The behavior of composed Web services depends on the results of the invoked services; unexpected behavior of one of the invoked services can threat the correct execution of an entire composition. This paper proposes an event-based approach to black-box testing of Web service compositions based on event sequence graphs, which are extended by facilities to deal not only with service behavior under regular circumstances (i.e., where cooperating services are working as expected) but also with their behavior in undesirable situations (i.e., where cooperating services are not working as expected). Furthermore, the approach can be used independently of artifacts (e.g., Business Process Execution Language) or type of composition (orchestration/choreography). A large case study, based on a commercial Web application, demonstrates the feasibility of the approach and analyzes its characteristics. Test generation and execution are supported by dedicated tools. Especially, the use of an enterprise service bus for test execution is noteworthy and differs from other approaches. The results of the case study encourage to suggest that the new approach has the power to detect faults systematically, performing properly even with complex and large compositions. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.