Dame Nellie Mebla
The real name of Australia opera singer Dame Nellie Mebla (1881-1931) was Helen Mitchell. She was a great food lover and inspired the famous chef Escoffier to create several new dishes for her at the Savoy Hotel, London. These included Peach Mebla (a raspberry and redcurrant sauce poured over peaches and ice cream), Mebla Toast (crisp dried bread) and Mebla Garniture (chichen, truffles and mushrooms stuffed into tomatoes.)
Puccini’s La Boheme is the most-performed opera in London and New York. It has been staged 545 times since 1897 at London’s Royal Opera House, and 1,140 times at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. Aida and Carmen are the closet runners-up in both places.
Richard Wagner’s Gotterdammerung is the longest regularly-performed opera. The opera can last up to six hours, including intervals.
Laregest opera venues
The two largest opera houses where operas are regularly performed are in Italy and America. They are the Arena di Verona, which holds 16,663 people, and the Muncipal Opera Theatre in St Louis, USA, which holds 11,745. The Teatro alla Scala, Milan, Italy, which has 3,600 seats, is one of the world’s largest indoor opera theatres, although several US opera houses come close in size.
Grandest grand opera
The opera Aida has often been performed on a grand scale, with a huge cast including elephants and other animals. It has been staged at the pyramids, Egypts, and in the year 2000 was performed in a football stadium in Shangai, China with a cast of 3,000 and an audience of 45,000
Aria : a Song for a single voice
Comic Opera : Opera with a comic plot
Finale : The ending, when the whole cast often sing together
Libretto : The text of an opera, from the Italian for little book
Operetta : A light (rather than serious) opera, usually with an amusing story
Prima Donna : First lady (from the Italian) – the main female singer, or diva
Recitative : A part in an opera that is spoken rather than sung