I've always thought Shakespeare's Coriolanus would make an interesting opera
with harsh, astringent, minimalist music. Volumnia, the mother, would be a
grand part for a dramatic mezzo, something that Rita Gorr or Astrid Varnay
would have sung.
Bryon's Manfred would also make an interesting opera in the Wagnerian mode,
with the the lead sung by a Siegfried type of voice, a la John Vickers.
How about I, Claudius by Robert Graves as an opera? Livia, yes, another part
for a formidable dramatic mezzo. What voice range would Claudius be? And
Messalina, yes, a sensual, sultry soprano part calling for a Renee Fleming
type of voice.
And how about Gone with the Wind? (?!) Whew! That prospect might be longer
than Die Meistersinger. Scarlett: mezzo or soprano? Rhett, definitely a
baritone. Ashley, tenor. Melanie, soprano. Mammy, contralto.
Scott Grunow, aka Zia Cloe