Top Ten Best Operas

What were the most influential, well composed and popular operas ever written?

The Top Ten

1 Carmen

Music that makes your heart race and your spirits fly

The opening is a masterpiece

2 The Magic Flute

I love all of these operas and many more. The amazing Verdi and Puccini operas (all of them are incredible) and the tunes of Wagner that almost pull you apart, Beethoven's Fidelio. But in the end I couldn't imagine having to go through life knowing I could never hear the music of Mozart again and in particular The Magic Flute swings it for me. Just listen to the Priest's March or the arias with the 3 boys and you'll see what I mean.

Between the overture, sull aria, non piu andrai, and all of the other incredible tunes the music is brilliant through and through. The story is very funny, and Mozart does an incredible job with the dramatization of everything. His use of recitative throughout is nice.

Sheer fun and pleasure. Sit back and chuckle throughout the work

3 Le Boheme

Hard to argue with La Boheme! Heh...

4 Rigoletto

Wonderful music, great characters, and the ultimate story of revenge and it's consequences

5 Don Giovanni

Any high class musician would put Don Giovanni in top three without no doubt. For me, is by far the best opera ever composed.

Mozart's most dramatic work and one of the best operas ever written.

In my humble opinion, the most impressive opera ever written. The music goes magically from one passage to another, flowing flawlessly. Mozart even had time to include music from the competing operas of the time, "Una cosa rara" and "Fra I due litiganti" in the scene "Gia la mensa e preparata". Mozart, in my humble opinion, plays in a superior league -well over other opera composers.

6 Lucia di Lammermoor

Lucia is the only opera that can compete with the Mozart & the Ponte masterpieces. It's just so difficult for singers that it's somewhat rarely performed and people don't know it that well. It's FULL of INCREDIBLE arias, duets and choir ensembles. Lucia is much more that just the Mad scene and sextet - you'll see.

Contains the hardest aria- il dolce suono - severalsomeones

7 The Marriage of Figaro

Mozart's most soft and sweet works and one the best operas ever written.

Perfection. From the overture to the final notes.

The finale does something to me...

8 L'Elisir D'Amore

Not a single boring moment, a joy from beginning until end!

9 Aida

The intimate Scenes in Act III are fabulous masterpieces: the atmospheric playing of the woodwinds in the romanza "Qui Radames verra..." and the incredible tension in the Aida-Amonasro confrontation, one of the greatest duets in all operas!

10 La Traviata

Watched natallie dessay, this is perfection on every level.

The Contenders

11 Turandot

Turandot, be it only for the magical scene where no one is allowed to sleep, and Calaf is all alone trembling with passion and feverish anticipation that the stars would soon set, and that he will, indeed, succeed. Never seen such a powerful rendition of love. Unique!

Turandot, because it has the most beautiful arias and ensembles. Turandot herself only has one big aria, but her aria is connected to one of the most difficult scenes for a high dramatic soprano with several high C's. The tenor Calaf has 2 great aria, including "Nessum Dorma", which is the most famous operatic aria in the World. And Liu has 2 gorgeous arias. Adding to all that, there is super opulent sets since it was for the Emperor of China. The best DVD version of Turandot is with Domingo, Marton and Mitchell (who stole the show as Liu). The best recording of Turandot on CD is the one with Joan Sutherland as Turandot, Luciano Pavarotti as Prince Calaf, and Monserrat Caballe as Liu... Now that's a cast!

12 The Barber of Seville

Lots of great melodies.Never a dull moment. - lesjason

13 Tosca

The first opera I heard - just overwhelming. All time favourite

14 Tristan und Isolde

although not my favourite Wagner "opera" the musical language changed classical music for ever. Never had tonality been so stretched before and music would never be quite the same again

15 Falstaff
16 La Boheme
17 Hansel and Gretel
18 Der Ring des Nibelungen
19 William Tell
20 Porgy and Bess
21 The Abduction from the Seraglio
22 Dido and Aeneas
23 Fidelio

Like its Beethoven!

24 Madame Butterfly
25 Cosí Fan Tutte
26 Siegfried
27 Un Ballo in Maschera
28 Don Quichotte
29 Tristan and Isolde
30 Wozzeck

The premiere impressionistic masterpiece. By Alban Berg. - thethrasher

31 Cavalleria Rusticana
32 Halka
33 Der Rosenkavalier
34 Julius Caeser
35 Boris Godunov
36 Bellini's Norma
37 Beatrice di Tenda
38 Straszny Dwór
39 Arlecchino
40 Elisa e Claudio
41 La gazza ladra
42 Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District

One of the most daring and innovative operas of 20th century. Shortly after the premiere it became a target for the Communist Party of USSR (Pravda's infamous article "Muddle Instead of Music"). Truly one of the greatest works written by Dmitri Shostakovich.

43 Elektra
44 Lucretia Borgia
45 Bellini's Il Puritani
46 Alcina
47 Merry Widow
48 Esclarmonde
49 Il Trovatore
50 Die Walkure
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