Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Opera/Archive 35

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Arthur Sullivan navigation box

I created navigation box for Arthur Sullivan's operas including his work with others (German, Chorley and Gilbert). But I was told to remove it from all Sullivan/Gilbert articles. But, how about the navigtaion box list itself, shall I remove all S&G collaboration works too? - Jay 05:57, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Hello. Jay did a nice job with the Sullivan box, but he did not discuss it with us at the G&S project (WP:G&S) before placing it on the articles. The G&S project already had a navigation template on all the Gilbert and Sullivan opera articles. I think it is OK for Jay to put the navigation box on all of Sullivan's Non-Gilbert operas, but the project had already agreed on a format for the Gilbert opera articles. Thanks, and best regards, -- Ssilvers 06:03, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
Ok, but my question is, shall I remove the G&S opera list from the navigation box itself? Even though we have removed the nav box from G&S works, but the link is still working from Sullivan's operas with others. (Sorry for the nav box, I had no idea about G&S project existed in the first place) - Jay 06:06, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

I do not think that you need to remove the G&S opera list from the box. On those articles where the box is now placed, the full list may be of interest. Please do not hesitate to discuss issues like this at WP:G&S in the future. Best regards, -- Ssilvers 06:30, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Jacques Offenbach photo

His photo in the article (also is use for his navigation box) has been deleted, I am not sure when or why. Can someone please restore it? Thanks. - Jay 01:21, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

Fixed. It was deleted because there was a version on Commons, but the filenames were very slightly different so it didn't show. I've fixed it. Mak (talk) 01:43, 28 June 2007 (UTC)


Following Jay's attempts to put the Mozart Operas navigational box back where it's been sitting quite happily for some time in The Magic Flute, I have been engaging in a dialogue with User:Opus33 under the above heading on the opera's Talk page. Any thoughts, either here or there, anyone? --GuillaumeTell 21:02, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

May I know what is the different between that article and others, any special about it? Even before I came, the infoboxes in other articles have been placed at the top right. I prefer if we could make things standardize in here. It is good for readers and looks good to us to see all our articles are using the same format, from the intro, history, arias, etc. And that is what I am trying to do. And I seriously don’t understand why can’t we do it (the standardization) and what so unhappy about it? Thanks, this is just my opinion. - Jay 01:14, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
Additional: We do have the standard format in our main page (Project opera), basically that is what I followed unless the guidelines in there are just “some empty talk” instead of the way of implementation. I deleted photos (for eg, the one I took from Carmen) because I tried to follow the “guideline” given but if other authors can do as what they prefer, I been thinking to do article my own way. That doesn’t sound good does it? I myself don’t feel good writing this but I just want to know, what is the point having the “Guideline formats” if any of us can do as what we and our “circle of friends” like it? I have no intention to hurt anyone but I am curious to know. Enlighten me please. Thanks again. - Jay 01:21, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
The thing is that, as you know, anyone can edit any article. People who have signed up here will try to follow the guidelines, but there are a lot of other editors who haven't joined the project (some may not know about it) but nevertheless create and edit opera-related articles. We can't stop them - and they often add useful material, so we shouldn't want to stop them - but one has to be relaxed about it and point out that there are virtues in consistency and consensus. --GuillaumeTell 10:27, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Two technical questions

  • How do we decide if someone is notable enough for an article in Wikipedia? i.e. Susanne Marsee, a singer of comprimario parts at the NYCO in the seventies (was never at the MET), and comprimario parts on one album and one video.
  • Is there anything we can do about "reliable" news sources that quote inaccurate hyperbole? i.e. The BBC news service saying Katherine Jenkins is the best-selling opera star since Maria Callas. This is quoted twice in the KJ article, implying she is an opera star.

