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Photo: Titian/The Bridgeman Art Library/Getty Images

ca. 1682
John Blow composes Venus and Adonis, considered the first English-language opera, for King Charles II’s court.

England’s champion of serious opera, Henry Purcell, dies at 36. The Italians will reign for the next 200 years.

Henry PurcellPhoto: Mansell/Mansell/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

London premiere of the first American-composed opera, The Fashionable Lady, by James Ralph, friend of Ben Franklin.

Gilbert and Sullivan begin their collaboration on ingenious opera spoofs including The Mikado and The Pirates of Penzance.

The Met, already 27 years old, produces its first English-language opera: The Pipe of Desire, by F.S. Converse.

Benjamin Britten co-founds the English Opera Group, which produces some twenty new British operas, eleven by Britten.

Photo: Leon Morris/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Philip Glass’s Einstein on the Beach kick-starts an American golden age carried on by John Adams, Jake Heggie, and Tobias Picker.

The Canadian Opera Company introduces “surtitles” for its January production of Elektra using a slide projector.

After eighteen months and $2.7 million in R&D, the Met introduces its seat-back titles with Verdi’s Otello.

Photo: Terrence McCarthy/courtesy of the San Francisco Opera

Premiere of John Adams’s Doctor Atomic, about Oppenheimer and the making of the A-bomb. At the Met this October.

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