This Bach cantata is so beautiful it's basically from another planet
37 mins ago
It's a running theme in opera that the tenor always gets the girl, so who better to choose the top ten most romantic arias than tenor Wynne Evans? He's chosen ten of the best love songs to serenade you on this most romantic of evenings...
Poet, and tenor star of Puccini's opera, Rodolfo, has fallen in love with Mimì. He takes her cold hand and tells her about his life, singing Che galida manina, translated as 'What a cold little hand'. We're not convinced it's the best chat-up line in the book...
Another belter for the tenor, sung by Don José in Bizet's bohemian opera. The lyrics, not to mention the tunes, are beautiful: "The flower that you had thrown me, I kept with me in prison… I became intoxicated by its fragrance…"
Puccini certainly knows how to write a romantic tune, exemplified in this aria from Tosca. It's another tenor classic, both tragic and beautiful.
Possibly the most famous song in Massenet's opera - and with good reason. At this point in the opera, Charlotte attempts to divert Werther's attention away from his self-destructive thoughts, and he, in return, sings this beautiful aria.
Faust, the tenor, is persuaded to sell his soul to the devil, and soprano Marguerite falls in love with him. At this point in Gounod's opera, Faust sings an aria while sending Méphistophélès in search of a gift for his love interest - hopefully not some petrol station flowers.
This Donizetti aria has all the hallmarks of a romantic classic. Donizetti was no stranger to a good comedy, but here the focus is very much on heartbreak - "A single secret tear from her eye did spring," is how it begins, and it gradually sees the narrator falling in love with the girl.
Few composers did arias quite so catchy as Verdi, and La Traviata is packed full of them. This frantic little number is all about stirring devotion, with talk of a "passionate spirit" and "the fire of youth".
It's not one of the best-known operas, but Friedrich von Flotow's Martha has some hidden gems - not least of which is this aria. Interestingly, it was only added to the opera 18 years after it premiered.
Bizet is responsible for some of the best-loved arias in the operatic repertoire. This one, from The Pearl Fishers, is one of his saddest and most heart-rending - "I still believe I hear hidden beneath the palm trees her voice, tender and deep…" Who couldn't fall in love with that?
The most enduring love story ever told. William Shakespeare's tragedy about two young star-crossed lovers whose deaths unite their feuding families, has been transformed into both an opéra by French composer Charles Gounod and a ballet by Prokofiev.