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It's musical theatre law. The frequently [[{{Bishonen}} good-looking]], almost always lovestruck, and without a doubt naive young man central to the story must sing with lyrical, boyish grace. In other words: he's a tenor. In a large portion of opera (particularly Verdi and Puccini), TheProtagonist is a tenor no matter what his age or personality.

Contrast BadassBaritone.
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[[folder:Straight Examples]]
* Raoul from ''Theatre/ThePhantomOfTheOpera''. Notable for being hated by most of the fans. Ironically The Phantom himself is usually a tenor.
* Marius Pontmercy in ''Theatre/LesMiserables'' is rather tricky to place. He is often played by tenors, but has a slightly lower tessitura. However, he does fit the stereotype perfectly as the lovestruck and boyish innocent.
* Any prince worthy of getting the girl and lines of song in Disney films is a tenor, but the Prince in ''Film/SnowWhite'' might be the tenorest of the tenors: he has only a few lines altogether, but dang if some of those aren't used to establish his bright and youthful timbre to complete a duet with Snow White's own [[TheIngenue Ingenue soprano]]. To Opera Savvy viewers [[DarkerAndEdgier the more gruesome accusations about his motives and character]] simply don't make any sense.
%%* Jonathan Harker in any and all ''Theatre/{{Dracula}}'' musicals. Again, see the source material.
%%* Charles Darnay in a ''ATaleOfTwoCities'' musical.
%%* Jack in ''IntoTheWoods''
%%* Buddy Foster in ''SideShow''.
* Quasimodo in ''Theatre/TheHunchbackOfNotreDame'' stage version and the Movie. While his form is ugly his voice is beautiful; while he looks like a monster his personality is closer to an angel. It carries into the Disney film as well.
%%* The title character in ''{{Pippin}}''.
%%* Link in ''{{Hairspray}}''.
%%* Henrik of Sondheim's ''ALittleNightMusic'',
%%^* Frankie Epps from ''{{Parade}}''. Of course, most of the roles Jason Robert Brown writes are tenors, regardless of type.
* Tony in ''Theatre/WestSideStory''. He is, after all, based on Theatre/{{Romeo|AndJuliet}}, who by stereotype is incapable of being anything but a tenor.
%%* John Savage in the film version of ''{{Hair}}''.
%%* Bobby Strong in ''{{Urinetown}}''.
%%* Melchior Gabor in ''SpringAwakening''.
%%* While usually a bit older than the average ingenue, Leo Bloom in ''Film/TheProducers'' fits.
%%* Mickey Johnstone ''and'' Eddie Lyons in ''BloodBrothers''.
%%* Creator/GilbertAndSullivan have quite a few straight examples such as Nanki-Poo and Frederic from ''Theatre/TheMikado'' and ''Theatre/ThePiratesOfPenzance'', respectively.
%%* Alfred in ''Theatre/TanzDerVampire''.
%%* Charlie in ''Theatre/{{Brigadoon}}''. Tommy, being older, is a baritone.
%%* Hero in ''AFunnyThingHappenedOnTheWayToTheForum''. Played for laughs, too.
%%* Christian from ''MoulinRouge'' has both the range and the standard personality.
* Lensky from Eugene Onegin. Innocent, naive, and poet.
%%* Rodolfo from ''Theatre/LaBoheme''.
%%* Des Grieux form ''ManonLescaut''.
%%* Tamino, Belmonte, Ferrando and Ottavio - all those gorgeous-singing Mozart tenors.%%
%%* The tenor roles in Donizetti's three opere buffe: Nemorino in L'elisir d'amore, Tonio in La fille du régiment and Ernesto in Don Pasquale.
* Parsifal, Stolzing, and Siegfried - the more "boyish" [[Creator/RichardWagner Wagner]] tenors. There's a point in one of the operas where Siegfried has to impersonate another character, a baritone. It's notorious difficult to pull off on stage. Some recordings of the opera get around it by having Siegfried sing the part in his normal voice and then editing it into a baritone. It's also been done on stage by having the actual baritone sing and act the part, then leave stage and "re-enter" as tenor Siegfried, which works since he's also supposed to be in magical disguise.
%%* Rudolf in ''{{Elisabeth}}''.
%%* The title character in Leonard Bernstein's ''Candide''.
* Macheath in ''Theatre/TheThreepennyOpera'' is sometimes played like this ironically, and many performances have him singing the "Epitaph" in a sincere tenor, just to accentuate what a two-faced bastard he is.
* Viceroy Bánk the eponymous hero of Erkel's opera. Although [[BadassBeard he's far from being boyish]].
%%* Discussed in LennyBruce's bit "All Tenors Sound the Same".
* ''BehindTheCandelabra'': While we don't hear him sing, Scott Thorson's younger and hotter romantic rival for in-all-but-name husband {{Liberace}} is summed up by Scott:
--->There you are, you cock-sucking tenor shit!
* In the Handel oratorio ''Semele'', the male lead is the god Jupiter (aka Zeus)--chief of the Roman pantheon, womanizer extraordinaire, and of course the god of ''thunder''. But since he's portrayed as a lover in this story, he's a tenor.
* Literature/{{Candide}} in Leonard Bernstein's operetta adaption.
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[[folder: Exceptions]]

