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Famous Baritone Arias

Opera isn't just for tenors and sopranos...

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When people think of opera, most people usually picture tenors like Luciano Pavarotti or Placido Domingo and sopranos like Joan Sutherland or Maria Callas. It doesn't hurt that those singers had remarkable careers and wonderful arias to sing. But there are other operatic performers that don't get as much attention - the baritones. These mid-ranged men, voiced between tenors and basses, possess beautiful voices rich in timbre, and are likely able to sing both bass and tenor notes. Below are some of my favorite (and famous) baritone arias.

1. "Bella siccome un angelo"

From: Donizetti's Don Pasquale
Composed: 1842-43
After the aging old man, Don Pasquale, announces he will marry a young women in order to give birth to a son (having cut his disrespectful nephew out of his inheritance), he has his doctor, Malatesta search for a bride. Malatesta, recognizing the foolishness of Don Pasquale, decides to teach him a lesson. He returns to Don Pasquale singing this aria describing a suitable bride that is "beautiful like an angel" that he has found for him.
Learn the synopsis of Don Pasquale.

2. "Credo in un Dio crudel"

From: Verdi's Otello
Composed: 1887
At the start of Act II, Iago begins to craft his plan. He offers advice to Cassio to get back in Otello's good graces after Cassio was demoted. All Cassio has to do is speak with Otello's wife, Desdemona, and she will help change her husband's mind. After Cassio departs, leaving Iago alone, Iago reveals his true nature in this frightening aria which translates to, "I believe in a cruel God."

3. "Deh! Vieni Alla Finestra"

From: Mozart's Don Giovanni
Composed: 1787
In an effort to serenade his past lover's maid, Giovanni disguises his servant/partner in crime, Leporello, as himself to lead Elvira away. After his trick is successful, Giovanni sings beneath the window of the beautiful maid.
Learn the Don Giovanni synopsis.

4. "Der Vogelfänger bin ich ja"

From: Mozart's Die Zauberflöte
Composed: 1791
Sung by Papageno, this famous aria introduces the lonely Papageno and his job as a bird catcher. All Papageno wants is to find a wife - if not that, a least a girlfriend.
Learn the synopsis of Die Zauberflöte.

5. "Largo al factotum"

From: Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia
Composed: 1816
This famous, and probably most difficult, baritone aria is sung by Figaro. He is first introduced to the audience by singing this aria about his duties as the town's "factotum" - basically the go-to handyman capable of fixing anything.
Learn the Barber of Seville synopsis.

6. "Le Veau D'or"

From: Gounod's Faust
Composed: 1859
During a county fair, Méphistophélès (the devil), sings a rousing song of gold and greed. The wine and alcohol begins pouring, and villagers become exceedingly intoxicated and frivolous.
Read the Faust synopsis.

7. "Madamina, il catalogo è questo"

From: Mozart's Don Giovanni
Composed: 1787
Donna Elvira, a scorned lover, has been on the hunt for Don Giovanni. When she finally finds him, he pushes Leporello in front of her and tells him to tell her the truth of his many lovers. Don Giovanni runs away as Leporello tells her she is just one of many hundreds of girls within Don Giovanni's catalog of women.
Learn the "Madamina, il catalogo è questo" lyrics along with the Don Giovanni synopsis.

8. "Non Piu Andrai"

From: Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro
Composed: 1786
Sung by Figaro after the young Cherubino is sent of to the military, Figaro teases him about no longer being able to be the amorous butterfly that flirts with all the women.
Read the lyrics to "Non piu andrai" and the Le nozze di Figaro synopsis.

9. "O Du Mein Holder Abendstern"

From: Wagner's Tannhauser
Composed: 1843-45
Sung by Wolfram, the aria's title translates to "oh, my gracious evening star". Wolfram is devoutly in love with Elizabeth, but she is loved by Tannhauser. One evening, Wolfram has a premonition of her death, and so he prays to the evening star to guide and protect her on her journey to heaven.

10. "Votre Toast"

From: Bizet's Carmen
Composed: 1875
Escamillo, the matador, sings one of the most lively and exuberant arias from Bizet's Carmen. Translated to "Your Toast," Escamillo sings of the bullfighting ring and the cheering crowds and victories that come with it.
Learn the lyrics to "Votre Toast" and the Carmen synopsis.

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