Byron reckoned The Duenna the best opera ever written—surely music to the ears of his contemporaries Richard Brinsley Sheridan, who wrote the libretto, and the Thomas Linleys, father and son (the latter the “English Mozart”), who cranked out the tunes. More than a century and a half later, in the wartime U.S.S.R., Prokofiev turned Sheridan’s forgotten intrigue of interlocking elopements in Seville into operatic marzipan easily as luscious as Der Rosenkavalier. Yet even at the Mariinisky, where it premiered in 1946, revivals come around once in a blue moon. Otherwise engaged? Track down the company’s video of 1998, starring a dewy Anna Netrebko. —M.G.
Mariinsky Opera Theatre Square, 1, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia, 190000 Get Directions »