The 5 Most Romantic Operas Of All Time

Monday, 14 February, 2022
Butterfly Blue

Opera is known for its great love stories, from soul mates to forbidden love, fairytales to tragedies, opera has all sides of the heart covered! What better way to honour Valentine’s Day than looking back at some of the most romantic operas of all time.

*Warning – may tug on heartstrings*

Orfeo ed Euridice – Gluck

Is there anything more romantic than going to the end of the earth for your true love? I don’t think so!

At the beginning of Gluck’s opera, we find Orfeo mourning his wife, Euridice. In an effort to save her, he is granted entry to the underworld where he uses music to appease the mythical monsters that rest there while guiding his wife on her return from the dead. But there’s a catch, Orfeo must make the journey out of the underworld without looking behind at Euridice. In classic tragic opera style, Orfeo cannot resist the temptation and loses his wife once again. He sings of his despair in the famous aria Che farò senza Euridice? Luckily for him, the God of Love cannot bare his anguish and returns Euridice to him. The lovers are finally reunited.

Watch a clip from INO’s production of Orfeo ed Euridice below!

Fidelio – Beethoven

Beethoven’s only opera Fidelio, tells the story of husband and wife, Florestan and Leonore who have been separated after Florestan was cruelly imprisoned by the evil, Don Pizarro. Disguising herself as a man called Fidelio, she infiltrates the prison in an effort to rescue her husband. Risking life and limb, she manages to save him moments before he was set to be killed. (She also saves all the other inmates too ... but we’ll focus on the lovey-dovey stuff for the day that’s in it!)

Have a look at the heartwarming clip below, which shows the two singing of their love as they are finally reunited.

La Traviata - Verdi

The tragic love story of courtesan, Violetta and bourgeoisie, Alfredo from Verdi’s La Traviata could not be left off this list!

Alfredo falls madly in love with Violetta and after some convincing, she agrees to leave Paris and move to the countryside with him. While the lovebirds are enjoying their new life in the countryside, Alfredo’s father persuades Violetta to end their relationship as she is tarnishing the family’s reputation. Distraught, Violetta leaves Alfredo without him knowing the reason for her sudden departure. The two are heartbroken. The opera ends with Violetta on her deathbed and Alfredo finding out the noble reason for her departure. He rushes to be with her but is too late.

Oh so close to a happy ending!

La Cenerentola - Rossini

Who doesn’t love a fairytale romance?

Rossini’s opera La Cenerentola is based on the well-known fairytale, Cinderella. The plot follows the fairytale story we know and love, the selfish stepsisters, the prince, the lavish ball... it has it all!

Although there are some differences, there is no fairy godmother, no pumpkin carriage and a bracelet instead of a glass slipper! But don’t worry, there is no change to the ending and Prince Ramiro and Cenerentola live happily ever after.

Have a look at the joyous wedding scene below as Cenerentola sings her happiness now that she has found her prince.

La bohème - Puccini

One of the most romantic and heartbreaking couples in opera has to be Mimì and Rodolfo from Puccini’s La bohème.

It was love at first sight for the two. They met when Mimì was in search of candlelight and knocked on Rodolfo’s door, starting a wonderful romance together. However Rodolfo suspected that Mimì was dying and wished for her to be with a rich man who could look after her and so they went their separate ways. Mimì and Rodolfo were finally reunited when Mimì was on her deathbed, they spoke of their love for each other and reminisced about their romance. Mimì took her final breath in the arms of her true love.

I’m not crying... there’s just something in my eye...

Would you like to hear more from this opera? INO are delighted to be releasing our album recording of La bohème on 25 March 2022. Click here to find out more.

What are your plans for Valentine’s Day? Whether with a loved one or a best friend why not choose to watch one of these operas and get all the feels!