What Are Some Famous Italian Opera Songs?

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Some famous Italian opera songs include "Nessun dorma," from Puccini's Turandot, "La donna e mobile," from Verdi's Rigoletto, "Ardon gl'incensi," from Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, "Scuoti quela fronda di ciliegio," from Puccini's Madama Butterfly, "Vesta la giubba," from Leoncavallo's Pagliacci, "Che gelida manina," from Puccini's La Bohéme and "Recondita armonia," from Tosca. Italy has a vibrant, world-renowned opera history.

The song in La Bohéme comes early in the opera when Rodolpho touches Mimi's hand as they look for her room key, and he and exclaims that it's cold. In Turandot, the embittered Princess Turandot gives the order that no one in Peking is allowed to sleep until the name of the prince who solved her riddle is divulged. In Rigoletto, "La donna é mobile" is sung by the Duke lamenting the fickleness of women.

In Madama Butterfly, the heroine and her maid sing joyously about the return of Lieutenant Pinkerton as they decorate her home with flowers.

"Ardon gl'incensi" is from Lucia di Lammermoor's famous mad scene. In Pagliacci, Canio's great aria, "Vesta la giubba," expresses his bitterness at having to act like a jolly clown even as his heart is breaking. In Tosca, the painter Mario compares the beauty of Tosca and a woman who has been praying at a shrine dedicated to the Virgin.