Opera The Best Opera Songs  

Buster McDermott
Originally by
21.9k votes 9k voters 1M views 77 items

What are the best opera songs of all time? With so many possibilities and choices, it's hard to come up with a definitive list, but that's exactly what's going on here. This list includes some of the most popular opera arias from the best operas ever, complete with videos, wherever possible. Vote for the opera songs you love the most, vote down any you don't like and please, do add any choices that might be missing. You can also re-rank this list of the best opera songs any way you like. From classic opera to Italian operatic songs, this list has them all! 

If you're an opera aficionado, most if not all of these great opera songs will be instantly familiar to you. If you're sitting there thinking, "I don't know the first thing about opera," you might be wrong. Many of the most famous opera arias are used in popular culture. Some are used as background music for commercials and certainly for movie trailers.

One big example of an opera song used in pop culture is "The Flower Duet," from the French opera Lakme. This song can be found in several commercials and movies, including ads for British Airways and the films The Hunger, The American President and Meet the Parents, among others. And Richard Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries," from his famous opera Die Walküre, can be heard in several major films, including Full Metal Jacket and Apocalypse Now.

See? Even if you think you don't know opera, you do, sort of. You will after perusing this list and watching some of the videos, too.

No list of the best opera songs would be complete without songs from one of the most famous operas ever, George Bizet's Carmen. Of those songs, "Habanera" is probably the most well-known, but there are many others. If your favorite Carmen aria isn't listed, again, feel free to add it.

A truly outstanding opera song is memorable, emotional and very personal. Not everyone likes the same things – that's part of what makes music so wonderful, after all. Everyone has differing opinions, so enjoy giving yours with your votes here.

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Greg Stopera added Nessun dorma (Turandot)

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Habanera (Carmen) André Rieu

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roxbury added E Lucevan Le Stelle (Tosca) Giacomo Puccini

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deathmanx98 added Pavarotti - Nessun Dorma

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BitzNera added Der Holle Rache (The Queen of the Night) Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Lucia Popp

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BrianRice added Vesti la giubba - from Pagliacci Luciano Pavarotti

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La Donna E Mobile is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Opera Songs
PierfrancescoManenti added La Donna E Mobile Luciano Pavarotti

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akimiko added Time to Say Goodbye Sarah Brightman, Andrea Bocelli

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mohammadreza-ashari added Ave Maria Luciano Pavarotti

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BeatriceMeltemiFanetti added Bella figlia dell'amore

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Rusalka Song to the Moon is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Opera Songs
rbaer added Rusalka Song to the Moon Extraordinary aria by the greatest of Czech composers Dvorak. Best recording: Lucia Popp. Also, a staple of Renee Fleming's repertoire.

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ilovemartincounty added Summertime from Porgy and Bess

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FabianoMartins added Verdi: Caro nome (Rigoletto) Maria Callas

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Tristan and Isolde Liebstrod is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Opera Songs
Robert Collins added Tristan and Isolde Liebstrod

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Flower Duet is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Opera Songs
Colm Maguire added Flower Duet Kiri Te Kanawa, Katherine Jenkins

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BeatriceMeltemiFanetti added Il dissoluto punito, ossia il Don Giovanni, K. 527: Act I, Scene V. No. 4 Aria "Madamina, il catalogo è questo" (Leporello) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Orchestre Natinal de Paris (sous la direction de Lorin Maazel)

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Tom Islava added The Anvil Chorus

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The Marriage of Figaro, Act II... is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Opera Songs
Syed Babar Iqbal added The Marriage of Figaro, Act III: Sull'aria. Che soave zeffiretto Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

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Bizet - Au Fond Du Temple Sain... is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Opera Songs
rbaer added Bizet - Au Fond Du Temple Saint One of the greatest of all male duets. From Bizet's lesser know "Pecheurs de Perles". Rare and praised recent MET production.

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Jean1 added Di Provenza Il Mar, Il Suol... (Germont) Giuseppe Verdi

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Tom Islava added Finale "Don Giovanni, a cenar teco" (Il Commendatore, Don Giovanni, Leporello) Orchestre National de Paris (Sous la direction de Lorin Maazel), Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart