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Maria Callas, a masterful bel canto singer, performs in the title role of Bellini's Norma in Paris, May 23, 1964.

Read Talk Like An Opera Geek: Savoring The Bel Canto Sound

March 28, 2012 – The "beautiful singing" of the early 1800s marks an appealing milestone in the story of opera.

 From stratospheric coloraturas to jet-powered Wagnerians, learn to love our highest-flying singers.

Read Talk Like An Opera Geek: Sizing Up Sopranos

November 9, 2011 – From stratospheric coloraturas to jet-powered Wagnerians, learn to love our highest-flying singers.

Elena Mosuc as the title character in 'Lucia di Lammermoor' at the Teatro Regio in Turin.

Read A Romantic Sensation: 'Lucia Di Lammermoor' WDAV

September 9, 2011 – An opera that's wound its way into a host of other works, from Anna Karenina to The Departed. WDAV

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Conductor James Levine, early in his career.

Read The Official James Levine Puzzler

June 2, 2011 – Celebrate the famed (and beleaguered) conductor's 40 years at the Met with this interactive puzzler.

Saverio Mercadante's rarely performed opera Virginia from Wexford Opera Festival in Ireland.

Listen Brilliance In The Shadows: Mercadante's 'Virginia' WDAV

May 27, 2011 – Once a great hit in Italy, this opera of ancient Roman intrigues has unfairly long languished. WDAV

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Soprano Anna Netrebko stars in the Vienna State Opera production of Donizetti's Anna Bolena.

Read History Under the Bright Lights: Donizetti's 'Anna Bolena'

April 22, 2011 – The historical figure Anne Boleyn comes vividly to life in Donizetti's psychological drama.

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Queen Elizabeth (soprano Carmela Remigio) tries to use her power to gain love — with  disastrous consequences.

Read History with a Twist: Donizetti's 'Roberto Devereux' WDAV

March 4, 2011 – Donizetti's drama brings life to rumors that the 'Virgin Queen' actually had a secret love life. WDAV

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Listen Passions And Potions: Donizetti's 'The Elixir of Love' WDAV

December 31, 2010 – Real, honest love beats any potion-induced passion in Donizetti's lighthearted romp. WDAV

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A scene from Puccini's "Tosca"

Listen 5 Operas That Are Truly Bloodier Than 'True Blood'

September 16, 2010 – Where will True Blood fans get their fix now that season three has ended? In a word: Opera.

Lucrezia sq

Read Renee Fleming Sings 'Lucrezia Borgia'

August 27, 2010 – The celebrated soprano takes on Donizetti's steamy title role, with Placido Domingo conducting.

Tenor Enrico Caruso (circa 1910) as Pagliacci

Listen Enrico Caruso, And Confessions Of An Operaholic

May 17, 2010 – An NPR Music producer recalls how a singer from a bygone day triggered his love of opera.

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Listen Donizetti's Darling 'Daughter of the Regiment'

July 24, 2009 – In Donizetti's romantic comedy, JiYoung Lee plays a military brat, raised by an entire regiment.

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Listen Deceptive Seduction: Donizetti's 'Don Pasquale'

April 17, 2009 – This exuberant comedy is graced by the composer's trademark touch of gentle pathos.

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Listen Mad About Donizetti's 'Lucie Di Lammermoor'

August 22, 2008 – Rarely performed in its French version, the opera set the standard for melodrama and mad scenes.

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Listen Quarreling Queens: Donizetti's 'Maria Stuarda'

May 30, 2008 – Political foes in real life, in the opera house Elizabeth I and Mary Stuart fall for the same man.

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