Entertainment Music Top 10 Operas The World's Most Performed Operas in the 2012-13 Season Share PINTEREST Email Print Music Classical Music Operas Basics Lyrics Rock Music Pop Music Alternative Music Country Music Folk Music Rap & Hip Hop Rhythm & Blues World Music Punk Music Heavy Metal Jazz Latin Music Oldies Learn More By Aaron Green Music Expert B.A., Classical Music and Opera, Westminster Choir College of Rider University Aaron M. Green is an expert on classical music and music history, with more than 10 years of both solo and ensemble performance experience. our editorial process Aaron Green Updated April 12, 2017 According to the statistics compiled by Operabase, a company to which over 700 opera houses report their performances, the top 10 operas performed around the world during the 2012/13 season were written by only five composers. Can you guess which ones? Verdi (2), Bizet (1), Puccini (3), Mozart (3), and Rossini (1). A big surprise, I know! Take a look at the world's top 10 operas below. 01 of 10 La traviata Emma Matthews performs as 'Violetta Valery' during a dress rehearsal for La Traviata on March 22, 2012 in Sydney, Australia. Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Composer: Giuseppe VerdiFamous Aria: Sempre LiberaVerdi's La traviata was first performed on March 6, 1853, in Venice's La Fenice opera house. Though the opera was a definite success, throughout its premiere, members of the audience objected quite vocally to the soprano cast as Violetta. Apparently, they were not happy that such an "old" singer (she was 38), and overweight at that, was cast as the young woman dying from consumption. 02 of 10 Carmen Composer: Georges BizetFamous Aria: HabaneraThis provocative opera has been entrancing audiences from all over the globe since its premiere in Paris' Opéra-Comique on March 3, 1875. Its iconic aria, listed above, has been featured in countless films, television programs, commercials, and more, including Sesame Street's famous stop-motion animation of a singing orange. 03 of 10 La bohème Composer: Giacomo PucciniFamous Aria: Mi chiamano MimiPuccini's La Boheme is chock full of great music. There are other fantastic arias other than "Mi chiamano Mimi" including "Che gelida manina", an aria made increasingly more popular by Luciano Pavarotti and his plethora of recordings. La Boheme's story is centered on the lives of two Bohemian men and their girlfriends living in 1830s Paris. And like many operas, it's a story of love, jealousy, confusion, love again, and death. 04 of 10 Die Zauberflöte Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus MozartFamous Aria: Der Hölle RacheMozart's Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) was first performed at the Freihaus-Theater auf der Wieden in Vienna on September 30, 1791. Mozart, himself, conducted the orchestra. There weren't many reviews of the first performances, but just a little over a year later, the opera had been performed 100 times to crowds of great numbers. Mozart's opera is actually one of my favorites, and even more so after finding this amazing performance of The Queen of the Night's famous aria "Der Hölle Rache" by Diana Damrau. 05 of 10 Tosca Composer: Giacomo PucciniFamous Aria: Vissi d'ArteIn late 2001, The Metropolitan Opera's production of Puccini's Tosca was the first opera I had ever seen. I was just a teenager from a small town in Missouri having just moved to the east coast to attend music school. Let me just say, it was incredible. Tosca is a dramatic opera that when performed just right can make you shed a few tears. Its famous aria "Vissi d'Arte" is the most well-known song from the opera, made largely popular by the great soprano, Maria Callas. 06 of 10 Madama Butterfly Composer: Giacomo PucciniFamous Aria: Un bel di, vedremoPuccini's Madama Butterfly premiered at Milan's famed theatre, La Scala, on February 17, 1904. Though it began as two acts, through a series of five revisions, the opera that is performed today is in three acts. Given that there was hardly any rehearsal time at the premier performance, unsurprisingly, Madama Butterfly was poorly received. Thankfully, Puccini didn't give up on the opera and continued to revise it. After splitting the second act into two, as well as having more rehearsal time under their belts, the revised versions were hugely successful - as you can see, it takes the number 6 spot on this list. 07 of 10 Il barbiere di Siviglia Composer: Gioachino RossiniFamous Aria: Un bel di, vedremoDespite the first performance of Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia on February 20, 1816, at London's Kings Theatre falling flat on its face, thanks to an audience loyal to rival composer, Giovanni Paisiello, Rossini's opera has become one of the world's most famous comic operas. It's farcical story full of disguises and deceptions tells the story of two men wanting to marry the same woman. 08 of 10 Le nozze di Figaro Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus MozartFamous Aria: Largo al factotumSince both works were inspired by plays written by Pierre Beaumarchais, it's not shocking to see Mozart's opera, Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) following Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia on this list. Mozart's opera, though written thirty years prior to Rossini's, is actually a continuation of events taking place after Rossini's opera. 09 of 10 Rigoletto Composer: Giuseppe VerdiFamous Aria: La donna e mobileVerdi's Rigoletto is considered by many opera aficionados to be among his best operas. Of the twenty-eight operas Verdi composed, he once said in a letter that this one was revolutionary. During its creation, the opera went through tough censorship as some critics considered its content offensive to the public. Thankfully, Verdi proceeded to premier the opera anyway and it was a huge success. 10 of 10 Don Giovanni Composer: Wolfgang Amadeus MozartFamous Aria: La ci darem la manoMozart's Don Giovanni premiered in Prague's Teatro di Praga on October 29, 1787. The opera is based on various Don Juan legends which makes for some exciting content. Throughout the opera, Mozart artfully mixes both comedic and dramatic scenes which makes this opera a well-rounded form of entertainment.