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Four of the most popular operas across the world



There’s no experience like the opera. The romance, passion and tragedy of a story being told through song and dance are unrivalled. Opera is played out in almost every major city across the globe yet some productions are more popular or performed more than others. We’ve compiled a list of the most performed operas across the world so, when you decide to buy your opera tickets, you’ll know exactly what you’re getting for your money.

La Traviata

Puccini’s La Traviata is probably the most performed opera on the planet. A romantic tragedy, La Traviata, translated as The Fallen Woman, tells the story of the love between Violetta, a Parisian courtesan and Alfredo Germont, who is a poet and shows Violetta unconditional love for the first time in her life. The pair leave Paris for a life in the country, but Alfredo’s father arrives and tells his son his relationship with Violetta is damaging the family’s reputation, before persuading Violetta to leave him. Later, Alfredo’s father admits the truth to his son but Violetta is now seriously ill and Alfredo races to be with her before it’s too late.


Georges Bizet’s most famous opera, written in 1875, is still playing out across the world today. It tells the story of a gypsy girl Carmen who works in a factory with other girls. As the opera opens, several young men flirt with her, but Carmen rejects them saying “love is a rebellious bird that none can tame.” After being arrested for attacking another woman, Carmen seduces Don Jose to help her escape, with him leaving the army to run away with her. However, growing tired of Don Jose, Carmen becomes attracted to Escamillo, a bullfighter, causing Don Jose to become jealous.

The Magic Flute

Mozart’s opera makes the top five and follows Prince Tamino, who is being chased by a poisonous snake. The prince falls unconscious, and as the snake is about to bite him, it is killed by three women, who are servants of the Queen of the Night. Each of the women finds themselves attracted to the prince, with each trying to be alone with him, before telling the queen of his presence. The prince regains consciousness. A bird catcher claims he killed the snake, which enrages the women who take action on him before Tamino sees the Queen’s daughter and falls in love with her, but, in order to marry her, he must first carry out a dangerous quest for the queen.

La Boheme

La Boheme is Puccini’s most popular opera. Completed in 1895, it has been played at opera houses in many major cities worldwide and tells the story of four struggling bohemians who live together in Paris. Painter Marcello and Rodolfo, who is a poet, are burning pages of Rodolfo’s latest drama to keep warm. Colline, a philosopher, cold and hungry arrives, but Schaunard, the musician, has just got a job and brings wine and food to the group. Marcello, Colline and Schaunard go out, leaving Rodolfo alone, and soon a girl knocks on his door asking for matches to light her candle. The two fall in love, but it soon becomes clear that the girl is sick and Rodolfo is unable to care for her due to being poor. The bohemians try to help but soon discover how harsh life can be.

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