Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Opera/Archive 66

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Opera stubs:Changes underway by Stub Sorting Project

Hi - there is discussion underway at WP Stub sorting about the splitting of Category:Opera stubs into more specific stub types (this was already split, but someone appears to have unfortunately recombined them all into one oversized stub category). Grutness...wha? 03:12, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

About 60 or 70 120+ changes have already been made to opera stubs by Pegship of the Stub Sorting Project - changing librettists' opera stubs into playwrights' stubs etc. I've asked her to tell us why she is doing this. We had a similar situation in December when someone from the same group removed the stubs from all English and German operas and replaced them with 'English language opera' and 'German language opera' stubs (see here). At that time the project decided against subdividing the stub tag/cat by language. --Kleinzach 04:08, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
FYI, I have replied to Kleinzach on his/her talk page and at the WPSS page. Good night. Her Pegship (tis herself) 05:22, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
Pegship: "This is what I have been sorting out the people in Category:Opera stubs into other more appropriate stub cats - such as {{playwright-stub}} for librettists, {{theat-bio-stub}} for managers, {{composer-stub}}, {{opera-singer-stub}} &c. A librettist is not an opera, thus does not belong in a stub category for operas. Splitting the stubs by language or period creates necessary distinctions for editors who may specialize in those areas, not to mention breaking the stubs cats into workable sizes, which is less likely to deter editors than a 700+ category. . . . Her Pegship (tis herself) 05:08, 4 July 2008 (UTC)" (copied from Cat:Opera stubs split -- deja vu all over again) --Kleinzach 06:24, 4 July 2008 (UTC) P.S. Pegship has also been removing Category:Operas from many works, e.g. [1] --Kleinzach 08:58, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

It's too bad they started all this several days ago, went ahead and changed many stub tags, and only notified the relevant Project today. I hope that oversight wasn't intentional. Before I comment at WP Stub sorting, does the subdivision into these various kinds of stubs (apart from possibly inappropriate use, e.g. using a theatre bio stub for someone who only or primarily wrote opera libretti) cause us any technical problems for keeping track of our articles? On a related note see the section on Watching and tagging new articles below. Best, Voceditenore (talk) 10:09, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

