I really don’t know why not. There are lots of works that last around 45 minutes to 75 minutes that could be done in all sorts of intriguing combinations. There are verismo classics and works by 19th century composers that would maybe help bring in the more conservative crowd…Maybe one could program a “crowd pleaser” with something more esoteric? Il Tabarro and The Lighthouse? Dido and Aeneas and Airline Icarus? Would this help expose some people to newer music who would never sign up for a full length opera by Birtwistle or Reimann? I find the idea intriguing.
Me too. Doing Der Rosenkavalier right now, it is remarkable just how long it is, and I think of it as being one of the more “accessible” full-length operas. No matter how easy on the ears, 4 hours or thereabouts is a real commitment.
I’d love to do two shorter pieces in one evening with very stark musical contrast, and I would be curious how audiences found those new combinations.