Opera top 10 most beautiful best romantic duets

A compilation of the most beautiful romantic opera duets with explanations and great YouTube videos.






from TROVATORE by Giuseppe Verdi

Plot: Azucena and her son Manrico await their death in the dungeon. Enraptured, they recall their lives and prepare for execution.

In this achingly beautiful swan song, Azucena begins with a rapturous “ai nostri monti” in a minor key. Manrico responds with a tender major passage and the ensuing duet fades into comforting heights

Enjoy the nostalgic interpretation of Plàcido Domingo and Fiorenza Cossotto. Domingo’s velvet voice makes you comfortingly forget the pain.


from MADAMA BUTTERFLY by Giacomo Puccini

Plot: Butterfly and Pinkerton have just been married.  Now the two are alone for the first time. Butterfly is dressed up for the wedding night and the two enjoy their moment together in the garden.

An interminable love duet unwinds, the longest that Puccini wrote. He makes the orchestra blossom in the most magnificent colors. The end is the ecstatic duet of two lovers, as we also get to hear from Puccini only in the greatest moments.

Madama Butterfly was Björling’s last complete recording in his career. The 48-year-old was already seriously ill by this time and had a serious breakdown while recording this duet with Victoria de los Angeles. Amazingly, Björling’s voice was in remarkably good condition.

from TRISTAN UND ISOLDE by Richard Wagner

Plot: Isolde’s husband is out hunting and Tristan meets her in the night garden. Together they invoke night and death as symbols of their love.

Richard Wagner did in this scene what he always tried to avoid. Namely, the simultaneous singing of two voices. In the great love scene of the second act, he had no choice but to compose the complete merging of the two lovers.

We listen to an excerpt from Carlos Kleiber’s recording with Rene Kollo and Margaret Price.


from the opera AIDA by Giuseppe Verdi

Plot: As a death sentence, Radames has been locked inside the walls of a pyramid. He hears a sigh and notices Aida, who had crept into the vault. Aida and Ramades experience their farewell to the world together.

When Verdi this scene was aware of its importance. On the one hand, it should form the lyrical conclusion of the opera, but was also Verdi’s artistic swan song because he assumed that the Aida would be his last opera.

He uses primarily muted strings and harps for this grandiose scene, which tenderly accompany the exquisite melody of the singing voices.

Listen to the thrillingly sung ending in the recording by Jussi Björling and Zinka Milanov.


from DER ROSENKAVALIER by Richard Strauss

Action: The Rosenkavalier appears and conveys the Baron’s marriage wish to Sophie. When he hands over the silver-plated rose and Sophie smells the perfumed rose, their eyes meet and they experience love at first sight.

A magnificent love duet unfolds as bliss takes hold of them both. This scene is among the greatest that opera literature has to offer. Strauss makes harps, celesta and first violins sound intoxicating. He is at the height of mastery of tone painting; one can literally feel the feelings of love and smell the fragrance of rose oil.

We hear Octavian sung by Brigitte Fassbaender, which became perhaps her most famous role. Her voice has a rich, velvety-smooth sound. Her partner in this scene is Lucia Popp. Dreamlike how she sings the melting high notes.


from LA BOHÈME by Giacomo Puccini

Plot: Mimi knocks on Marcello’s door. She wants fire for her extinguished candle. When she enters the garret and the two talk about themselves, they fall in love in the magic of the moonlight that shimmers in the attic apartment.

This scene is one of the great love duets of opera literature.

Listen to an excerpt from the recording with Renata Tebaldi and Jussi Björling, More emotional opera can not be.


from HÄNSEL UND GRETEL by Engelbert Humperdinck

Plot: Hansel and Gretel are in the forest. It is dark and they are lost. The two pray together and find sleep embraced on the forest floor.

This famous scene is the beautiful resting point of the opera in the style of a lullaby.

The recording of Abendsegen by Elisabeth Grümmer and Elisabeth Schwarzkopf is undoubtedly one of the greatest recordings in the history of records. Magical poetry and richness of sound of the voices are paired in the most delightful way.


from the opera NORMA by Vincenzo Bellini

Plot: Two priestesses are in love with the same man. Norma is ready to die and gives way to her rival. But Adalgisa declares her renunciation and wants Norma to reconcile with him again.

Mira o Norma is perhaps Bellini’s most beautiful and famous duet. Bellini has the orchestra play a swaying accompaniment in the first part and an intimate melody touches the listener. Then the two priestesses sing the parts with beautiful ornamentation in a rapturous interval of thirds.

We hear Joan Sutherland and Marylin Horne. They form a congenial duet pair with their voices of the highest virtuosity and brilliance.


from LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR by Gaetano Donizetti

Plot: Edgardo and Lucia must keep their love a secret because their families are mortal enemies. Because Edgardo has to go to France for a long time, they solemnly exchange engagement rings.

Donizetti wrote this spectacular duet in unison of voices. They move in octave spacing to emphasize the perfect harmony between the two lovers.

Listen to this passage sung by Amelita Galli-Curci and Tito Schipa, who formed perhaps the most perfect duet pair in the opera’s recording history.


from LE NOZZE DI FIGARO by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


Action: Susanna and the Countess want to teach the Count a lesson. They write him a letter inviting him to a rendez-vous. Namely, “in the pines of the grove, where a gentle evening wind blows.”

“Che soave zeffiretto” is perhaps the most beautiful duet Mozart wrote. He has captured the mood of this gentle evening wind in a wonderful way and the voices of the two women are enchantingly accompanied by oboe and bassoon.

We hear this scene in a perfect recording with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Irmgard Seefried. Seefried’s Susanna had soul like no other and Schwarzkopf was the Countess of the century.


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