WP:WSS basically want to create a more complicated structure with multiple stubs. This wouldn't create bot problems for us if we knew about them in advance - providing the stubs were clearly and unambiguously applicable to Opera. Sharing stub templates with other projects could be problematic (e.g. the present stub for conductors is shared with bandleaders which brings interloping jazz articles into classical music categories.)
The reason we rejected the idea of multiple stub templates in the past is that (1) it makes it more complicated for everybody, including bot owners, and (2) editors only remember to put in a stub tag about half the time, so if they have to figure out which of (6 or more?) stubs to use then I think we'll see close to zero insertion - which means that you or I or some other kind soul will have to spend time putting them in. At the moment we are relying on the stubs for automatic stub-class rating by the bots. --Kleinzach 12:57, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
Resorting to existing stub types would be unrelated to this particular proposal, so there would be no particular need to inform this project about that. Alai (talk) 11:07, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
Pegship wrote to me: "I'm part of the stub-sorting project, which has a proposal for splitting this category either by century or by language. In order to get an accurate count for the possible split, I'm sorting out things that are not operas, i.e. opera singers & other people, and I will take on opera companies later." In other words she was working in connection with the proposal at WP:WSS. Maybe WP:WSS participants didn't know she was doing that? --Kleinzach 11:23, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
The proposal was to split opera stubs into several new stub types. No action has been taken on that proposal. If you think that other actions were somehow related, or somehow undesirable, or that you had some right of prior approval of them, that's a matter entirely for you, but they were not the actions envisaged in my proposal, or the type of action that it's customary to "run past" WP:WSS/P (or wikiprojects in general, come to that). Incidentally, it is customary to involve WPSS and SFD in depopulating and deleting stub types, which seemed to have someone been omitted from the last go-round on this. Alai (talk) 12:39, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
Alai, I'm not necessarily saying the stub-splitting for opera-related articles wouldn't be a good idea in some cases. But... this current 'drive' has involved changes to over 120 articles in the scope of this project, all of which were made pretty much en-masse without any prior warning or request for input. I'm surprised you thought there was no particular reason to inform us this time and why you pretty much dismissed a proposal at WP:WSS on June 29th to let us know what was being planned. Voceditenore (talk) 11:39, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
I don't exactly have a right of veto over whether to inform the WPJ. I just had no great expectations of the utility of doing so, was personally in no hurry to do so, and might have harboured a secret hope against hope that there might have been some measure of useful discussion before someone showed up from your WPJ, complaining about the entire process, and demanding that the whole thing be called off, size criteria be blowed. Alai (talk) 12:39, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
To clarify: No one - either editors or bot owners - has said the current size of {{opera-stub}} has caused problems. We are also still using {{opera-singer-stub}}, though many editors prefer to use {{opera-stub}} - perhaps because they don't know about the other one, even though it is listed on the project page. The {{composer-stub}} is also in use. --Kleinzach 13:09, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
I can see how you might want to have a discussion about the plan within the WP:WSS before opening it up to 'outsiders', I guess... But it's quite another thing to them go ahead and implement the plan with no warning whatsoever, and before the plan was even finalized. But never mind, water under ther bridge and all that. Best, Voceditenore (talk) 13:02, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
As I've said, the plan has not been implemented, in whole or in part. The appearance of Category:opera stubs on the "oversized" list may have motivated both my proposal and Peg's resorting; and/or the former may have prompted the later, but to bundle the two together, and insist on being consulted beforehand on any action isn't a reasonable expectation to put on stub-sorting activities, or indeed the Wiki process in general. That which is normally proposed before action was proposed, before action. That which is not, was not.
Normally if I'm aware of a related WPJ, and the split isn't so mind-bogglingly obvious as to make the idea seem redundant, I'll inform them straight away. I certainly don't consider it a requirement, however. Factoring into account such ad hoc factors as whether it occurs to me, whether I can be bothered, whether I expect a response of silence, or of "stub-sorting is pointless"/"it ain't broke", etc. Three or four times bitten... Alai (talk) 16:16, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

The problem with the discussion at WP Stub sorting is that it's all speculative. It's not based on numbers. No-one is looking at the opera categories. No-one is adding them up. --Kleinzach 16:12, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

Eh? The opera-stubs were over 800 articles, i.e. oversized according to the stub guidelines. I proposed two possible splits that would create new sub-types of at least 60 articles, i.e. adequately-sized according to the stub guidelines, each of them based on existing (perm)categorisation. I don't know how much more numbers-based, non-speculative, category-aware and indeed guideline-based you could wish for. I'll refrain from comment on other aspects of the "discussion". Alai (talk) 16:23, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

Stub msg

The project page states "Please note that for typographical reasons stubs go before category tags." When this is done the stub category in the first listed category. If the stub massage is place after the article categories it will be the last category. I feel this is the better option since the article categories are more important than the stub category. Also, if two blank lines are added between the cats and the stub msg a nice blank section is created between the article text and the stub message. -- Alan Liefting (talk) - 10:15, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

On a tangential note, don't you find that top-posting/reverse-threading weirds discussion? Alai (talk) 16:18, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
Alan, I've just done what you suggest with Piramo e Tisbe. I think you're right. It looks good. If other editors agree, I'll change the project page. Best. --Kleinzach 13:58, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
I agree too. I must confess, I always move the stub tag down two spaces for a better sight line, but I hadn't thought about moving below the cats as well. Voceditenore (talk) 15:15, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
I've now made the correction. --Kleinzach 02:49, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
  • This has come up a number of times with regard to stub-tags in general, without any conclusive result thus far. I'm not sure I entirely agree about relative importance -- it's more of a matter of different importance to different people. (Specifically, permcats are primarily for readers, stubcats are primarily for editors.) I'm not greatly bothered either way, but I think that it would be better to arrive at a convention either way, but it would seem to me to make a lot more sense to do so "globally", in the context of the stub guidelines, rather than having per-WPJ local conventions. (That'll just produce systematic inconsistency across the whole 'pedia, and the occasional 'convention clash' if different projects have different 'rules'.)
  • I do agree about the two blank lines, incidentally. Some CSS mavens insisted some time ago that this was a crude hack, and that a more elegant solution was available by tweaking the back-end markup, but so far as I know no action was ever taken on that, so it's a hack we should continue to use until such time as that changes. Alai (talk) 12:49, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

