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#148: 23 Opera Arias for Contralto

23 Opera Arias for Contralto - Rebecca Reid Vocal Studio

The contralto, often referred to as the lowest female voice type, possesses a vocal range that sits between the mezzo-soprano and the countertenor. Its defining characteristic lies in its dark, velvety timbre, imbued with warmth and power. Contraltos are endowed with a rare ability to delve into the lower registers, producing tones that reverberate with an earthy richness.

What sets the contralto apart from other vocal types? While mezzo-sopranos may venture into lower registers and sopranos soar to dazzling heights, contraltos dwell comfortably in the lower depths, where their voices bloom with unparalleled richness and resonance. Their timbre often carries a weighty, dramatic quality, capable of conveying profound emotions with haunting intensity.

For contraltos, selecting the appropriate repertoire is akin to finding the perfect canvas for an artist's masterpiece. The wrong choice can obscure the beauty of their voice, while the right selection can unleash its full potential. Contraltos excel in music that showcases their unique vocal coloratura, embracing pieces that delve into the depths of human experience with authenticity and depth.

When choosing repertoire for contraltos, several factors come into play. Range, tessitura, and vocal agility must be considered to ensure that the chosen pieces complement the natural qualities of the voice.

To help you get started, here are 23 opera arias for contralto:


Opera Arias for Contralto

  1. Ahimè! Dove trascorsi? / Che farò senza Euridice – Orfeo ed Euridice (Gluck)

  2. Va, l’error mio palesa – Mitridate (Mozart)

  3. Ah giacché son tradito / Son reo – Mitridate (Mozart)

  4. Perché tacer degg’io? / Cara, lontano ancora – Ascanio in Alba (Mozart)

  5. Ah ! mon fils – Le prophète (Meyerbeer)

  6. Ah! quel giorno ognor rammento – Semiramide (Rossini)

  7. In sì barbara sciagura – Semiramide (Rossini)

  8. Cruda sorte! – L’italiana in Algeri (Rossini)

  9. Mura felici / Oh quante lagrime – La donna del lago (Rossini)

  10. Ballade vom Jäger Herne – Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor (Nicolai)

  11. Weiche, Wotan, weiche! – Das Rheingold (Wagner)

  12. Höre mit Sinn - – Götterdämmerung (Wagner)

  13. Re dell’abisso affrettati – Un ballo in maschera (Verdi)

  14. Voce di donna – La Gioconda (Ponchielli)

  15. Samson, recherchant ma présence – Samson et Dalila (Saint-Saëns)

  16. Mon cœur s’ouvre à ta voix – Samson et Dalila (Saint-Saëns)

  17. Gadan’e – Chovanščina (Mussorgskij)

  18. Ach, Tanja, Tanja! – Evgenij Onegin (Tschaikowsky)

  19. Johannes schläft – Der Evangelimann (Kienzl)

  20. Voici ce qu’il écrit à son frère Pelléas – Pelléas et Mélisande (Debussy)

  21. Daphne! Wir warten dein – Daphne (Strauss)

  22. As I was saying – The Rake’s Progress (Strawinsky)

  23. Was für ein Lärm – Bernarda Albas Haus (Reimann)


I hope this list of 23 opera arias for contralto sparks some inspiration.

By understanding the unique qualities of the contralto voice and selecting repertoire that showcases its richness, singers can unlock the full potential of this rare and remarkable vocal type.

Found this blog post helpful? Give it a like, share it with your friends, and leave a comment below to let me know how it benefited you!

* Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog post is for general informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional or medical advice. Singers and professional voice users should always consult with qualified professionals, such as singing teachers or medical practitioners before making any decisions or taking any actions related to their vocal health and wellbeing.


Further Reading

If you enjoyed reading this post, here are some other blog posts you might find interesting:

Discover 23 opera arias perfect for contraltos, showcasing their dark timbre and unique coloratura. Elevate your performance with this curated selection of arias.

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