Take a look at W. H. Auden's course syllabus from 1941 (via New York Daily News). What do you think his students did with 6000 pages of reading for his University of Michigan course in "Fate and the Individual in European Literature?"
It's not clear if this was a 1 or 2 semester course (but only 2 credits!). I read a lot of these as an undergrad too, but probably not in one class.
I know I would have tried my best not to read any opera libretti.