Stubs controversy: update/Destubbing exercise

As explained on WPWSS, here are updated figures: Opera stub =580, Opera singer stubs = 555. (I've done a check, removed some misstubbing, and finished reverting Pegship's random restubbing).

The stubs could be reduced by 10 to 20% if we checked through the articles and uprated those that have now developed beyond stub stage. IMO This would be the most practical solution to the complaint by the WPWSS group that the stubs are "too large" (whatever that means). Comments? Ideas? --Kleinzach 03:04, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

I've started going through them today, I've done all in A-B at Category:Opera stubs. I've removed one opera stub tag which had been mis-applied (Bogeyland). I also upgraded the following to "start" The Land of Smiles, Aleko (opera), Amica (opera), Boccaccio (operetta), 1000 Airplanes on the Roof and Brandenburgers in Bohemia. Some of them might be barely into the start category, but we need to draw a distinction between those and something like The Bravest Hussar which truly is a stub. If anyone objects to my removal of the stub tags from the others feel free to re-add. If any other OP members are interested in doing this work, perhaps post here which letters you're doing to avoid duplicating our efforts. I'm doing C-D tomorrow. As I'm going along, I'm keeping track of the ones which I think could be "start" but need a second opinion. I'll post those in a separate section below for others to take a look at. (Kleinzach, I've amended the opera stub count in your message above.) Best, Voceditenore (talk) 14:30, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. All of the ones you have uprated are clear Start-class in my view. --Kleinzach 20:02, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
I've now done E-F. I'm finding we can uprate more than the 10-20% I estimated. It's becoming a very useful exercise. --Kleinzach 20:39, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
Kleinzach, since you agreed with all my upgrades, I feel a lot more confident and won't bother posting the further ones I'm upgrading, but I will continue to post borderlines in the Stub removal review/Category:Opera stubs section. By the way, that section can get awfully big as we move through the Cat. Should we remove the ones that are already done and archive them? I've now finished C-D and will tackle G-H next.
Archive the ones below (Il barbiere di Siviglia (Paisiello) etc.)? Yes, if you like. I think it might also be a good idea to tell WPWSS we have a destubbing campaign underway. --Kleinzach 12:41, 6 July 2008 (UTC) P.S. I've finished I-J. --Kleinzach 12:51, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
Where? I don't want to mess up yout archives.;-) Should I make it as a sub-page under Wikipedia:WikiProject_Opera#Assessment instead? Voceditenore (talk) 12:58, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
The usual archive - currently number 64? I don't think it's worth keeping it around as a subpage. --Kleinzach 13:21, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
OK. I've moved it. --Kleinzach 13:49, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
And I've finished K-P. --Kleinzach 14:11, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for joining in - I agree with your destubbing - however what we are doing is removing the stub template from the article page as well as uprating the banner on the Talk page. --Kleinzach 22:18, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
D'oh!!! Noted. Smerus (talk) 18:13, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
Have now done v thru z. Surprised to find such skeletal articles (altho both moved from stub to start) for La vestale and Les vêpres siciliennes, btw. Smerus (talk) 18:46, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
I believe we now only have R to U left to do. Stub count now 566. --Kleinzach 03:01, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Update. I've finished R to U. So I guess we're done, at least for now. There are a few more borderline ones and anomalies to bring to everyone's attention, but I'll do that tomorrow. The total in the caregory now stands at 546. Voceditenore (talk) 17:05, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

