Watching Penny Dreaful on Netflix tonight, I heard a beautiful mezzo-soprano aria and discovered it was called “Mon coeur s’ouvre a ta voix” and was from Act 2 of an opera, Samson and a Delilah (Op. 47) by composer Camille Saint-Saëns.
Photos above: Dorian Gray, left, from the series Penny Dreadful and his opulent ballroom, right, where “boundaries” hold no sway…
I was so moved by the decadence of the scene, and the haunting lilt and fall of the aria, I had to learn more about these beautiful things in operas called “arias”…
Here are the Top 50 based on a list I found online.
Turandot, Act 3: “Nessun dorma” (live at Arena di Verona) by Luciano Pavarotti, Orchestra del Teatro Arena di Verona and Armando Gatto
Rinaldo, HWV 7, Act 2: “Lascia ch’io pianga” by Elin Manahan-Thomas, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Harry Christopers
Gianni Schicchi: “O mio babbino caro” by Pilar Lorengar, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and Giuseppe Patanè
La Bohème, Puccini, Act 1: “Che gelida manina” by Mario Del Monaco, Opera Orchestra and Franco Ghione
Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute), Mozart, K. 620, Act 2: “Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen” (Queen of the Night’s Aria) by Luciana Serra, Staatskapelle Dresden and Sir Colin Davis
Madama Butterfly, Puccini, Act 2: Un bel dì vedremo by Sylvia Sass, London Symphony Orchestra and Lamberto Gardelli
Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), K. 492, Act 1: “Non più andrai” by Wladimiro Ganzarolli, BBC Symphony Orchestra and Sir Colin Davis
Turandot, Act 1: “Signore, ascolta” by Montserrat Caballé, London Philharmonic Orchestra and Zubin Mehta
Tosca, Act 3: “E lucevan le stelle” by Franco Corelli, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and Lorin Maazel