List of television operas

This is a list of operas specifically written for television performance.

Year of premiere Composed Composer Opera title Librettist and/or source(s) Television station
1951 Gian Carlo Menotti Amahl and the Night Visitors Gian Carlo Menotti NBC
1953 Bohuslav Martinů The Marriage Bohuslav Martinů NBC
1953 Bohuslav Martinů What Men Live By Bohuslav Martinů NBC
1955 Lukas Foss Griffelkin Alastair Reid NBC
1956 Norman Dello Joio The Trial at Rouen Norman Dello Joio NBC
1956 Leonard Kastle The Swing Leonard Kastle NBC
1956 Arthur Benjamin Mañana Caryl Brahms BBC Television
1956 Malcolm Arnold The Open Window Sidney Gilliat BBC Television
1957 Joan Trimble Blind Raftery Joan Trimble BBC Television
1957 Stanley Hollingsworth La Grande Bretèche Stanley Hollingsworth NBC
1959 Richard Arnell The Petrified Princess Richard Arnell BBC Television
1959 Guy Halahan The Spur of the Moment Guy Halahan BBC Television
1959 Gian Carlo Menotti Maria Golovin Gian Carlo Menotti NBC
1959 Lee Hoiby Beatrice Marci Nardi WAVE
1959 Ezra Laderman Sarah Clair Rascom CBS
1959 Heinrich Sutermeister Seraphine (Die stümme Apothekerin) Heinrich Sutermeister, after François Rabelais's Gargantua and Pantagruel Schweizer Fernsehen
1959 Henk Badings Salto mortale Henk Badings and Belcampo (Herman Pieter Schönfeld Wichers) Nederlandse Omroep Stichting
1959 Paul Angerer Passkontrolle ORF
1960 Arthur Bliss Tobias and the Angel Christopher Hassall BBC Television
1961 Leonard Kastle Deseret Anne Howard Bailey NBC
1961 Jean Prodromidès Les Perses (The Persians) Jean Prat, after Aeschylus RTF
1962 Igor Stravinsky The Flood Robert Craft CBS
1962 Phyllis Tate Dark Pilgrimage Phyllis Tate BBC Television
1962 Edwin Coleman A Christmas Carol Margaret Burns Harris BBC Television
1962 Riccardo Malipiero Battono alla porta Dino Buzzati RAI
1963 Ben McPeek The Bargain Ben McPeek CBC Television
1963 Gian Carlo Menotti Labyrinth Gian Carlo Menotti NBC
1963 Carlisle Floyd The Sojourner and Mollie Sinclair Carlisle Floyd NCE
1963 Ton de Leeuw Alceste Euripides Nederlandse Omroep Stichting
1964 Heinrich Sutermeister Das Gespenst von Canterville Heinrich Sutermeister, after Oscar Wilde's The Canterville Ghost Mainz, ZDF
1965 Mark Bucci The Hero Mark Bucci National Educational Television
1965 Gian Carlo Menotti Martin's Lie Gian Carlo Menotti CBS
1966 R. Murray Schafer Loving R. Murray Schafer CBC Television
1967 Ezra Laderman The Trials of Galileo Joe Darion CBS
1967 Ingvar Lidholm Holländaren (The Dutchman) after August Strindberg Sveriges Television
1967 Roman Vlad La fantarca Giuseppe Berto RAI
1969 Heinrich Sutermeister La croisade des enfants (The Children's Crusade) Heinrich Sutermeister, after Marcel Schwob Sion Sierre, TVR
1970 Jack Beeson My Heart's in the Highlands Jack Beeson PBS
1971 Heinrich Sutermeister Das Flaschenteufel Kurt Weibel, after Robert Louis Stevenson's The Bottle Imp Mainz, ZDF
1971 1969-70 Benjamin Britten Owen Wingrave Myfanwy Piper, after Henry James BBC Two
1971 Ezra Laderman And David Wept Joe Darion, after the Biblical story: David and bathsheba CBS Television


1973 John Eaton Myshkin Patrick Creagh after Dostoevsky's The Idiot PBS
1976 Godfrey Ridout The Lost Child John Reid CBC Television
1976 Raymond Pannell Aberfan Beverly Pannell CBC Television
1984 Robert Ashley Perfect Lives Robert Ashley Channel Four
1991 Michael Nyman Letters, Riddles and Writs Jeremy Newson and Pat Gavin BBC Television
2005 Judith Weir Armida Judith Weir Channel Four
2006 Jonathan Dove Man on the Moon Nicholas Wright Channel Four
2006 Alexina Louie Burnt Toast: 8 Mini Comic Operas About Love Dan Redican CBC Television



  • Jennifer Barnes (2003). Television Opera. Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer.
  • Marcia Citron (2000). Opera on Screen. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press.
  • Lionel Salter: Television, History, in Sadie, Stanley (ed) (1992). The New Grove Dictionary of Opera. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-522186-2.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link), vol. 4, p. 680.
  • Stephen C. Willis. "Opera composition". The Canadian Encyclopedia.

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