Good. That means we now have fewer opera stubs than opera singer stubs. I don't think we need be too concerned about borderline/anomaly cases because (1) this is the lowest rank of assessment, (2) the Opera standard for start has always been more rigorous than other arts projects. See Assessment FAQ which defines 'Start' as "An article that is developing, but which is quite incomplete and, most notably, lacks adequate reliable sources" . Almost all our start articles do have reliable sources. Many could be uprated to 'C' defined as "The article is substantial, but is still missing important content or contains a lot of irrelevant material. The article should have some references to reliable sources, but may still have significant issues or require substantial cleanup." --Kleinzach 01:10, 9 July 2008 (UTC)


"Random restubbing"? "Mistakes"? I feel another policy page link coming on... Alai (talk) 13:59, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

Cryptoconchoidsyphonostomata/Doris (opera): possible mis-tagging?

I'm wondering about these two: Cryptoconchoidsyphonostomata and Doris (opera). They seem more like musical theatre stubs than opera or operetta stubs, but I'm unfamiliar with the works. Voceditenore (talk) 13:01, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

As a stop-gap measure I've put these both under MT-stubs. There are a number of similar articles (with opera cats) which need looking at. In practice they are almost always written and edited by the MT/G&S editors when the works are in English. --Kleinzach 14:00, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
I've had another look at Cryptoconchoidsyphonostomata. This is described as an extravaganza and I find that both Oxford and Grove define this as closer to theatre than opera, so I've removed the opera cats leaving it with Musical Theatre. --Kleinzach 23:36, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Doris is usually considered an operetta, though like a number of British operettas from the late 19th century, it does show some elements of the emerging musical comedy genre. It appears in the Opera corpus.
  • Cryptoconchoidsyphonostomata played alongside Offenbach's La Perichole and the original performance of Gilbert and Sullivan's Trial by Jury. That, and the bizarre title, are pretty much all it's notable for. The company it was performed by was very much an operatic company performing mostly Offenbach, but that's no real guide. I don't really know much more than that. Given other Victorian forepieces to opera I've read, musical theatre is probably about right, though the term is a bit anachronistic. Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 23:53, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
I understand Cryptoconchoidsyphonostomata was only once given with Trial by Jury.
The 'Opera Corpus' list was intended to be inclusive, so it doesn't offer any guarantee that a work is a type of opera. (It lists some musicals for example.)
Do you have a source for Doris as an operetta? The article calls it a 'comedy opera' and it's in the 'English comic operas' category, a collection of works on the fringe of the opera world. The problem with the word 'operetta' is that the Opera Project here use the term in a fairly narrow, technical sense, whereas the Musical Theatre group use it in a more general (Hollywood-influenced) way. Our policy here has always been to go by the original designation of the work (usually by the composer) if there is any doubt. --Kleinzach 00:54, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
I don't own a copy of Doris, and use the library for Gänzl and Percy Young, so I can't give you a source about Doris tonight. However, I own a copy of Dorothy (opera) - which is sort of loosely based on She Stoops to Conquer - and it is very prominently labelled "A Comedy Opera". I understand the definitional problem, of course - Dorothy, for instance, is also considered one of the first musical comedies, and mainly isn't called one by Stephenson and Cellier because the term did not exist at that point. Ther Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 01:03, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
Here's a New York Times article. Of course, we should keep in mind that both Dorothy and Doris predate the term "musical comedy", so there's no chance they'd be advertised as such. Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 01:09, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

Those two pieces are "operas" in the sense the Gilbert and Sullivan works are. Practically the only relevant history of Cryptoconchoidsyphonostomata is that it appeared on the triple bill with Trial by Jury and La Périchole, both of which we classify as operas. Doris was written by Alfred Cellier, Arthur Sullivan's long-time assistant, and B. C. Stephenson, who was one of Sullivan's librettists. Doris was classified as an opera by its creators, as is every Cellier piece with a Wikipedia article. Marc Shepherd (talk) 18:34, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

