Weird & Fun Facts about Opera

  • Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms and Wagner were all 5ft tall or less.
  • George Bernard Shaw’s definition of opera, “[Opera is when] a tenor and a soprano want to make love and are prevented from doing so by a baritone.”
  • The longest curtain call: On Feb. 24, 1988, Luciano Pavarotti received 165 curtain calls that lasted one hour and seven minutes after singing Donizetti’s L’Elisir D’Amore at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin.
  • The longest opera: The Ring Cycle by Wagner. It took him 27 years to compose it.
  • The shortest opera: Sands of Time by Simon Rees and Peter Reynolds came in at four minutes and nine seconds as performed at The Hayes in Cardiff, Wales in 1993.
  • Mozart composed his first opera at age12. Bastien und Bastienne premiered in Vienna in 1768. He died at age 35, and his funeral cost $30 and was attended by only a few mourners. On Dec.7, 1791, two days after his death, his body was thrown into an unmarked grave.