Favorite Opera Arias

I grew up in a family listening to classical music and opera. My mother was a classical pianist who loved opera. As an adult I have seen all the top operas live at the theater. I have also seen Pavarotti in concert three times.

Opera is a spectacle of delight and an immersive experience hitting the senses with music, vocals, acting, dance, theater arts, costumes, visual effects, and lighting. Full of passion, drama, comedy, action, sex, violence, and romance. There is nothing quite like it. The foreign language barrier is overcome with digital subtitle displays in English posted above the stage. Opera has changed to adapt to the digital age and younger generation’s tastes and lifestyles.

Contrary to media claims “opera is alive and well” according to the New York Times. In fact it is growing worldwide in popularity due to the Internet, Youtube, social media, TV, and movies. Opera has always been popular in Europe of course. Pavarotti and the Three Tenors with Pavarotti, Carrares, and Domingo greatly popularized opera to new generations.


According to the National Endowment of the Arts, 54.6 million adults in the U.S. listen to opera and classical music. Over 23.4 million attend classical and opera events. According to Opera News, there are 1,285 opera companies in the U.S with 209 of these being large companies. According to dataUSA, there are 663 colleges offering degrees in music and 91% of U.S. high schools (24,321) have musical programs.

The most popular operas are by the following composers:

Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924), Italy, shares being the most popular opera composer along with Verdi. His most popular operas include Madame Butterfly, La Boheme, Tosca, Turandot, Gianni Schicchi, and Manon Lescart.

Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901), Italy, his most popular operas are Rigoletto, Aida, La Traviata, Il Trovatore, Macbeth, Otello, Falstaff, and Don Carlos.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1701), Austria, the most popular composer in history. His popular operas include The Magic Flute, The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, Idomeneo, La Clemenza di Tito, and Cosi Fan Tutti.

Giuseppe Verdi and Giacomo Puccini | Pucciniblog

Puccini and Verdi

Richard Wagner (1813-1883), Germany, popular operas Tristan and Isolde, Siegfried, Die Walkure, Tannhauser, Lohengrin, Das Rheingold, Parsifal, and Die Meistersinger.

Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868), Italy, his popular operas are The Barber of Seville, L’italianna in Algeri, and Le Cenerentoia.

Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1898), Italy, popular operas are L’elisir d’amore, Lucia de Lammermoor, and Don Pasquele.

Georges Bizet (1838-1875), France, Carmen is his most popular opera.

Charles Gounod (1818-1893), France, his most popular opera is Faust.

Camille Saint-Saens (1835-1871), France, Samson and Delilah is his most famous opera.

Ruggero Leoncavallo (1857-1919), his most famous opera is Pagliacci.

Un bel di vedremo

Renée Fleming: 'Live cinema is a threat to opera'

One of the best opera arias ever composed, heart wrenching, breathtaking. It is from the tragic opera Madam Butterfly by Puccini, first performed in 1904.

The opera Madam Butterfly is about a U.S. naval officer Pinkerton, who is engaged to marry an American woman. He marries a Japanese woman, Butterfly, for ‘convenience’. He leaves for three years while Butterfly had his child. When Pinkerton arrives back with his American wife, Butterfly takes her own life.

Un bel di vedremo is sung by Madam Butterfly, waiting and watching the sea for the return of her husband. Un bel di vedremo is sung by international opera superstar Renee Fleming, the reigning queen of American opera, one of the few Americans to attain worldwide recognition.

Nessum Dorma

Pavarotti - Nessun Dorma 1994 (High Quality With Lyrics) GIF | Gfycat

The aria from Turandot, composed by Puccini n 1926, is ne of the most popular and most performed. The opera is about Prince Calaf who falls in love with a princess. He has to answer three riddles to marry her. He does but she still refuses to marry him. Calaf says if she can guess his name she doesn’t have to marry him.

Superstar Luciano Pavarotti, King of the High C’s, needs little introduction, one of the most acclaimed opera singers in history. He sings Nessum Dorma.

Queen of the Night

Diana Damrau - International Booking – Booking and Management –  Totalisimo.Com

A wonderful and popular aria from Mozart’s The Magic Flute (Die Zauberflute), 1791. The opera is about the initiation of Tamino who is enlisted by the Queen of the Night to rescue her daughter from the high priest Sarastro. Tamino comes to admire Sarastro’s high standards and they combine to stop the Queen.

Diana Damrau sings the Queen of the Night. She is a highly praised soprano from Germany, this is her signature piece.

Una furtive lagrima

Roberto Alagna (France 3) : le ténor présente sa famille

A touching and tender aria from The Elixir of Love opera by Donizetti, 1832. The story is about Nemorino who buys a useless love potion from a quack doctor to win over Adina, who already secretly loves him, but can’t marry him because he has no money. After many complications they eventually announce their love for each other. It then turns out that Nemorino inherits wealth from his uncle.

Roberto Alagna sings Una Furtiva Lagrima where Nemotino believes the fake love potion is working on Adina. French-Italian singer Alagna is considered one of the best opera tenors in the world.

O mio babbino caro

Anna Netrebko - madoperafan

An aria from the comic opera Gianni Schicchi by Puccini, 1918. In the story, Buoso dies and in his will forbids his daughter Lauretta from marrying Rinucci by leaving everything to a monestary. The family asks a priest Gianni Schicchi to help. Gianni changes the will leaving everything to himself which he then gives all of it to Lauretta and Rinucci as a dowry.

