Even if opera is filled with a lot of Tear Jerker moments, there are some genuinely sweet moments from various operas, whether it be in the story or in a certain production.
Moments in Operas:
- Many love duets are filled with sweet moments.
- La Bohème has so many sweet moments, despite being a tearjerking opera:
- The whole first meeting scene between Rodolfo and Mimi in Act I, when Mimi comes to Rodolfo's apartment to get a light. Specifically, Mimi's aria "Si mi chiamamo Mimi". The lyrics are so sweet.
- "O soave fanciulla", the duet between Rodolfo and Mimi.
- Mimi's death scene is mainly a Tear Jerker, but there are many heartwarming moments as well. In her final moments, she is surrounded by her good friends and her lover, she receives a muff as a gift to keep her hands warm, and she reassures Rodolfo that she is alright before falling asleep for the last time. While it may be incredibly sad, the fact that Mimi has the company of her dear friends and her lover makes it very touching.
- Tosca: The final duet in Act Three when Tosca and Cavaradossi are singing about escaping from Rome for a happy life together. The music is just so hopeful, and you can practically hear the genuine happiness in Tosca's voice. It's so obvious that she and Cavaradossi are so in love, that it makes the finale all the more of a Tear Jerker.
- La Traviata: "Parigi, o cara, noi lasceremo", which translates to "We will leave Paris, beloved". Violetta is gravely ill and bed-ridden, and Alfredo comes to see her. He promises to take her away from Paris back to their countryside life so that they can be happy again. It's a gentler aria, the music is much more tender, and the emotions are just so genuine and real that it both breaks and warms your heart.
- Othello: "Gia nella notte densa" (full title translates to "now in the dark night, all noise is silenced"), the love duet between Otello and Desdemona is quite beautiful. They don't just sing about how much they love each other, they sing about why they love each other too, which even stays faithful to Shakespeare's play. It's truly a sweet moment in an opera filled with tragedy.
- Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor: Edgardo's aria "Sulla tomba" and his subsequent duet with Lucia. "Sulla tomba" has him remembering how he fell in love with Lucia, despite being from a rival clan. While he'd been visiting his father's grave, he saw Lucia there, and he fell in love with her in spite of their families' rivalry. The love duet, right before Edgardo leaves for France, when he and Lucia exchange rings and make a vow of marriage, is just as sweet.
- Dvorak's Rusalka: The titular water nymph has her famous "Song to the Moon" aria in Act I. The music is so beautiful and ethereal, especially the harp, and she's singing about her love for the Prince who frequents the lake. It's so dreamy and wistful, much like a Disney Princess song, and it's truly gorgeous to listen to and watch in certain productions.
- Really, a good portion of Act I of Rusalka is filled with sweet moments. For example, the father-daughter relationship between Rusalka and Vodnik (the Water Goblin), the wood nymphs singing and playing by the lake, and the Prince meeting and falling in love with the now human Rusalka, who is shy and timid, but just as lovestruck. The music makes the whole act all the more sweeter.
- Verdi's Rigoletto: Played right, Rigoletto's relationship with his daughter Gilda is this; she's the one person he truly loves, and he wants nothing more than to keep her safe. Unfortunately, come Act II, the whole thing tips right into Tear Jerker territory.
Opera Productions & Performances:
- The farewell performance of the famous Australian soprano Dame Joan Sutherland 'La Stupenda' in 1990 at the Sydney Opera House. Her last role was Queen Marguerite de Valois in Meyerbeer's Les Huguenots, and at the very end of the show, she sings one last aria, which is rightfully met with a standing ovation. It's a perfect role to end her long and successful career as an opera singer.
- Russian bass-baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky's return to the stage in May 2017, six months before his death in the same year. Even though he was battling a brain tumour for several years, he made a surprise appearance at the Metropolitan Opera Gala, walked onstage to thunderous applause, and sung an aria from Rigoletto. His performance was met with a standing ovation, and rightfully so.
- Black American soprano Leontyne Price's farewell performance of Aida at the Met Opera in 1985. Keep in mind, she was the first black American to achieve worldwide status as an operatic soprano, and she'd performed a variety of roles beyond just Aida. During her final performance, she received a four-minute standing ovation at some point, and at the very end, she received flowers and confetti in a celebration that lasted 25 minutes. Yet another good role to end a successful career as an operatic soprano.
- At curtain calls on the final night of performances for Tosca — a notoriously melodramatic, extravagantly tragic story in which nearly everyone ends up dead — at the San Francisco Opera, Sept. 5, 2021, Afro-Cuban basso Soloman Howard, who played Angelotti, held up his hand to ask the audience to hold their applause for a minute. He then knelt in front of an astonished Ailyn Pérez, that night's Tosca, and asked her to marry him. She fervently accepted, bringing the whole house down.