Cryptoconchoidsyphonostomata is described as an extravaganza and the leading role was performed by an actor, so (failing reliable references to the contrary) I don't see how this can be called an opera. (The fact it was given with operas is not really relevant, so are ballets etc.) If it's anachronistic for Musical Theatre, maybe this one would be best with G&S or Theatre? I see Doris is now under G&S with the other Cellier works, so that's fine. --Kleinzach 02:25, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
The identical disposition for Cryptoconchoidsyphonostomata might be the best way of resolving this. Marc Shepherd (talk) 12:56, 8 July 2008 (UTC)


Now that IMSLP is back (hurrah!) should we in principle give links in opera articles where scores are available? Smerus (talk) 13:10, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Yes, I would have thought so . . . --Kleinzach 13:39, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Classical music banner bot run

The Classical Music Project bot run has finished: there are now 9,258 articles. (It's the largest of all the mainstream music projects. By comparison, the Music Project itself only has 3,742.)

Articles with Opera banners have been excluded from the Classical Music project, as that project covers "all articles related to classical music, that aren't covered by other classical music related projects" . --Kleinzach 02:36, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

Statistics: Opera compared to related projects

Following the recent bot-bannerings of Opera, Composers, Contemporary music and now Classical Music we can now put this project into some kind of statistical context. Here is a table:

(linked to article categories)
Parent Articles
(10 July 08)
Unrated Stubs Archives 'Active'
Opera Project Arts 4,866 0 1,554 65 32
+ Richard Wagner Project Opera 58 0? 10 4 12
+ Gilbert and Sullivan Project Opera 319 [1] 0 7 0 14
Classical Music Project Music 9,256 8,696 517 9 138
Composers Project Music 3,980 2,897 910 14 38
Contemporary Music Project Music 2,692 2,203 143 1 33
Music Project Arts 3,742 3,742 N/a 5 120
+ Music Genres Project (Inactive?) Music 942 52 602 1 29
Theatre Project Arts 1,839[2] 816 505 4 45
Ballet Project Arts 2,327 819 170 0 13
Arts Project (no banners) Culture N/a N/a N/a 3 59
Biography Project
(Pop) Musicians WG
Biography 51,022 232 37,177 3 88
Biography Project Culture (523,534+) [4] 53,404 341,113 13 11 groups [5]
  1. ^ No direct article count is possible for Gilbert and Sullivan.
  2. ^ No direct article count is possible for the Theatre project.
  3. ^ The Musicians Project functions as a workgroup of the Biography project. It uses the Biography Project banner and runs nominal assessment campaigns.
  4. ^ No direct article count is possible for the Biography project.
  5. ^ These 11 workgroups include Arts and entertainment, Actors and filmmakers, Musicians, Military, Politics and government, Royalty and nobility, British Royalty, Peerage, Baronetcies, Science and academia, Sports and games

The figures show that the Opera Project (65 archives and still going strong) is significantly more active than the other arts projects. 'Tech' driven groups such as 'Biography' may have mega-bannering bot runs (523,534+ articles), and box-checking assessment drives, but they don't have a problem-solving approach to editing or any focus on quality. Other ones such as 'Music' are largely inactive and should probably follow the example of 'Arts' which does not banner articles at all, concentrating on its portal etc. --Kleinzach 06:37, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

While neither agreeing or disagreeing with your conclusion, I am not sure I understand the basis for it. The "number of archives" is surely not the only reasonable measure of "activity." Marc Shepherd (talk) 13:50, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
Which is precisely why I provided all the other data - almost certainly the first time this has been done. --Kleinzach 14:24, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
I'm also not sure what is meant by "No direct article count is possible for Gilbert and Sullivan." Did that project either do something, or fail to do something, that made it uncountable? Marc Shepherd (talk) 13:50, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
Hmm. If you click on the blue links above you will see that Category:WikiProject Opera articles (and most of the others) give a direct count, but Category:WikiProject Gilbert and Sullivan articles (and some others) don't. It's due to the way the categories are set up. (I took the G&S figures from the Assessment page table.) --Kleinzach 14:24, 10 July 2008 (UTC)