-- Operalalatalk 22:25, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

  • Notability: All that is available (as far as I can see) is Wikipedia:Notability (music) where, of course, "music" really means "contemporary popular music". The list of inclusion guidelines for various possible WP articles is actually rather short, and includes, for example, Wikipedia:Notability (pornographic actors), so maybe it's about time that the Opera Project produces guidelines for opera singers. Marsee (of whom I have never previously heard) doesn't seem very notable to me.
  • "Opera star": Jenkins isn't the only one: Charlotte Church also misuses "opera". The Russell Watson article is more circumspect, however, and I fear that there isn't much that can be done about Andrea Bocelli. A co-ordinated approach from the Opera Project to modify such articles along the lines of the Watson one could perhaps have some effect.
Just my three-halfpence. --GuillaumeTell 00:23, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Re Notability of Susanne Marsee: I googled her and I think she probably passes the notability test. She's also sung leading roles at NYCO, e.g. Carmen, reviewed pretty favourably the New York Times here They also reviewed her 'Composer' in Ariadne Auf Naxos, again favourably. She was Sara, Duchess of Nottingham in the Sills video of Roberto Devereaux which I don't really think of as a comprimario role. The SF opera archives show she sang Preziosilla and Siebel. Her staff biography at Carnegie Mellon is also available here. Best, Voceditenore 06:17, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Re the issue of (non) "opera stars": Is it worth getting into editing and discussion imbroglios with their devotees on the talk pages of Jenkins, Church, et al.? I suspect the Opera Project has more constructive, important and fun (from our point of view) stuff to work on. It is a problem that the popular press uses the term wrongly, and it's annoying. But... I'm inclined to say it's not worth bothering about. Just make sure the Opera Project banner isn't there. Of course, we could always write a List of singers called opera stars who have never sung in an opera or an article on Journalistic use of the term "opera star". Best, Voceditenore 06:41, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Fortunately there aren't a lot of these singers. We are not in a position to complain about how they are marketed and how they describe themselves, so there isn't a great deal we can do to about their Wikipedia articles. Probably best to ignore them. -- Kleinzach 07:22, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Re Opera Project Notability Guidelines: I think it would be a good idea to try to develop some general guidelines for the Opera Project. I guess the problem arises more for contemporary figures (singers, composers, librettists, directors, administrators). But I also notice that a lot of opera singers' names in the cast lists in articles on 18th and 19th century operas have the requested article designation. Some of these may be quite obscure people, and if they're not given any significant mention in Grove (or similar), 'articles' on them will be doomed forever to stub status. Best, Voceditenore 07:06, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Up to now we have had a simple notability test: the existence of a dedicated article in the New Grove Dictionary of Opera. (This has been the basis of The opera corpus etc.). Our coverage is still only 30 or 40% of that of Grove and we have much shorter articles, so we are far from going beyond its scope. Grove is not up to date (print 1992, online ?) but a similar level of notability for present-day artists etc. can be inferred.
We've always encouraged people to start 'viable' stubs , i.e. stubs with enough information to justify the existence of the article. Unfortunately many people are still producing one sentence stubs on the assumption that someone else will come along and develop them. However in the case of obscure subjects where the information doesn't exist, the articles will never take off. (Recently some 'completist' editors were trying to start pages on virtually every Handel and Donizetti opera. . . .)
Notability and article quality are much less of a problem if people use the main, authoritative, reference books. Unfortunately we are now seeing articles referenced by amateur websites. Stricter guidelines on sources might help a lot. -- Kleinzach 08:01, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Just a note: the main Wikipedia-wide notability test can be found at Wikipedia:Notability, which basically boils down to "A topic is presumed to be notable if it has received significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject." For our purposes, that basically means that if there's a fairly lengthy biography in Grove (or other such sources), with an OK bibliograpahy, there'll be enough for us to go on. I often think a useful test is "Could I conceivably write a featured article on this topic"? If not, I tend not to write an individual article for that topic. This does happen sometimes with 18th/19th century singers, though many of these do have good Grove coverage, and there's a surprising amount of information out there. I would not object to us giving a go at a Wikipedia:Notability (classical music)? I think that's something for us to think about eventually. Cheers, Moreschi Talk 08:59, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Grove is, of course, authoritative. But, as Kleinsach says, it's now 15+ years old, and I do think that we need some rule-of-thumb criteria for contemporary opera singers, directors, managers, etc. (and for new operas, come to think of it) that don't appear there. There are, rightly, articles on Juan Diego Flórez and David McVicar, though neither is in Grove, but what about, for example, the director Paul Curran? There's an article on him in the latest issue of Opera magazine, but does that count as "significant coverage in reliable sources"?
As for Handel and Donizetti, I haven't checked Grove, but the Viking Guide has articles on practically all of their operas. --GuillaumeTell 11:09, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
The hardcover Grove may be 'authoritative', but I'd be leery of Grove Online's coverage of contemporary singers. I fear they get much of their info from web sites and newspapers, and it's not always accurate. I don't know if the've changed the entry on Juan Diego Flórez yet but it had a couple of real howlers:
  1. "He made his Vienna Staatsoper début as Rossini’s Figaro, one of his favourite roles, in 1999" Er... I guess they 'meant' Count Almaviva. Figaro is a baritone role.
  2. "His 1997 Covent Garden début, in a concert performance of Donizetti’s Elisabetta al castello di Kenilworth"' Er... it was actually Donizetti's Elisabetta, an entirely different opera.
Plus they had some inaccurate stuff about his debut at Pesaro: "His professional operatic début came at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro in 1996, when he stepped out of the chorus at short notice to take the tenor lead in Matilde di Shabran." He didn't step out of the chorus in Matilde di Shabran. He actually had a small role in another opera there, when he was asked to fill in Bruce Ford. They got their version from Tom Sutcliffe, The Evening Standard, 1 February 2000 (perpetuated in an older version of the Wikipedia article on JDF).
I also largely agree with Kleinzach re articles referenced by amateur websites. Some are very good, but some are really very inaccurate. See the discussion about La cifra. Inexperienced editors sometimes can't tell if the stuff is inaccurate or doubtful. It might be helpful for those who do cite amateur web sites in the absence of Grove or some other good opera reference work (or anyone else who finds articles like that), to post a note here so the facts can be checked and better reference provided if possible. Best, Voceditenore 12:28, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Thank you all for the information!
For Marsee, I'll put a note on the author's page about it. Originally the article as full of "sang (x) opera with (list of famous singers)" (who would have taken all the leads, leaving only some unmentioned small part for her). If she's been favorably reviewed, that should go on the page, not what the author wrote. He's also written other articles along the same vein.
For Jenkins, mentioning "opera star" and "Maria Callas" on her page was really way over the line. I did think of a suitable way of phrasing the summary, and removed those phrases - the main author has edited since then, and hasn't replaced what I removed.
Grove has its uses, but is not at all useful for singers currently performing.
-- Operalalatalk 18:00, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Descendant project banners

