Opera is not known for handling its female characters with kid gloves. Whether they are married against their will, raped, murdered or driven into madness, women were often portrayed as victims of their circumstances, swept along by the winds of fate. In this respect, of course, opera is also a mirror of its time. Rebellious women usually obtain their comeuppance in time for the final act. Just think Carmen or Violetta from La traviata.
Here we pay homage to the strong women in opera.