From: The Things They Didn't Teach You At Conservatoire
Probably in large part due to Pavarotti himself, this aria is in that upper echelon of the canon that's recognizable in the mainstream. This aria a dance, somewhat of a ditty; it would almost be fluff, if not for the Duke spewing some old-school chauvinist views on women.
Azucena, the gypsy woman with an obvious PTSD situation over having accidentally thrown her own baby in a fire several years back. The crackling fire triggers the memory, and Azucena sings "Stride la vampa" ("The flames roar").
Rigoletto sings this aria at the moment he learns that his boss's goons have kidnapped his daughter, Gilda. He begs them to give her back, in a crazy sweep of drama that starts at enraged and ends at desperation.
Leonora sings this from the cave she's been living in lately, hermiting away from things like botched elopements and family curses. This marathon aria is certainly one to work on closely with your trusted teachers and coaches.
This aria is a ballad to Queen Mab, a mysterious fairy creature that gets into one's dreams; it's a breathless bit of excitement that sets up Mercutio as Roméo's outgoing, affable friend, so when he meets his end later in the opera, the loss sinks in deeply.
This aria from the final act of La bohème is two pages of what's stunning about a great bass. Colline, the philosopher among his band of bohemians, is doing his part after Mimì shows up at his apartment, looking for his friend Rodolfo and dying of tuberculosis. He decides to pawn his coat to help pay for a doctor, and because he's a philosopher, the decision is a weighty one
"Voi che sapete" is about puberty, becoming girl-crazy, and involuntary bodily functions that are fun but also difficult to hide. It's one of those Mozart arias that seems simple, but demands a lot in the details. With your teacher and coach, this Aria Guide can help Cherubinos-to-be get started:
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