[quote="stanczyk, post:9, topic:276307"]
To correct the self-described music snob above, the OP did, in fact, use the term "classical music" correctly.
Baroque, Classical and Romantic are periods within the broader genre of "classical music."
Music need not be from the Classical period to be classical music. It is not wrong to refer to music from the Baroque or Romantic periods as classical music.
I would reccommend Mozart's operas to OP. Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, Die Zauberflote and La clemenza di Tito are some of my favorites. Mozart wrote the greatest operas but there are a few other good ones out there worth listening to as well. Verdi's opera "Rigoletto" also has a really great tune that you've probably heard before.
If you can, go see an opera live. It's great.
But, I would reiterate: read about it first. Otherwise, you will likely be lost and end up hating the thing.
Opera *must *be viewed live. Or just listen to it.
Puccini has some really fantastic material also. I mean, I defy anyone to not feel their heart being ripped from their body when "Nesum Dorma" (from Turandot) is sung by a pro. ... Or "Un be di " (from "Madam Butterfly). Gah!