Anno Netrebko sings O mio babbino caro. She is from Russia and is praised as one of the world’s leading sopranos.

Che gelida manina

Was heute geschah – 21. Juli 1988: José Carreras feiert sein Comeback in  Barcelona | Klassik entdecken | BR-KLASSIK | Bayerischer Rundfunk

The aria is from La Boheme by Puccini, 1896. It is one of the most performed operas in the world. It tells the story about a poor poet Rudolfo who meets Mimi, a neighbor. They fall in love. Later Mimi gets tuberculosis. Rudolfo in his poverty cannot help her and she dies in his arms.

Jose Carreras sings Che gelida manina where Rudolfo tells Mimi about himself. Carreras from Spain, is considered one of the greatest tenors in the world.

Si, mi chiamono Mimi

BIOGRAPHY - Eleonora Buratto

A very tender and romantic aria from La Boheme by Puccini.

Eleonora Burrato sings Si, mi chiamano Mimi. Mimi responds to Rudolfo’s song and tells him about herself. Burrato of Italy is highly acclaimed as a leading opera soprano.


Angela Gheorghiu (Performer) | Opera Online - The opera lovers web site

From the French opera Carmen by Bizet, 1875. One of the most popular operas worldwide. It tells the story on a fiery gypsy woman Carmen who seduces a military officer Don Jose. He sacrifices everything for her but she dumps him for a bullfighter, for which Don Jose kills her.

Angela Gheorghiu sings Habanera a playful and mischievous song sung by Carmen sexually taunting the men in the village. Gheorghiu is considered the best opera soprano in the world.

La donna e mobile

Jonas Kaufmann: El tenor del momento | Arte | La Revista | EL UNIVERSO

One of the most famous opera arias from Rigoletto by Verdi, 1851. The story is about the licentious Duke of Mantua who seduces and ruins young women with help from the hunchback jester Rigoletto. When the Duke seduces Rigoletto’s daughter Gilda though, Rigoletto tries to kill the Duke but Gilda is killed by mistake.

Superstar tenor Jonas Kaufman from Germany sings La donna e mobile. The aria is by the Duke making fun of women as easy to seduce.

E lucevan le stelle

A well liked touching aria from the opera Tosca by Puccini, 1900. The story is about an artist Mario who loves the singer Tosca. Baron Scarpio has Mario imprisoned and makes advance on Tosca who kills him leading to the tragic end of Tosca and Mario.

Pavarotti sings E lucevan le stele, where Mario in prison sings of his love of Tosca.

Mon Coeur s’ouvre a ta voix

Elina Garanca. Premio ÓPERA ACTUAL por su trayectoria - Ópera Actual

A popular and beautiful opera aria from Samson et Delilah by Saint-Saens, 1877. The story is the Biblical account of Samsom and Delilah. Samson is given super strength by God. Delilah seduces him to weaken his powers and make him vulnerable to his enemies.

Soprano superstar Elina Garanca of Latvia sings Mon Coeur s’ouvre a ta voix, where Delilah seduces Samson.

Vesti la Giubba

An emotional and heartbreaking aria from Pagliacci by Leoncavallo, 1892. The story is about Canino and his wife Nedda in a theatrical troupe. Canino discovers his wife is having an affair with Silvio. During a performance broken hearted Canino kills both of them.

Roberto Alagna sings Vesti la Giubba, where Pagliacci just learns of his wife’s cheating.

Celeste Aida

Anyone else find this placido domingo from tosca super hot? Oof that beard.  Sorry to be thirsty but I though this might be the right place : r/opera

Aria from the popular tragic opera Aida by Verdi. 1871. The story is about the Egyptian capture of Aida the Ethiopian princess. A military officer falls in love with Aida against the wishes of the Pharoah. He is sentenced to death in a sealed tomb. Unknown to him, Aida secretly hid in the tomb and dies in his arms.

Celeste Aida sung by Placido Domingo who is considered one of the greatest tenors of all time.

Salut! Demeure chaste et pure

Juan Diego Flórez shares his passion for Peruvian music and culture |  Chicago Symphony Orchestra

A very beautiful and tender aria from Faust by Gounod, 1859. The opera is based on Goethe’s story of Faust who sells his soul to the Devil. Faust falls in love with Maguerite whom the Devil tries to destroy inorder to control Faust.

Leading tenor Juan Diego Florez sings Salut! demeure chaste et pure, where Faust sings of his love of Maguerite.






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Bruce J. Wood
Bruce J. Wood
Bruce J. Wood, founder of AOIDE Bruce J. Wood has worked on Wall Street in business finance and strategy, and has written hundreds of finance business plans, strategic plans, economic feasibility studies, and economic impact studies. Bruce has lectured on creativity and strategic thinking, as well as worked on the development of numerous publishing, film, television, and performing arts projects, along with downtown revitalizations, using the arts as an economic catalyst. As an aficionado of music, art, and dance, Bruce is also a writer and an outdoor enthusiast. He has written poetry, blogs, articles, and many creative project concepts. He lives in the Metro Detroit area and enjoys writing poetry, backpacking, and ballroom dancing.

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