Top 10 Terribly Difficult Opera Arias - Listverse (2023)


This list is intended to make the opera a little more exciting for those who find it boring. If you've never tried singing an opera aria, give it a try and make your voice sound like the pros. It is not easy. And here, for your entertainment, are the ten most incredibly difficult operatic arias ever written. Some you may know, others you may not. Great care has been taken to select the best possible renditions of these Youtube songs.


The modern major general

The Pirates of Penzance

I am the true model of a modern major general

This aria, unlike most operas, has entered popular culture. Gilbert and Sullivan became very wealthy in the field of comic opera, and their masterpieces are the quintessence of English light operas: The Pirates of Penzance, H.M.S. Pinafore, The Mikado, The Yeomen of the Guard and many others. They may not have invented the modern idea of ​​a flamboyant gay British naval officer, but they took it to extremes. The characters aren't actually gay, in case you don't think this lister thinks they are, but they act in a hilariously feminine way, and none is more legendary than Modern Major General.

His famous song comes at the end of Act I, and he tells the titular pirates that he has incredible expert knowledge of absolutely everything, except that his knowledge is oddly negligible: So I can write a wash bill in Babylonian cuneiform, / And tell you each Detail of Caractacus' uniform. It is not written in cuneiform because it is a figurative language. Caratacus wore nothing but a loincloth.

The difficulty of this song does not lie in its range, as with most of these contributions, but in the tongue-twisting lyrics and the breakneck speed with which it gallops to the finish and is therefore also known as a "tapping song". .


Make room for the Omni tool

The Barber of Seville

Der Barbier von Sevilla „Make way for the factotum“

(Video) Got Talent Opera Singers!

The other legendary song, this one is even better known worldwide than number 10. Gioacchino Rossini had no one in particular in mind to play the main character, but this aria requires a fairly high baritone range and extreme precision in scales, arpeggios and pronunciation in Italian, especially at the end , with the text Allegro vivace, "Bravo bravissimo! / Fortunatissimo per verita!...Pronto prontissimo..." etc.

The phrase "Figaro, Figaro, Figaro!" comes from this aria. This is expected of every baritone opera star and is the standard by which the popular operatic consciousness judges all baritones. [The singer in this clip is Ettore Bastianini, probably the best operatic baritone that ever lived, even better than Titta Ruffo in my opinion. His interpretation and clarity of this song is impeccable. You will be able to see a great live performance by BastianiniHerewhich proves his equally great restrained performance; It was in this performance that Bastianini suffered from terminal cancer of the larynx, which would kill him two years later. –jfrater].


powerful princess

Ariadna on Naxos

Natalie Dessay - "The Magnificent Princess"

Richard Strauss' operetta is not particularly popular these days, which is a shame. Zerbinetta sings this aria “High and Mighty Princess” comforting Ariadne who is trapped on the island of Naxos awaiting the return of Theseus. Zerbinetta's comfort lies in her warning that Ariadne should forget Theseus and find a new friend. This aria is about 10 minutes long, a very enduring exercise in coloratura technique, but the premiere audience actually snarled for the first act, which this aria ends at.

Because? Well, the simplest answer is probably that Strauss did not compose operas with obvious arias separate from the rest of the opera, in the style of Italian composers, etc. Strauss was a follower of Richard Wagner, whose work does not have many established segments. apart from the rest. And like Wagner, Strauss is an acquired taste. Not as easy to enjoy as, say, Rossini. But as with all displays of skill, this aria is a breath-taking highlight.


torture of all kinds

The Serrallo kidnapping

In this early Mozart masterpiece, Konstanze is captured by pirates and sold as a prostitute to the evil Pasha Selim's harem. Mozart did not name Konstanze after his wife, as some like to believe. Constanze, the German form of Konstanz, was a common name at the time. Librettist Christoph Bretzner called the damsel in distress, but Mozart's wife thought it was a hilarious honor.

In this aria, Konstanze informs her maid Blonde that Selim intends to love Konstanze and if she refuses, he will torture her in all sorts of twisted ways. Mozart was just fantastic, wasn't he? Because the music is what it always seems, bubbly, fun and laughter, upbeat and highly entertaining no matter how many times you listen to it. In terms of difficulty, Mozart wrote the role for Catarina Cavalieri, one of the greatest sopranos of all time. This aria is packed with arpeggios, scales and extreme range for a coloratura soprano.


(Video) BRILLIANT Britain's Got Talent 2020 UNSEEN Auditions | PART 2 | Top Talent

from this pyre

from Troubadour

Luciano Pavarotti – De esa pira – Metropolitan Opera (1080pHD)

He tears down the house. Giuseppe Verdi wrote this aria regardless of whether the tenors could handle the powerful dramatic performance it requires. Manrico's mother Azucena is about to be burned at the stake. When Manrico finds out about this, he is immediately angry and gathers all his soldiers, the aria is intended to sound more like a cry of rage than a song. This aria 'solo' goes all the way up to high C, but it's perhaps the most immortal high C in opera, and the tenor has to hit the nail on the head, as if ringing a bell. The length of time he can stand it and the rich timbre of his voice is what any two-bit opera lover looks forward to in about 2 1/2 hours. The aria must not sound taut or thin. The tenor should sound like it has muscle left over when you're done.


My friends, listen to the story.

Postilion von Longjumeau

Nicolai Gedda – Longjumeaus Postilón – Adam

Adolphe Adam did not write this aria for any particular star, but simply made the role one of the pre-eminent tenor roles in opera. This aria is in verse form, not the free-form arias often used in operas. The postillion or coachman of Lonjumeau sings to the other guests of an inn the story of a coachman who became king of a tropical island. This aria ends in a high D, a full step above high C, and even top tenors like Pavarotti, Plácido Domingo and even Caruso had great difficulty getting it right. They can play the note, but they can't stay on it as long as they like. Nicolai Gedda is a legend.


