The Horn In Opera

The Horn in Opera - a CD by Richard Chenoweth, an outstanding and much-needed recording of the most significant horn excerpts in the opera literature. It may be out of print (perhaps since Prof. Chenoweth is retired now); the Horn in Opera website is no longer in operation. If you can track down a copy, it's a wonderful resource.

Operatic Horn - sheet music arrangements for 4-8 horns of opera repertoire.

Mirror Image at the Opera - Lisa Bontrager and Michelle Stebleton (Mirror Image Horn Duo), ably assisted by Tomoko Kanamaru on piano, have produced a CD of opera duets and songs by such composers as Berlioz, Bizet, Donizetti, Handel, Mozart, Rossini, Verdi, and others. You can hear audio sample at this site.

San Diego Union-Tribune feature article on the Metropolitan Opera's principal horn Julie Landsman.

Wagner’s Ring Cycle Leitmotifs - demonstrated by brasses of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra (YouTube video)

Beyond the Short Call - A Collection of Opera Excerpts for Horn by Ericka Grodrian: “This website has grown out of my doctoral final project, Horn Opera Excerpts: A Suggested Addition to Current American Pedagogy. Sheet music selections from the top dozen opera composers’ operas. Also: a short but useful Resources section on “suggested resources for additional opera study”. Includes Audition List Archive, Excerpts by Berg and Britten, and a video of the Metropolitan Opera brass performing various motifs from the Wagner's Ring cycle.

The Siegfried Long Call
Hans Pizka has collected audio of performances of the Long Call by a number of players, including Dennis Brain, Barry Tuckwell, and others, along with detailed advice on how to play it (before, during, and after).

Siegfried - the Back Story - Bruce Hembd tells us the story what really happened in the opera. See also his “An Interpretive Approach to Siegfried’s Horn Call”

Audition excerpts - English translation of German web site (Probespiel); a collection of operatic and orchestral excerpts for both high and low horn, plus suggestions on auditioning. The parts are very clear, printable, not original orchestral part. Contains excerpts not common or available in the US or US auditions. Tip of the hat to H. Kröger.

Annamia Eriksson!

Ditto: Helene Tomböck's performance of the Long Call - 9 months pregnant!

Before globe-trotting conductors started insisting that horn players everywhere sound the same, there used to be much more of a difference of national styles. Listen to famed France's famed Lucien Thevet as he plays the Long Call for a different idea of horn sound.

Downloadable pdf file of the orchestral part here (courtesy of Bruce Hembd) or here (courtesy of Daren Robbins; also includes 3 recorded examples)

Prelude to the 3rd Act of Lohengrin - "Study in transposition" - pdf file of the original orchestral part, courtesy of Bruce Hembd

Howard Sanner offers us an online recording of the famed Abscheulicher aria from Beethoven’s Fidelio. The recording is of a broadcast of the San Francisco opera in 1978 with Gwyneth Jones as Leonore. Listen to it. Study it. If you take an opera audition, there is a 197% chance that you will see this on the audition.

General Opera Information
Opera companies - list
Naxos Opera Libretti and Synopses

Naxos List of Operas by Composer

Opera Orchestrations

Karandar Classical Music - 400 opera librettos

Beakes, Jennifer. "The Horn Parts in Handel's Operas and Oratorios and the Horn Players Who Performed in these Works." DMA dissertation, The City University of New York 2007. UMI #3283169

Bobo, Robert P. “Scoring for the Wagner Tuben by Richard Wagner, Anton Bruckner, and Richard Strauss.” D.M.A. Essay, University of Miami, 1971. UMI# 72-12901.

Chenoweth, Richard. "The Horn in Opera: A Study in Orchestration with a Focus on Selected Operas by Britten and Strauss." D.M.A. diss., University of Cincinnati, 1988.  UMI# 88-22787.

Dressler, John Clay. "The Orchestral Horn Quartet in German Romantic Opera." D.M. diss., Indiana University, 1987.  UMI# 95-34645.

Edwards, Melissa Michele.  “Mozart and the Horn: Aria No. 13 from ‘Mitridate, Re di Ponto’, K. 87.”  D.M.A. thesis, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 1995.  UMI# 9531833.

Godrian, Ericka, Horn Opera Excerpts: A Suggested Addition to Current American Pedagogy, DMA dissertation, Indiana University

Keays, James H.  “An Investigation into the Origins  of the Wagner Tuba.”  D.M.A. thesis, University of Illinois, 1977. UMI# 78-4044.


Atlanta Opera - repertoire list and music (pdf file)