* The particularly boyish Arpad in ''SheLovesMe'' is a lyric baritone.
* In Bock and Harnick's, ''Theatre/FiddlerOnTheRoof'', Perchik--though only arguably classified as an ingenue--is also a lyric baritone.
* Jean-Michel of Jerry Herman's ''LaCageAuxFolles'' wavers somewhere between baritone and tenor.
* Freddy in ''MyFairLady'' also wavers somewhere between baritone and tenor.
* Film example: In Disney's ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'', protagonist Aladdin is a baritone. {{Justified|Trope}} since his role doesn't follow the straitlaced archetype in the first place, instead he's an affable rogue. Yet still, he is the heroic young male lead and he does get the girl. Interestingly enough, Brad Kane, who provided the singing voice for Aladdin, also played Arpad in the 1992 revival of ''She Loves Me''.
* Creator/GilbertAndSullivan with Grosvenor and Strephon in ''Theatre/{{Patience}}'' and ''Theatre/{{Iolanthe}}'', both being lyric baritones (though Strephon originally played by bass Richard Temple). Somewhat averted in ''Theatre/{{Ruddigore}}'': Dick Dauntless doesn't turn into an evil baronet and he has the romantic-style music, but he's also, well, a dick, and doesn't get the girl. Also ''lampshaded like hell'' in the Act II opener of ''Theatre/UtopiaLimited'', with Captain Fitzbattleaxe's song about how you can't sing in those high ranges if you're actually overcome with emotion instead of just acting.
* {{Porgy|AndBess}}, an ingenue in love if not in age, is a bass-baritone; the bad guy Sportin' Life is a tenor.
* Gabe Goodman in NextToNormal is a tenor, but is actually [[spoiler: a villainous ghost-child]].
* Jean Valjean, the lead in ''Theatre/LesMiserables'', is a dramatic tenor, but he's an ex-convict rather than an ingenue, and is traditionally played by a middle-aged man.
* Verdi's opera ''{{Rigoletto}}'' subverts the trope. The Duke is a good-looking tenor that all the girls fall for, but he's the opposite of an innocent - he's a ManipulativeBastard who doesn't care what happens to the women he seduces and abandons.
** Pinkerton in ''Theatre/MadameButterfly'' is a heartless bastard, very similar to the Duke.
** And in Janacek's Jenufa, we have two tenors: Steva is a jerk who knocks up poor heroine and then leaves her, Laca is a neurotic who cuts her face in a fit of jealousy (that's why Steva leaves her, WhatMeasureIsANonCute).
* Inverted with ''PeterGrimes'' - the titular character is the furthest thing from an ingenue. Britten did this all the time. Living with a tenor who was definitely not an ingenue might have something to do with it.
*** Aschenbach from ''DeathInVenice'' is an aging writer with a fondness for {{Bishonen}}.
*** The Madwoman in ''CurlewRiver'' is a drag role.
*** Captain Vere from ''Theatre/BillyBudd'' is a father figure in the flashback part and very old (or possibly even undead) in the Prologue/Epilogue. Further inverted in that the handsome (and, arguably, ingenue) title character is a baritone.
*** Another baritone is the titular young idealistic hero in ''OwenWingrave''
%%*** Played straight in ''AlbertHerring,'' and his adaptation of ''Theatre/AMidsummerNightsDream.''
* CB of ''StarlightExpress'', who while starting out like a stereotypicial Tenor Boy, is soon revealed to be a giddy and sociopathic AxCrazy SerialKiller.
* ''WebVideo/DoctorHorriblesSingAlongBlog'': Dr. Horrible is a tenor-voiced {{adorkable}}, naive, (mostly) innocent, hopelessly romantic ShrinkingViolet... who is a WellIntentionedExtremist VillainProtagonist.
* In the MusicalEpisode of ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold'', the Music Meister (voiced by Creator/NeilPatrickHarris) is pretty much a LargeHam tenor who uses his CompellingVoice to control people into doing big (and lethal) music numbers while they steal or fight heroes for him.
%%* In the opera ''Theatre/{{Salome}}'', Jokanaan is a baritone, while Herod the king is a tenor. Played straight with Narraboth.

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