You believed, poor thing

the puritans

Bellini – Die Puritaner – Credesis misera (Juan Diego Flórez) 2009

(Video) TOP 10 Contestants Who RETURNED On Got talent, X Factor And Idol!

Vincenzo Bellini wrote the role of Arturo in this opera for a friend, Giovanni Rubini, the Enrico Caruso of his day. It requires the gratifying extreme of F over C alto, and almost every tenor on record, even Luciano Pavarotti, has had to cheat using his falsetto to achieve this. Rubini was able to hit him with all his voice in his chest, once hitting him with such force that he broke his collarbone. Not to mention it almost happens in the last scene, after about two and a half hours of singing.


Ha, how I want to be successful

The Serrallo kidnapping

Ezio Pinza sings Osmin's aria in Italian

Mozart wrote this by far the lowest and incredibly galloping aria for a bass in any opera, difficult as it is for a friend of his, Ludwig Fischer, who had an extremely expansive low bass range. The aria occurs at the beginning of Act 3 when Osmin captures Belmonte and Pedrillo to torture them and their lovers to death. It drops to a low D, two octaves below middle C. The next note after you've held that low D for several bars is an octave jump.

The opera is so popular that it has been translated into Italian and Hungarian, among others, and the most incredible performance of the aria on disc belongs to the only Ezio Pinza in Italian, who never learned to read music but memorized his roles by ear.


the revenge of hell

The Magic Flute

Diana Damrau as Queen of the Night II

(Video) TOP 5 Auditions on America's Got Talent 2022! | Amazing Auditions

Possibly the most famous of all operatic arias, both for Mozart's divine music and for its incredible appetite for difficulty: it will engulf the coloratura soprano whole if your practice or concentration lapses for a moment. Popularly called "the aria of the Queen of the Night," but since the character has more than one aria, it's better to label her with the first few words.

To get revenge on Sarastro, the queen gives her daughter Pamina a knife and makes her swear to kill Sarastro if she refuses to be cursed by her mother. Does the aria sound vengeful or malicious? Maybe a little bit. Mozart need not have had much pent-up malice in him. The notoriously difficult passages sound full of joy, happiness, not malice, not hate, not even anger. But this listener's amateurish analysis of the aria does not detract from its difficulty and effect. The performance in the clip above is absolutely incredible, one of the best ever recorded, the vocals start at around 2:10.


the sweet sound

Lucia von Lammermoor

Maria Callas -Donizetti-Lucia di Lammermoor -El dulce sonido

By Gaetano Donizetti. Lucia's coloratura soprano role essentially has her duel with a flute in the orchestra, in a scene towards the end of the opera (after much coloratura singing) in which she has gone insane and stabs her new husband Arturo to death. Bucklaw. Donizetti composed this aria to accompany a specially needed glass harmonica, but unfortunately a flute is often used. It is written in F major and ends with a high F over a high C.

When Lucia finishes, her brother Enrico steps in and Lucia dies, apparently from grief. After this superhuman feat of bel canto singing, the audience wonders if Lucia fell to her death from a stroke from the exertion.


As a baritone who works professionally as an opera singer, I (Jamie Frater) wanted to add something to this list. We rarely hear great baritone arias, which is a shame as there are many that are truly impressive and therefore often don't make it onto opera-related lists. Luckily, Flamehorse has a broad enough knowledge of opera that it doesn't fit on this list. But what is probably the most difficult aria for a baritone does not sound like that at all. The aria I am referring to is O Du Mein Holder Abendstern (Song to the Evening Star) from Wagner's Tannhäuser. The aria is difficult on many levels; the first is that it is by Wagner; All of Wagner's music is difficult because of its long lines, which require a mastery of legato, one of the most difficult operatic skills to develop. This aria then adds a slowly spooky line in a very awkward part of the baritone range. It goes and goes. In my professional career I have sung many difficult Verdi arias, but I have never reached the level to master a Wagner aria. Listen to it to the end because it is very beautiful.

more great lists

  • The 10 most terrible poisons
  • Top 10 top-level domains that caused controversy
  • Top 10 movies of the best genres
  • The 10 worst movies of the best genres
  • 10 Ridiculously Exaggerated Deaths In Horror Movies
  • The 10 Weirdest Beliefs of Top Celebrities
  • Top 10 Amazing Feats and Facts About Glass
  • The 10 most interesting things about the people of Pompeii
  • The 10 Weirdest Costumed Street Performers and Characters

fact confirmed byAlex Hanton


(Video) Top 10 FUNNIEST Auditions on America's Got Talent Will Make You Laugh Hysterically! 🤣


1. Top 20 Hardest Broadway Songs to Sing
2. Top 20 Funniest Friends Bloopers
3. UNEXPECTED VOICES in the Blind Auditions of The Voice | Top 10
(Best of The Voice)
4. The 29th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards
5. Sesame Street: Best of Elmo and Abby | 2 Hour Compilation!
(Sesame Street)
6. The Greatest Story Ever Told Part II


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Tish Haag

Last Updated: 03/11/2023

Views: 6278

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (67 voted)

Reviews: 82% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Tish Haag

Birthday: 1999-11-18

Address: 30256 Tara Expressway, Kutchburgh, VT 92892-0078

Phone: +4215847628708

Job: Internal Consulting Engineer

Hobby: Roller skating, Roller skating, Kayaking, Flying, Graffiti, Ghost hunting, scrapbook

Introduction: My name is Tish Haag, I am a excited, delightful, curious, beautiful, agreeable, enchanting, fancy person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.