Valentine’s Day is chance to celebrate your nearest and dearest relationships. What better way to do that than with a playlist of some of the most romantic arias and duets in opera?
Warning: This list is subjective and has probably omitted at least one of your favorites that you think should be included.
1. Un aura amorosa from Cosi fan tutte
In this aria, Ferrando sings poetically about his love for Dorabella being strong enough to satisfy any hunger. Listen to the masterful Pavarotti singing this aria in a recital with Mo. James Levine.
2. Depuis le jour from Louise
Louise describes how wonderful her life is now that she is with her love, Julien. Charpentier composed a compelling melody that will tug at anyone’s heart-strings.
3. La dolcissima effigie from Adriana Lecouvreur
Maurizio meets Adriana before a show and confirms his everlasting love for her. And let’s be honest, Jonas Kaufmann could sing the phone book and we’d swoon.
4. O soave fanciulla from La boheme
You can’t make a list like this and not include this beautiful duet from La boheme. Love at first sight! What a beautiful concept!
5. Liebestod (Mild und leise) from Tristan und Isolde
Isolde sees her dead lover, Tristan, in a dream. She is so overcome by her visions that she lays next to him and dies. Love and death all rolled into one neat package. If that isn’t operatic, what is?
6. Dalla dua pace from Don Giovanni
Amidst the womanizing and trickery in Don Giovanni, this is a beautiful moment of devotion sung by Don Ottavio. He declares his love for Donna Anna, connecting her happiness with his own.
7. Barcarolle (Belle nuit) from The Tales of Hoffman
The reason to add this duet is right there in the lyrics: “Beautiful night, night of love.” This aria is perfect for an evening with your sweetie. Cabellé and Horne knock this one out of the park.
8. Ah! Leve-toi, soleil from Romeo et Juiliette
Romeo sings of Juiliette while gazing at her sitting on the balcony. Romeo and Valentine’s Day go together like chocolate and strawberries…or like Mac and Cheese.
9. Mon coeur s’ouvre à ta voix from Samson et Dalila
Regardless of the actual intention (Spoiler Alert: to distract and capture Samson) Dalila claims she will surrender herself to Samson if he would only fully yield to her love. All’s fair in true love and war, folks.
10. Je crois entendre encore from The Pearl Fishers
If you were to look up “pining” in the dictionary, you would probably see a picture of Nadir. Even after many years of separation, Nadir’s love for Leila has not diminished.
11. Bess, you is my woman now from Porgy and Bess
Amid the circumstances surrounding their relationship, Porgy and Bess confirm their love for each other in this beautiful tune.
12. Salut! demeure chaste et pure from Faust
Going home to meet the parents is big deal in a relationship. Faust didn’t actually MEET the parents but he did visit Marguerite’s home and admired the place where his angelic lover grew up. Santa Fe favorite, Bryan Hymel sings in the clip below.
13. Letter Scene from Eugen Onegin
Like kids passing notes in the hall, young Tatyana expresses her love for Onegin in a letter. With every word she discovers how much she love him. The clip below is the last part of this thrilling scene by Tchaikovsky.
14. Make Our Garden Grow from Candide
The ultimate marriage proposal.
Happy Valentine’s Day!