The story is a tragic drama about a hot-blooded gypsy, Carmen, and her rival lovers, Don Jose, a soldier, and Escamillo, a bull fighter. In appreciating opera, you have to forget the prejudices against the genre, borne by spoofs and ridicule by popular culture. Handel Komische Oper Berlin. Here is a list of the 10 most famous arias in the world. Albania. Highlights include the “Prisoners’ Chorus”, which is an ode to prison sung by a chorus of political prisoners and Florestan’s intense aria “Gott! Fulfilling these criteria, the following is a list of the 10 best operas. (See also Top 100 Classical Music & Recordings List), Beethoven: Fidelio (1805) Fidelio is that classical music titan, Ludwig Van Beethoven’s only opera. With its theme of unselfish love, loyalty, courage, sacrifice and heroic endurance, Fidelio is the nearest thing Beethoven ever produced to deliver an explicit political-philosophical message. This aria from Bellini’s opera Norma was the signature tune of the most famous, most adored opera star of all time - Maria Callas (or ‘La Divina’ to her millions of fans). The opera’s strength is in Debussy’s exquisitely delicate music, with the vocal parts corresponding to the pattern of French speech. The final act is the greatest example of dramatic bel canto ever written. All of Mozart’s works are documented in the so-called Köchelverzeichnis (Köchel Catalogue) which includes over 70 church works, 19 operas, 41 symphonies, 30 piano concertos, and many other concerts, chamber music pieces, marches, serenades and songs. The operas listed cover all important genres, and include all operas regularly performed today, from seventeenth-century works by Monteverdi, Cavalli, and Purcell to late twentieth-century operas by Messiaen, Berio, Glass, Adams, Birtwistle, and Weir. All lists are longer than your arm. Salome is also one of the most demanding soprano role. The very popular “Largo al Factotum” is one of opera’s greatest set pieces, while “Ecco Ridente” is one of the most beautiful music Rossini ever wrote. Jacopo Peri. Recommended recordings: Aida: Perlea – Milanov, Bjoerling, Barbieri Aida: Karajan – Tebaldi, Bergonzi, Simionato Aida: Solti – Price, Vickers, Gorr Aida: Muti – Caballe, Cossotto, Domingo, Verdi: Un Ballo in Maschera (1859) Much of the music emphasizes the dark inevitability of the king’s fate, but the grimness is leavened by the mischievous character of Oscar (a soprano role), and by some wonderful ensembles and love duets. I would in my opinion had added some great live performances too. Here is a list of the 10 most popular opera composers by performance numbers. Top 10 Most Popular Opera Composers . Recommended recording: Simon Boccanegra: Abbado – Cappuccilli, Freni, Carreras, Wagner: Lohengrin (1850) It is a romantic tale of Christian savior overcoming the powers of darkness. It suffers from an excess of wonderful musical numbers which includes the Don’s aria “La ci Darem la Mano” and the “Champagne Aria”, Leporello’s comical “Madamina, il catalogo e questo”, the tenor aria “Dalla sua pace”, and much more. Sometimes the picture contains the … Monika Rittershaus. Before Monteverdi came along the fledgling genre of opera was an academic exercise in the recreation of ancient Greek theatre. Recommended recordings: Il Barbiere di Siviglia: Galliera – Callas, Gobbi, Alva Il Barbiere di Siviglia: Abbado – Berganza, Prey, Alva, Hermann Prey singing “Largo al factotum” from Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Strauss, R.: Elektra (1909) This astonishing one act opera based on the Greek Tragedy is sumptuously Romantic yet dissonant. This can be heard, for example, in Orfeo’s outpouring of grief, “Che favo sense Euridice”. Opera plots are oftentimes ridiculous, but you should not listen to opera for the story but for how the music glorifies the story. What makes a great opera? A great opera has both a great story and great music. Lists of operas cover operas, a form of theatre in which music has a leading role and the parts are taken by singers. I prefer short summaries. The opera is superbly constructed and contains a number of beautiful, showstopping arias including the tenor aria “Che Gelida Manina” and “Musetta’s Waltz” Recommended recordings: La Boheme: Beecham – De Los Angeles, Björling, Merrill La Boheme: Votto – Callas, di Stefano, Moffo, Panerai La Boheme: Karajan – Freni, Pavarotti, Panerai, Pavarotti singing “Che gelida Manina” from La Boheme, Puccini: Madama Butterfly (1904) The story is set in Nagasaki, Japan where the American Pinkerton marries a geisha called Cio-Cio-San and promptly abandons her. Ruddigore. Iolanthe. The opera is remarkable for its profundity of emotions, moving arias and perhaps the greatest ensembles ever written. The following is a list of operas and operettas with entries in Wikipedia. Recommended recordings: Der Rosenkavalier: Karajan – Schwarzkopf, Ludwig, Stich-Randall Der Rosenkavalier : Solti – Crespin, Minton, Donath, Strauss, R. : Salome (1905) This is the opera that made Richard Strauss famous. Das Rheingold is the prelude to the story of the main drama. The opera contains the usual Puccini committed romanticism, and have even more subtle exotic harmonies and melodies than Butterfly. Recommended recordings: Der Meistersinger von Nurnberg: Kempe – Frantz, Grümmer, Schock Der Meistersinger von Nurnberg: Karajan – Edelmann, Schwarzkopf, Hopf Der Meistersinger von Nurnberg: Karajan – Adam, Donath, Kollo Der Meistersinger von Nurnberg: Kubelik – Stewart, Janowitz Der Meistersinger von Nurnberg: Solti – van Dam, Mattila, Heppner, Lippert, Wagner : Das Rheingold (1869) The first and the shortest part of the monumental, musically and thematically complex Ring Cycle. 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