Opera is one of the oldest forms of musical entertainment, actually dating back to the 1500’s. And although many modern music fans dismiss opera as antiquated and theatrical, opera lovers understand the timeless appeal of its musical majesty.

If one digs a little deeper while examining the merits of opera, it’s clear there are many commonalities between our daily lives and this musical genre. Opera, after all, is a story. A story of two people in love, a romance gone bad, or maybe a happy ending that warms the heart. Simply put, opera is a reflection of daily life, and something that resonates within all of us. 

So just for fun, let’s look at a list of the Top 10 operas of all time, and a brief plot summary of each. See if you agree! In no particular order, here’s one man’s list:

1. The Marriage of Figaro: A Mozart composition, The Marriage of Figaro is a follow up of sorts to another opera on this list, The Barber of Seville. The story recounts one day’s worth of events in a Spanish castle, and the tangled love story between a countess, count, and two young subjects who plan to be wed.

2. Tristan and Isolde: Composed by Richard Strauss, telling the tale of a Cornish prince and an Irish princess who share a timeless passion and ultimately, the same fate.

3. Carmen: One of the world’s most performed operas, by French composer Bizet. This story tells the compelling tale of a soldier who falls in love with Carmen, a beautiful factory worker.

4. Rigoletto: The story of a court jester’s complicated efforts to save his daughter from the evils of aristocracy, composed by the famous Italian master, Verdi.

5. Aida: Also by Verdi, a particularly moving story of an ambitious military officer who yearns for Aida, the servant of an Egyptian princess.

6. La Traviata: Perhaps Verdi’s most well known work, the title translated means “the woman who strayed”. Two lovers ultimately reunite, but fate takes a hand.

7. Don Giovanni: Another Mozart composition, Don Giovanni is the story of an unrepentant nobleman who dodges numerous attempts by his enemies to extract revenge.

8. Barber of Seville: Probably the most popular comic opera of all time, by Italian composer Rossini. The protagonist and local barber, Figaro, helps a local aristocrat win a lady’s hand.

9. Tosca: Composed by Puccini, this is the story of a jealous beauty who swears revenge, but is met with dramatic consequences.

10. Madame Butterfly: Also by Puccini, Madame Butterfly is arguably the best known opera of all time. It tells the tale of a United States Navy lieutenant and his Japanese geisha wife.


Did you find your favorite Opera in the list, if yes, We’re sure we did a pretty good job writing this article, if you didn’t, don’t just stare at your laptop in annoyance, tell us in the comments below which amazing Opera we missed out and maybe we’ll update the list later. Check out some more of ClinTops Top 10 Lists.