Classical music and studying go hand in hand. When you really need to focus, those orchestral tunes make for the perfect background noise. We have rounded up some of the world’s most famous opera singers to add to your study playlist.
Maria Callas was one of the most famous opera singers in the 1950s and still remains popular today. Her talent was so widely regarded that she acquired the nickname, ‘La Divina’ or ‘The Divine One’ and had an opera project created in her honour titled the ‘7 Deaths of Maria Callas’, which took a look back at all her onstage deaths.
She could adapt her ‘bel canto’ style of singing to any opera genre, providing a wide range of opera songs to add to your playlist. Some of her most popular performances were in Puccini’s Madam Butterfly and Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde, as well as her rendition of ‘Costa Diva’ from Bellini’s Norma.
Andrea Bocelli is one of the world’ most famous Italian opera singers. He has wowed audiences with both his operatic performances and chart topping singles including ‘Time to Say Goodbye’ and duets with the likes of Celine Dion and Ed Sheeran.
Following his operatic debut as Rodolpho in La boheme, he released an album titled ‘Aria: The Opera Album’. You could pick any song from this masterpiece to add to your playlist, but we recommend starting with where it all began with his performance of “Che gelida manina”, from Puccini’s La bohème.
Dame Nellie Melba
Dame Nellie Melba was an Australian opera singer who rose to fame in the early 20th century. After studying music in Australia she moved to Europe where she performed in multiple languages including Italian and French, before making a name for herself as a leading soprano in London Covent Garden. Just take a listen to her beautiful voice in Verdi’s Rigoletto.
Sir Bryn Terfel
Sir Bryn Terfel is a Welsh baritone who has had many leading roles across his incredible career, including the title role in ENO’s The Marriage of Figaro in 1991. However, his contributions to opera go way beyond the stage with his foundation helping to support the future voices of opera. We recommend adding a few of his performances to your playlist, starting with the ‘Toreador Song’ from Bizet’s Carmen.
Even if you are new to opera you would have heard of Pavarotti. His performance of Puccini’s ‘Nessun Dorma’ from the opera Turandot is famous across the world. It has been featured in countless adverts, and has inspired future generations of opera singers like Paul Potts on Britain’s Got Talent.
You may be surprised about how many opera songs are instantly recogniseable. Opera has influenced popular culture in many different ways, making the plot of operas and the music more familiar than one might think. Here are just a few of the best operas for beginners.
With our new Under 35’s Discounted Opera Tickets, seeing a show is more accessible than ever. Those under 35 have access to exclusive discounts and under 21’s go completely free. So why not see some of your favourite opera songs performed live at the London Coliseum? Sign up here for your discounted tickets here.