We don't use the Opera banner for Gilbert and Sullivan category talk pages. Now that the Richard Wagner Project has a banner I'm assuming - unless there is something I haven't considered - that the same system will apply. -- Kleinzach 10:22, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

On the Front Page!

The article on Europa Riconosciuta is enjoying a spot on the wikipedia main page under the 'did you know?' section. Check it out!Nrswanson 00:58, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

It's always good to have stuff at Wikipedia:Did you know. Makes for good advertisement of our hard work :) Besides, it's gratifying. Cheers, Moreschi Talk 12:10, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

Sills: A Great Woman Leaves Us...

I just thought it would be good to make a note on Beverly Sills' passing on the page. She was not only a wonderful opera singer and advocate for opera but a wonderful person. I had the privledge of getting to meet her about three years ago through a mutual friend and I was amazed at not only her incredible mind and talent but also her genuine love for people. She will be missed. If you have never had the opportunity to hear her sing, find a recording somewhere. It's worth it!Nrswanson 10:47, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

La Cenerentola, La Gioconda

Should La Cenerentola be lower case (in Rossini's infobox)? It's a nickname rather than a proper name, like La traviata.
And La Gioconda, too.
-- Operalalatalk 01:53, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

Grove has capital C and capital G, which implies that nicknames are capitalised in Italian. La traviata isn't a nickname - it means "the woman who strayed" or some such - (and Grove doesn't capitalise it).--GuillaumeTell 08:34, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

Question about List of opera houses and can someone verify the list?

I just removed 4 “opera houses” from the list in Malaysia and Singapore. It is simply because I don’t know whether I am the one who don’t quite sure of the purpose of the list (I doubt that) or some people who just simply put on the list for the pride of their countries? Perhaps we should tell them that there are many normal theatres but not all theaters can cater for “opera” unless if they regard simple musical drama/dance as “opera”. Do you think we have to have someone to verify others on the list as well? I am currently checking on 1 more theater in Singapore which I doubt can cater for opera performances except simple drama (with only simple crops like chairs, table, trees and curtains on the stage). Can such theaters be listed in the List of opera houses? If so, I will undo back what I have deleted. - Jay 04:24, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

I'm wondering whether the List of opera houses fulfils any useful purpose any longer, given that:
  • very few theatres in the world only stage opera and nothing else
  • establishing the criteria for inclusion in the List could be tricky (there are none at present)
  • we now have an allegedly inclusive List of opera companies (although it needs augmenting - where is Glyndebourne Festival Opera?!)
The separate List of opera festivals. -- Kleinzach 05:37, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
  • most or all of the well-known opera houses now have articles
  • there is a Category:Opera houses, and I am currently going through it removing this cat from all the articles that have it and making sure that they're all in one of the categories of "Opera houses in [country]". This involves creating categories like "Opera houses in Kazakhstan", but also, more surprisingly, "Opera houses in Switzerland". Should be finished this evening.
--GuillaumeTell 15:17, 4 July 2007 (UTC)
I've now finished. All opera houses are now allocated to a country and 99.9% of Category:Opera houses comprises opera houses by country. I'm contemplating doing the same for opera companies, many of which are allocated to countries but many aren't. --GuillaumeTell 21:54, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

