Opera fans - What are your favorite operas?

I’m on such a music kick after that classical music thread, so I decided to start a thread on favorite operas, singers, scenes, arias, etc. So, who and what are yours?

Triumphal March from Aida

Nessun Dorma from Turandot

Soldiers’ Chorus from Faust

Der Hölle Rache from Die Zauberflöte

Vittoria, mio core! (Benigni/G. Carissimi)

Madam Butterfly - I don’t think there’s a bad note or scene in the whole darn thing, but my favourite bits are the love duet ‘Viene la sera’, the Humming Chorus, the Flower Duet, and the part at the end where Butterfly’s child comes in to find her.

La Boheme likewise - the triple whammy of ‘Che gelida manina’, ‘Mi chiamano Mimi’ and ‘O soave fanciulla’ in the first act is just glorious, as is the duet ‘O Mimi tu piu non torni’, and I get a good laugh from Colline’s song about his coat.

I like the ‘Anvil Chorus’ from Il Trovatore, the quartet ‘Bella figlia dell’amore’ from Rigoletto.

I’m not so much into the big showcase solo arias, but I love good choruses and duets - ‘Va pensiero’ from Nabucco is just gorgeous, as is the duet from The Pearl Fishers and the ‘Barcarolle’ from Tales of Hoffmann.

sigh you shouldn’t have got me started … :blush:

I know what you mean. I’m a little afraid to start (even though I’m the one who started the thread). :stuck_out_tongue:

I love everything listed so far. I might end up going by composer and listing each opera/aria/ensemble, etc. that way. You see… that’s why I’m a afraid to start. hahahaha!

It a shame that this is played too often on commercials, but I love the “Flower Duet” from Lakme.


I love the Barcarolle from Tales of Hoffmann as well.

“La Traviata” is one of my favorites along with “La Boheme”.

I absolutely love Richard Strauss’s “Der Rosenkavalier” - especially all of the ensembles with Octavian, the Marschellin and Sophie. I cry every time I hear the last trio. Strauss was just someone I had to have click inside of me. When I first heard R. Strauss and tried to learn his music in high school, I did not like it at all. I didn’t understand it. It wasn’t until after I graduated college and going head-on into my vocal studies that I borrowed “Der Rosenkavalier” and Richard Strauss’s music became a part of me. Kiri Te Kanewa was the Marschellin, Tatiana Troyanas was the Octavian and I can’t remember the Sophie. Hearing Strauss’s music was like hearing God coming at me in continued never-ending waves with three incredibly beautiful voices and vocal lines. Nothing was contained - total, complete love and depth of soul poured off of those pages, out of the orchestra and out of the women who sang it.


Love it all!

Have you ever heard Franco Corelli sing “Nessun Dorma”?


How can you not like “Der Holle Rache”? I got to perform the Second Lady a couple years back and was in heaven hearing all the gorgeous music for months. It’s a lot of fun doing one of the Three Ladies as well. I really think the tenor aria in that opera is gorgeous - especially when Fritz Wunderlich sings it.


“Dinorah” isn’t a well-known opera by Meyerbeer, but I love the coloratura arias out of this. The coloratura was my first voice teacher and she does such a beautiful job with this. I wish the other aria was on the youtube.


Here is a terzetto

I’m so jealous Sarabande :slight_smile:

I’d love to be able to sing opera, but my voice is closer to bullfrog than bel canto. :rolleyes:

I know exactly what you mean - sublime.

The Ring of the Nibelung is the greatest opera cycle ever, or perhaps it is more properly said to be above opera, and then there is Parsifal, and the rest of Richard Wagner.

After Wagner’s works, Puccini’s works. Then it gets complicated.

I’m a huge fan of the Bugs Bunny operas. Does that count? :smiley:

Hee! Hee! Sure, that can count. :smiley: Those cartoons were some of my first “introductions” to opera and classical music in general.

Just to add, I think this was always so funny.


And Tom and Jerry was also one of my favorites and introduction to this music, albeit in a very funny way.

Madame Butterfly must be mentioned. I also greatly enjoyed The Marriage of Figaro, Don Juan, Tristan und Isolde, and Pagliacci (which my children also liked). I would punch someone in the head for a chance to see Porgy and Bess. Unfortunately, regular attendance at the opera is beyond my current budget.


P.S. Of course, nothing compares to a rousing chorus of “Spear and magic helmet!”


Except a rousing rendition of ‘Liebestod’ - last one I heard was sung by Jessye Norman. Sent chills up my spine.

Ok, I know these are more “light Opera” but my favs have always been the Gilbert and Sullivan Operettas.

Princess Ida, The H.M.S. Pinafore, The Mikado, Trial by Jury, Pirates of Penzance, etc.

I’ve been in all of those except Pirates and Mikado (I also did the sorcorer), they are SO much fun, plus they’re witty and HALARIOUS!

Oh my goodness!!! Yes! Yes! Yes! I love Jessye Norman’s version. But I also love Margaret Price’s version. She was a singer who didn’t get the notereity she deserved. Such a gorgeous voice. And from the photo on the youtube, she is an obvious dog lover - my kind of gal. :smiley:


Just adding Jessye’s version. Amazing how two people can put their own interpretation in just with a voice. Both were gorgeous.


[quote=mlchance;5053397Unfortunately, regular attendance at the opera is beyond my current budget.

I see you’re in Houston. You might be able to get cheapies for under $20. I know at the Met I will do the $15 tickets during the week - sometimes even do the rush standing room tickets. As a musician, I’m not rolling in the dough, so these cheapies are very helpful. They are also usually the areas where you get to see a good number of young adults in their 20-30s and students. My mother bought me and her tickets to see Adriana Lecouvreur (which, btw, has such gorgeous music) at the Met in February. We were down low, which was the first time I was ever down that low. If that was the only area where I sat, I’d think that the audience base were mostly gray-hairs. Go to the nose bleeds and we young-uns are all up there, along with some older folks. :wink:

Oh, Gilbert and Sullivan is just so great! Have you seen Topsy Turvy? Good movie. Last year, I sang for a private party which was a 50th wedding anniversary. The couple loved opera and especially Gilbert and Sullivan and other light opera. I found the most adorable song “When A Merry Maiden Marries”. It was just so cute and then seeing the wife singing along with me. I’m not as familiar with G&S music, but that music just captures the time period perfectly. “Poor Wand’ring One” is also such a nice song along with “Three Little Maids from School”.

Madam Butterfly was the first opera I ever saw and I have never tired of it.

The Marriage of Figaro is one of my absolute favourites, I was lucky enough to see Bryn Terfel as Figaro near the start of his career.

I also have a liking for earlier stuff, like Dido and Aeneas by Purcell, Xerxes by Handel, Acis and Galatea, also Handel.

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