Tenor Arias

As thanks for your tenor (£10) donation in our 2017 Autumn Crowdfunder, we've put together a list of some of our favourite tenor arias just for you. 

 
 

The Flower Song - Carmen (Bizet)
Tenor: Jonas Kaufmann

Carmen Fun Fact: Carmen and Don José never sing the same tune in the opera. Audiences have to wait until Act 4 to hear Carmen sing a duet with someone who shares identical music and isn't with Don José, but Escamillo!

 

Che Gelida Manina - La Boheme (Puccini)
Tenor: Ramon Vargas

Puccini Fun Fact: As a teenager, Puccini saw Verdi's Aida. He often told the story about how he had to walk 20 miles in order to buy a ticket and see the performance in a distant town. He was so inspired by that experience that he decided to dedicate himself to opera. Lucky us.

 

 

Lensky’s Aria - Eugene Onegin
Tenor: Piotr Beczala

Tchaikovsky Fun Fact: To support his early musical career, Tchaikovsky took work as a music critic. You can find the insight guide to OperaUpClose's Eugene Onegin here. We're touring Eugene Onegin all over the UK right now - you can see our touring schedule here.

 

E Lucevan le Stele - Tosca (Puccini)
Tenor: Placido Domingo

Tosca Fun Fact: Tosca's original libretto, written in 1896, actually showcases a different, quite bizarre ending to the opera. Instead of leaping to her death, the heroine goes mad holding her dead lover in her hands and hallucinates that the two are on a gondola.

 

Celeste Aida - Aida (Verdi)
Tenor: Luciano Pavarotti

Aida Fun Fact: Aida was first performed at the Khedivial Opera House in Cairo on Christmas Eve, 1871. Verdi didn't attend the premiere and was most dissatisfied with the fact that no members of the general public were invited. He therefore considered the Italian (and European) premiere – held at La Scala, Milan on 8 February 1872 – to be its real premiere.

 

Thou shalt break them – Messiah (Handel)
Tenor: John Mark Ainsley

Handel Fun Fact: During a 1727 performance of a Handel opera, two leading sopranos came to blows onstage while the audience rooted them on. The incident led satirist John Arbuthnot to write a pamphlet on the absurdity of London’s opera world that included the line, “Shame that two such well-bred ladies should call [each other] b---- and wh---, should scold and fight.”

 

Prologue – The Turn of the Screw (Britten)
Tenor: Ewandro Cruz-Stenzowski

Britten Fun Fact: Benjamin Britten was born on 22 November, which is the same day at the feast of St Cecilia, the patron saint of music. His earliest attempt at composition came when he was just six years old. He wrote a piece called Do you no my daddy has gone to London today.

 

Salut, demeure chaste et pure - Faust (Gounod)
Tenor: Jonas Kauffman

Faust Fun Fact: The source of the story of Faust was an actual person, a Doctor Johann Georg Faustus who lived in the 16th century. The legend of his pact with the devil became popular through ballads and puppet plays, much like the original source of the Don Juan story in Spain (Mozart’s Don Giovanni.

 

Tu che a Dio spiegasti l’ali - Lucia di Lammermoor - (Donizetti)
Tenor: Luciano Pavarotti

Lucia Fun Fact: The famous 'mad scene', in which Lucia enters with a bloody nightgown having just stabbed her bridegroom, is the highlight of the opera for many operagoers. BUT the extended cadenza, accompanied by flute or glass harmonica, isn't actually by Donizetti. In fact, as Romana Margherita Pugliese shows, the cadenza was written for soprano Nellie Melba in 1889. It was likely by her teacher, Mathilde Marchesi. The cadenza's success made it indispensable to later sopranos taking on the role.

 

Dies Bildnes ist bezaubernd schon - The Magic Flute (Mozart)
Tenor: Placido Domingo

The Magic Flute Fun Fact: The Magic Flute was the last opera Mozart composed, it was premiered on 30th September 1791 - roughly three months before he died. Mozart himself conducted the orchestra, while the librettist, Emanuel Schikaneder, sang the role of Papageno. We're touring The Magic Flute all over the UK right now - you can see our touring schedule here.