Once again... Romantischen Opern

Wikipedia:Categories_for_discussion/Log/2007_July_3#Category:Romantischen_Opern Johnbod 22:43, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

  • which I have now withdrawn - but please note my comment in the withdrawal--Smerus 18:34, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
I've created (on the hoof) an article for Romantische Oper, linked it from the cat and added it to the genres navbox. Everyone should feel free to amend, slash, burn, what-have-you. --GuillaumeTell 00:26, 7 July 2007 (UTC)


A category Category:Operas by Jacques Halévy has been created, currently containing only La juive.

1) I would like to move a rename to Category:Operas by Fromental Halévy, and would appreciate opinions before I do so.

2) I would like to suggest his operas for a makeover some month in the near future: I would say that 'La reine de Chypre' (admired by Wagner), 'Henri VI' and 'L'Eclair' certainly deserve at least brief articles, and maybe also 'Le juif errant'.--Smerus 18:34, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

In answer to #1, what seems to have happened is that the category was created (2 June 2005) when the Halévy article was called Jacques Halévy. A month later (1 July 2005), the article was renamed, but no-one did anything about the category. Anyway, a speedy rename looks desirable. --GuillaumeTell 20:52, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

Didn't apparently qualify for a speedy rename, so I have put it up here. Anyone with any views on point #2?--Smerus 07:38, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

Point 2? You could put him up for Composer of the Month, but we seem to be booked up well in advance there (I think Cavalli is the composer for October). --Folantin 19:54, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

Query re Sly

I've just put a {{Unreferenced}} banner on this. The principle author, Buondelmonte, has pasted his own article on Sly from his web site. It's largely accurate (I did make one correction so far) and is well written as an essay, but the tone is not encyclopedic and it is completely devoid of references. It also lacks the standard formatting for sub-sections, apart from 'Performance history', and even there some material more pertinent to that section is appears elsewhere in the article as an aside. I have quite a bit of material about this opera, and actually saw its performance in Turin in October 2000. I'm inclined to fix this up and re-structure it. But I would want to leave the music analysis as it is (perhaps copy-editing some of the 'personal opinion' phrasing). Is it OK to reference Tom Kaufman's web page? And does some note need to be made that the material has been used verbatim with his permission? Best, Voceditenore 11:55, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

WP:NOR isn't keen on original research that has only been published on a website, whether or not the article is written by the website's owner, but WP:V says "Self-published material may, in some circumstances, be acceptable when produced by an established expert on the topic of the article whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party publications", which I think would apply to TK. Articles by Buondelmonte have always needed a lot of wikification, as Kleinzach and others will testify, but I think that most (all?) of us welcome his involvement. So, yes, reference his site and also contact him and officially ask for his permission, otherwise someone sooner or later will mark this as a copyvio. --GuillaumeTell 15:47, 6 July 2007 (UTC)
Yes, either copy permissions (at) wikimedia dot org or forward it to them when you get the clarification of his license - try to get him to say explicitly that he agrees to license it under the GFDL, see Wikipedia:Donating copyrighted materials#Granting us permission to copy material already on line for some guidance. Mak (talk) 16:03, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

Thanks to GuillaumeTell for Don Carlos article

Thanks for the act 5 synopsis and some explanation ,it clears the puzzle in my head about the 5 and 4 act; and “ The Met-1983 3 act Don Carlo – Levine-Domingo ”.

But you might want to look/check at the statement It has been telecast at least once by the Metropolitan Opera, with James Levine conducting and Plácido Domingo as Don Carlos under the heading Subsequent performance history. It is because the statement is just right after Finally, stagings and recordings of the original five-act French version of the opera have become more frequent.

It makes it sound like Domingo-Levine-The Met was in 5 act ( French). The Met-Levine-Domingo is in Italian, cut short to 3 act (extend the scenes) under title “Dan Carlo”.

Domingo first sang “Don Carlos” (French) in 1967 in Vienna (as confirmed in his official website); and then in 1971~72 season at the Met as “Don Carlo” (Italian) – this info is from The Met “Don Carlo” history in the DVD about The Met “Don Carlos/Don Carlo” performances from the premiere on 23 December 1920 until 1992. I sure the Met has done 5 act in French before but from the history, I don’t see Domingo-Levine have unless if they performed it after 1992. If anybody have any info about this, feel free to share. - Jay 18:09, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

Thanks, Jay - I've been devoting my attentions to the synopsis, but still have three acts of it to expand. There certainly ought to be a Recordings/CDs/DVDs section, and a better Performance History, but they come later. --GuillaumeTell 00:18, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

Category:English-language operettas

Someone just put all the G&S opera articles into this category without discussion. Recently, we all agreed to categorize them under English comic operas. I don't think they should they ALSO be under English-language operettas, and I have removed them from the cat., but I added other operettas to the category. Best regards, -- Ssilvers 00:14, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

Is The Happiest Girl in the World an operetta? -- Ssilvers 17:46, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

This category was started by User:Piniricc65 in May. I wasn't aware it existed. Is it useful? The cat now has Herbert (7 items), Romberg (3), Friml (2), Bernstein (1), Sousa (1) and Coward (1) - so all American except the Coward. -- Kleinzach 09:53, 8 July 2007 (UTC)
Er.... Are we keeping the cat or not? Would someone comment on my queston above (whether Happiest Girl is an operetta)? What about Song of Norway? Thanks for any advice. -- Ssilvers 04:58, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
This is not my field - but I wonder if we should consider changing Category:English-language operettas to Category:American operettas. Is this reasonable? I am not sure why you are asking about The Happiest Girl in the World as no-one seems to be claiming it as an operetta. Am I missing something? Likewise Song of Norway. Borrowing some classical music doesn't make a musical into an operetta, does it? -- Kleinzach 06:17, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
I don't think they're all going to be American (in fact, at least two are not); I am guessing that you Brits have been remiss in adding the post-WWII British operettas into the Cat.  :) --Also, I bet there are some from South Africa, Australia, Canada, etc. I guess we should leave the category alone for a few months and re-evaluate after a real effort to think about whether there are more English-language operettas after 1907. As to your question above, if you take operetta music and write a new book, is it an operetta?: I would think probably yes.... -- Ssilvers 06:48, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
Respect for the composer alone would suggest the reverse. Would we want to call every work that quoted the music of Carmen an opera? Borrowing classical music is an industry. -- Kleinzach 07:40, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

This isn't really my field either, but what I notice is

  • there are only two sub-categories of Category:Operettas - English-language operettas and Hungarian-language operettas
  • some/many/all of the works in those sub-categories are also categorised in the Operettas category and some also in the Operas category

In theory, all operettas are also categorised as operas, and should therefore also be in the sub-categories and sub-sub-categories of Category:Operas, such as Category:Operas by language and Category:English-language operas, but in practice this has not been implemented much if at all (and some operettas aren't also in the Operas category either). ("The difference between theory and practice is that, in theory, there should be no difference between theory and practice, whereas in practice ....")

So my question is whether the Operettas category should also be properly sub-categorised like Operas - in other words, create lots more categories - or should operettas be subcategorised as, say, English-language operas - in other words, abolish the two English language and Hungarian language sub-cats and just use the existing Operas subcats.

(And then there is the question of what is the difference between an operetta and a musical...) --GuillaumeTell 10:52, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

I thought we had caught all the operettas and put them into Category:Operas. If not perhaps you can tell me how to track them down? In theory, operettas are just another genre of opera so they are treated like the others, although obviously there are still lots of anomalies. Re your last question, IMO we should follow the designation of the creator so if he/she says it's an operetta/musical we should go with that, unless we have a very good reason to do otherwise. -- Kleinzach 11:05, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

October Composer of the Month

Here are some ideas/previous suggestions for the October composer(s) of the month:

Any other suggestions as always welcome! -- Kleinzach 00:50, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

    • Cavalli - we haven't had a 17th century composer for ages. --Folantin 06:45, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
Fine but is there enough of him? The opera corpus has four works - two stubs. Does he need a companion(s)? -- Kleinzach 07:24, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
He wrote 32 operas, of which 28 survive. So the opera corpus section on him needs expanding. I'll try to do it at some point in the next few days. --Folantin 07:27, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
Good. Obviously we need (article) viable titles but if there are a lot of them all the better. -- Kleinzach 07:44, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

Any other ideas, or can we take it that everybody is happy with Cavalli? -- Kleinzach 07:11, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

OK. I have put Cavalli up (above). -- Kleinzach 23:39, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

I'm happy too, though I assume noond need be detered from other pet projects. Sparafucil 07:12, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

That's right. We tend to concentrate on areas of weak coverage (based on The opera corpus), turing red links into blue. We try to put up viable stubs based on Grove, Viking and Oxford and hope that editors will develop them, adding synopses, discussions about the music, pictures, recordings sections etc. At the moment we have 1,000+ opera title articles compared to 1,800+ in Grove. -- Kleinzach 09:15, 18 July 2007 (UTC)