Various Artists

The Best Opera Album in the World...Ever!

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AllMusic Review

This CD set presents an extensive opera sampler of mostly arias, with some famous choruses as well, such as Va, Pensiero from Verdi's Nabucco. Not only does the listener get to listen to these arias from the French, Italian, and German standards, he or she is able to compare certain classes of voices. As for tenors, the "three" are certainly represented, and one is able to compare Carreras' palpable excitement and exquisite diction with Domingo's power, and the early Pavarotti's silvery, exquisite timbre with Alfredo Kraus' lyricism and Roberto Alagna's tight sound. One can explore the differences between the Italian sound of Pavarotti and the darker, red-winey Spanish sound of Domingo and Carreras. As for the women, how does La Callas compare to one of her heirs in bel canto singing, Montserrat Caballé, with her famous pianissimi, heard here in Chi il Bel Sogno de Doretta from La Rondine by Puccini? The liner notes provide blurbs on the arias, and inform the listener which recent films one can hear them in. This collection is an excellent entrée into the world of opera, adding great breadth to an opera education.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
La Traviata, opera
1 2:54 Spotify
Il barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville), opera
2 4:21 Amazon
La bohème, opera
3 4:51
4 4:58 Amazon
L' amico Fritz, opera (commedia lyrica) in 3 acts
5 4:15 Amazon
Nabucco, opera (Nabucodonosor)
6 5:28
Rigoletto, opera
7 2:10 Spotify
Lakmé, opera
8
5:56 Amazon
Gianni Schicchi, opera
9 2:07
Tosca, opera
10 2:53 Spotify
11 3:04 Amazon
12 3:09 SpotifyAmazon
Adriana Lecouvreur, opera
13 3:19 Amazon
Les Pêcheurs de perles, opera in 3 acts
14 5:25
Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), opera, K. 492
15 3:40 Amazon
16 2:56 Amazon
17 5:55 Amazon
Martha, opera
18 2:53
Tristan und Isolde, opera, WWV 90
19 7:19

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Aida, opera
1 4:23
Il Trovatore, opera
2 2:49
Samson et Dalila, opera in 3 acts, Op. 47
3 5:17
Carmen, opera
4 4:37
5 4:52
6 4:04 Spotify
Les contes d'Hoffmann, opera in 4 acts
7 3:51
Andrea Chénier, opera
8 4:52
Pagliacci, opera
9 3:53
Madama Butterfly (Madame Butterfly), opera
10 4:40
Così fan tutte, opera, K. 588
11 3:19
La Rondine (The Swallow), opera
12 3:06 Spotify
Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute), opera, K. 620
13 2:38
14 2:51
Rusalka, opera, B. 203 (Op. 114)
15
5:55
La Wally, opera (dramma musicale) in 4 acts
16 4:50
Werther, lyric drama in 4 acts
17 2:56
Turandot, opera
18 2:31
19 4:09
blue highlight denotes track pick