‘Tis the season of Christmas shopping


This is my list of the best places to buy gifts for your fellow opera lovers (or treat yourself!)

Opera Bracelets

This is a wonderfully creative idea and one of these would be a very unique and special present. Each bracelet is designed using colours and charms to represent an opera, aria or character. There is a wide selection, so you can probably find any major opera or character there. Ballet bracelets are also available.

Pearl and ruby red beads represent Act 3 of Donizetti's opera Lucia di Lammermoor: Il dolce suono. Driven to the murder of Arturo, by the marriage arranged by her brother Ernico, Lucia hallucinates that she will be married now to her love Edgardo.

Photo from the Opera Bracelets website. This bracelet represents Lucia, from Lucia di Lammermoor. The Celtic pattern represents the Scottish setting, the dagger and blood represent her madness and the murder and the white beads symbolise her wedding.

Babetta’s World

Another lovely creative online store selling unique gifts. Watches, books, pillows, scarves and stationery are all available. Just admit it, you’ve always wanted to adorn your home with a cushion with a drawing of Turandot and Calaf kissing on it.

Met Opera Shop

The Met Shop has pretty much everything you could ever want, plus some more. There is something for everyone here, somewhere among the DVDs, CDs, books, clothing, autographed items, handbags, umbrellas, exclusive jewelry, stationery, toys, ornaments, kitchen equipment and wall art. Shop by type of item or by opera and you are bound to find something you know your loved one will adore. I personally have fallen for this La Bohème bracelet.

Photo from the Met Opera Shop website.

Opera Gifts

Pick one of the opera-themed images here and get it on a mug, t-shirt, tote bag, phone case, blanket, card, hoodie, mousepad, pillow, etc.

Seattle Opera

For the opera lover who has everything. Some interesting things here, from the slightly more sane (Lucia di Lammermoor or Don Quixote poster) to things like this:


Photo from the Seattle Opera website


There are so many great books about opera and by opera singers, so it’s difficult to pick out just a few that sound good. But anyway:


The Inner Voice – The Making of a Singer

Beverly: An Autobiography

Notes from a Small Soprano

A Prima Donna’s Progress

Nicolai Gedda: My Life and Art


Losing the Plot in Opera (contains some interesting views and anecdotes but rather assumes that the reader is fairly new to opera)

Opera Anecdotes

Wagner Moments

Placido Domingo – My Operatic Roles

Quotable Opera

Opera Antics and Anecdotes

Great Operatic Disasters and Even Greater Operatic Disasters

True Tales from the Mad, Mad World of Opera

The Good Opera Guide

PS These are my personal ideas, most of these books are not very technical or involved from the point of view of the performers. This is a small selection, there are lots more books like this out there which may be more suited to you or someone you want to give them to.

CDs and DVDs

Lots of wonderful new CDs and DVDs have come out that are worth having. Have a look around on Amazon or at a local record shop.


And of course, nothing beats just a ticket to go to a live opera or to see one at the cinema.

Happy Christmas shopping everyone! Any other ideas you would like to share, please mention them in the comments!

New Purchases

So, earlier this morning I went down to my (amazing, wonderful, brilliant) well-stocked local record shop with £20. I am now back at home with £5.02 and two new CDs. The rest of my morning has been spent in the delightful anticipation of listening to these CDs, but first I will just tell you what they are.


Very excited to have this recording, because Franco Corelli is one of my all-time FAV 🙂 URITE tenors. Apart from the arias listed on the cover, it also has arias from Ernani, I Lombardi, La Forza del Destino, Andrea Chenier, Cavalleria Rusticana, Adriana Lecouvreur and Madama Butterfly. Obviously the sound quality won’t be perfect because the recordings were made in the ’50s but who cares, it’s still Corelli.

And also:

Now, I know that a lot of people don’t like La G (aka Draculette) because of her cancellations and her temperament and the various stories about her diva-ishness. I don’t know how many of these are true but all rumours have at least 1% truth and the cancellations are certainly no lie. But whatever people may think, you can’t deny that this woman has THE VOICE. She can SING. Which, when you think about it, is quite a good quality for a singer to have (*cough cough* pop music industry). So, leaving aside the arguments about her attendance record, this CD has arias from Butterfly, Tosca, Boheme, La Fanciulla del West, Manon Lescaut, Edgar (that’s the one that is never performed), her trademark Rondine, Suor Angelica, Gianni Schicchi, Le Villi (also rarely performed) and Turandot. Quite predictable stuff, but hopefully the singing will live up to the name.

Elina Garanca: New Album

Elina Garanca’s new album Romantique has been released today. Unfortunately, it won’t be coming out in the UK until October 1st and in the USA until October 23rd, but you can preorder it on Amazon. Also, more information about the recording from Deutsche Grammophon here. This album has songs by Donizetti, Saint-Saens, Tchaikovsky, Gounod, Vaccai, Lalo and Berlioz – full track list on the DG website. There is a music video of one of the songs here. The video is a bit strange but her singing is lovely. Will any of you be buying this CD?

Personally, I love this picture of her on the cover. What do you think?