In a strange coincidence that mirrors the implausibility of many opera plots, 2013 is shared as a birth year by two of the titans who define Grand Opera: Giuseppe Verdi (1813—1901) and Richard Wagner (1813–1883).
From the elephants and tombs of Aïda, to Shakespeare's outscale heroes, to the epic romances of Gilda and Violetta, Verdi's dramas are larger than life.
Best known among Wagner's operas are the four episodes of the Ring Cycle: a saga based on the misdeeds of the Norse gods, with vocal writing that requires almost superhuman powers of singers.
Since the 1800s, the works of these two men have been continuously in the repertoire of the world's opera houses—though in the case of Wagner, only the most ambitious opera companies dare to stage his largest work.
During this bicentennial year, check this page for NEC performances of music by Verdi and Wagner.