The 20 best operas

Verdi, Mozart and Puccini are names that many know and this demonstrates the importance of music and the cultural impact of the works composed by these men. Throughout history there have been various operas; however, there are some that really stand out from all the rest. These deserve to be called the best.

Opera is an ideal genre for those who love music so much that they want it to tell a long story. Although there is no classical guitar or drums in its composition, it is a genre that has various instruments that work together to convey different emotions.

This is one of the oldest genres, since it originated in the fourteenth century; however, over time, various types of opera have been developed so that everyone can find their ideal piece of music.

Among all these types, there are specific great musical works that could contain the best opera arias that have ever existed. Among them are many operas by Verdi, the best works of Mozart and also several operas by Puccini, which have endured over time.

Various famous opera singers such as Andrea Bocelli, Jonas Kauffman, Alfredo Kraus and the three tenors: Plácido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti and José Carreras, have brought to life the operas that you will find below. Definitely considered as the best that have ever existed.


Giuseppe Verdi was an Italian opera composer who, between the transitional era of bel canto and verismo, managed to take over, so to speak, the Italian music scene.

His music is characterized by a vigorous style and definitely all his creations are among the best operas in history.

1) Rigoletto, 1851:

Based on “Le Roi s’amuse” by Victor Hugo, it is a work divided into 3 acts and considered the classic opera par excellence. It has a complex plot with love, passion and drama, accompanied by an excellent melody, in which the famous song “La donna e’ mobile” is found.

2) La Traviata, 1853:

Verdi only needed two years to publicize his second most famous work, “La Traviata”, based on the work of Alexandre Dumas: “The Lady of the Camellias”. This opera is still widely played today and its most prominent song is probably “Brindisi”.

3) Don Carlo, 1867:

Taking risks with other subgenres, Verdi not only managed to create one of the most famous operas, but also a work considered the best French opera that has ever existed. This consists of 5 acts and is based on the drama “Dom Karlos, Infant von Spanien”

4) Othello, 1887:

Composition divided into 4 acts based on Shakespeare’s play of the same name. This was Verdi’s first piece of music after his retirement.

5) Il trovatore, 1852:

Inspired by the play “El trovador” by the Andalusian Antonio García Gutiérrez, this work by Verdi culminates the composer’s popular operatic trilogy.

6) Nabucco, 1841:

This Verdi composition is a 4-part lyrical tragedy based on the 1836 play: Nebuchadnezzar.

7) Aida, 1872:

To retire big, before returning with Otello, on December 24, 1872, Verdi premiered this opera music, inspired by “Camille du Locle”.


If you are a fan of old school suspense movies, surely you have heard fragments of the compositions of the great Giacomo Puccini, characterized by his tonal details when composing. He is considered Verdi’s direct successor, due to his ability to use various operatic techniques.

8) Turandot, 1926:

Opera based on the play Turandotte, from 1762, and divided into 3 acts. Here is the composition “Nessun dorma”, considered one of the most famous opera songs.

9) Tosca, 1900:

This is probably Puccini’s most representative work, as it is an intense 3-act composition full of love, violence, intrigue and death. It is part of Puccini’s most famous trilogy, complete with:

10) Bohemia, 1896

11) Madam Butterfly, 1904

The latter were not very well received by the public at their premiere, however, it only took a little time for them to achieve the fame they deserve and continue to be so important until now.


Donizetti was an artist who did not settle for a single musical genre. Also, thanks to the 75 operas composed of him, his lyrical opera music is the best known of his.

12) Don Pasquale, 1843:

This is not only one of the best operas in history, but is also considered one of the last great Italian operas. Set in Rome, this is a three-act buffa opera.

13) The Daughter of the Regiment, 1840:

With just two acts, this comic opera managed to captivate 19th-century Parisians and has been performed many times over the years, with the voices of greats like Pavarotti, Kraus and Flórez.

14) The elixir of love, 1832:

This two-act opera gave life to the famous aria “Una furtiva lágrima”, one of the most performed songs in the world of opera.

15) Lucia di Lammermoor, 1835:

The 3-act, 7-scene tragic drama is Donizetti’s signature opera, said to have arrived at his creative peak as a composer.


It could be considered a tragic life that Leoncavallo had, as he was a person of limited resources who tried to conquer the world with his music. Although he composed many operas, only the first one achieved great success, but fortunately, it is amazing enough to enter among the best in the world.

16) Pagliacci, 1892:

If a single work of the verista style had to be chosen to represent it, Pagliacci could be the best option. This is one of the most famous and performed operas in the world.


Mozart is probably the most famous and most recognized classical composer in the world. This musician created excellent works of various genres and laid the foundation for other composers to achieve success.

17) The Magic Flute, 1791:

Premiered two months before his death, this two-act opera stands out for being representative of Freemasonry, since the composer belonged to a Lodge. This gave it a mysterious character that many wanted to discover.

18) The Marriage of Figaro, 1785:

Divided into 4 acts, this opera buffa was controversial in its time, however, it is currently considered one of the most important works of Mozart and the world of opera.


These two composers were, in their time, greats of music. However, probably the most representative work of both was this joint opera buffa, which contains the famous aria “Largo al factotum”

19) The Barber of Seville, 1883. 


This German was not only a prolific composer, but also an essayist, poet, conductor, music theorist, and playwright. He really a character to admire.

20) Tristan and Iseult, 1865:

This work, divided into three acts, is excellent; however, his fame really lies in having been the composition that gave life to the “Tristan chord”. This chord established the musical base that the classical genre would take in the 20th century, far from the conventional harmony that they used until now.

If you want to enjoy any of these operas, you better have your best craft beer kit to see the show, because you will be entering a world of complex stories, full of melodies that will guide you through exciting scenes that remain in force. even with the passing of centuries.

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