Birthplace: Latta, South Carolina, United States of America
    • Profession: Opera composer
  10. 10

    Marc'Antonio Ziani was an Italian composer living in Vienna. Ziani was born in Venice. He probably studied with his uncle, the organist Pietro Andrea Ziani. From 1686 to 1691 Ziani was maestro di cappella to Duke Ferdinando Carlo di Gonzaga in Mantua, but simultaneously developed his career as an opera ...more

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    • Age: Died at 62 (1653-1715)
    • Birthplace: Venice, Scorzè, Italy
    • Profession: Opera composer
  11. 11

    Mykola Vitaliyovych Lysenko was a Ukrainian composer, pianist, conductor and ethnomusicologist.more

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    • Age: Died at 70 (1842-1912)
    • Birthplace: Poltava Governorate
    • Profession: Conductor, Opera composer, Pianist, Musicologist
  12. 12

    Hans Gál OBE was an Austrian-British composer, teacher and author.more

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    • Age: Died at 97 (1890-1987)
    • Birthplace: Brunn am Gebirge, Austria
    • Profession: Opera composer, Pianist, Music pedagogue, Musicologist
  13. 13

    Michael John LaChiusa is an American musical theatre and opera composer, lyricist, and librettist. He is best known for musically esoteric shows such as Hello Again, Marie Christine, The Wild Party, and See What I Wanna See. He was nominated for four Tony Awards in 2000 for his score and book for both ...more

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    • Age: age 53
    • Birthplace: Chautauqua, New York, United States of America
    • Profession: Performer, Film Score Composer, Opera composer, Librettist, Lyricist, + more
  14. 14
    Franz Schreker
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    Franz Schreker was an Austrian composer, conductor, teacher and administrator. Primarily a composer of operas, Schreker developed a style characterized by aesthetic plurality, timbral experimentation, strategies of extended tonality and conception of total music theatre into the narrative of ...more

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    • Age: Died at 56 (1878-1934)
    • Birthplace: Monaco
    • Profession: Conductor, Opera composer, Composer
  15. 15

    Jacopo Melani was an Italian composer and violinist of the Baroque era. He was born and died in Pistoia, and was the brother of composer Alessandro Melani and singer Atto Melani.more

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    • Age: Died at 53 (1623-1676)
    • Birthplace: Pistoia, Italy
    • Profession: Opera composer, Organist, Violinist
  16. 16

    Václav Kašlík was a Czech composer, opera director and conductor, known for his operas, both on the stage and on television. Kašlík was born in Poličná in Moravia, Austria–Hungary. He studied musicology at Prague University, and composition, conducting, and opera production at the Prague Conservatory.more

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    • Age: Died at 72 (1917-1989)
    • Birthplace: Moravia, Czech Republic
    • Profession: Opera conductor, Opera composer, Television director, Screenwriter, Film Director
    • Credits: Prodaná nevěsta, Eine Nacht in Venedig, Der fliegende Holländer
  17. 17
    Riccardo Drigo
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    Riccardo Eugenio Drigo, was an Italian composer of ballet music and Italian opera, a theatrical conductor, and a pianist. Drigo is most noted for his long career as kapellmeister and Director of Music of the Imperial Ballet of St. Petersburg, Russia, for which he composed music for the original works ...more

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    • Age: Died at 84 (1846-1930)
    • Birthplace: Padua, Italy
    • Profession: Opera conductor, Opera composer, Pianist
  18. 18
    Ruggero Leoncavallo
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    Ruggero Giacomo Maria Giuseppe Emmanuele Raffaele Domenico Vincenzo Francesco Donato Leoncavallo was an Italian opera composer. His two-act work Pagliacci remains one of the most popular works in the repertory, appearing as number 19 on the Operabase list of the most-performed operas worldwide in the ...more

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    • Age: Died at 62 (1857-1919)
    • Birthplace: Naples, Italy
    • Profession: Opera composer, Librettist
    • Credits: Pagliacci
  19. 19
    Giacomo Meyerbeer
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    Giacomo Meyerbeer was a German opera composer of Jewish birth who has been described as perhaps the most successful stage composer of the nineteenth century. With his 1831 opera Robert le diable and its successors, he gave the genre of grand opera 'decisive character'. Meyerbeer's grand opera style was ...more

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    • Age: Died at 73 (1791-1864)
    • Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
    • Profession: Opera composer
  20. 20

    Aribert Reimann is a German composer, pianist and accompanist, known especially for his literary operas. His version of Shakespeare's King Lear, the opera Lear, was written at the suggestion of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, who sang the title role.more

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    • Age: age 79
    • Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
    • Profession: Opera composer, Pianist
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