steltz wrote:In the sense that there is no romantic opera to rival La Traviata, La Boheme, Lucia di Lammermoor, or later, Wagner's contributions, your teacher is correct.
But it's a VERY narrow view, because outside of the Romantic era -- what about Handel? There are other Baroque English opera composers, too.
And yes, Britten definitely counts.
Your teacher appears to only consider one period.
While your teacher may have blinders on, it is a valid question why no English opera from the 19th century -- and there were operas by English composers, as well as operas composed by others in English (Weber's Oberon, for one) -- holds the stage today, not even Arthur Sullivan's "serious" operas. And if one expands one's horizons only a little bit, you can ask the same question about the supposedly favorite English genre, oratorio. The only 19th century oratorio in English still performed with any frequency is Mendelssohn's Elijah. Next up would I guess be Elgar's Gerontius, but that dates from 1900 and isn't performed all that often in the USA (his later Kingdom, and Apostles are even rarer). And broadening out even further, one can ask similar questions about 19th century German opera not by Weber or Wagner. Only a few of these (by Nicolai, Lortzing, Humperdinck etc.) are done any more (Schumann's Genoveva a little too often, in my opinion). One of the most popular operas for much of 19th century, Spohr's Jessonda, has just about disappeared. I've been looking for a copy of the Orfeo CD at a reasonable price for a couple of years. These "forgotten" works cannot all be so inferior to the worst products of Rossini, Bellini and Donizetti, Verdi et al. not to merit occasional airings, which the latter composers seem to enjoy with even their most mundane works. And the economics and logistics of the opera "biz" nowadays both work against a substantial broadening of the repertory. The big opera houses, even my beloved MET, all have repertories that have pretty much ossified.