10 Albums To Listen To During the Holidays & Christmas From The World’s Best Opera SingersBy David Salazar
It’s holiday season and that calls for holiday music.
But why settle for listening to your favorite tunes with any old voices when you can have some of finest in history to take you through the merry times. Here is a look at some of the best holiday albums from the world’s greatest opera singers.
The Three Tenors – Christmas
Undeniably the most popular ensemble in opera history, this is a great starting point as Jose Carreras, Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti take us through major classics including “Silent Night,” “Ave Maria,” “White Christmas,” “Amazing Grace” and “Winter Wonderland.” The album also features songs in different languages and from different cultures, giving it a nice blend of the tried and true with rarer gems.
Placido Domingo – My Christmas
Of course some people would rather just listen to their favorite of the three tenors instead of the three and two of the three offer up their own such project. In the case of Domingo, his album is filled with a few Christmas favorites and then a bunch of other pieces that he performs with other artists including Idina Menzel, The Piano Guys and his son among others. This one is more for those that want a little more crossover vibe.
Luciano Pavarotti – O Holy Night
Pavarotti’s effort is far more spiritually included with two different “Ave Maria’s,” Franck’s “Panis Angelicus,” the “Ingemisco” from Verdi’s Requiem and other selections from Gluck, Rossini, Bizet, Berlioz and Schubert among others. This album is more for those in an introspective mood for the holidays.
Andrea Bocelli – My Christmas
Ever popular, Bocelli’s album mixes some popular Christmas songs with other choices that should please his biggest fans. He has some fun including The Muppets in Jingle Bells and is joined with Katherine Jenkins in “I Believe.”
Renee Fleming – Christmas in New York
The great American soprano presents numerous Christmas classics in unique arrangements ranging from pop to jazz to broadway by such artists as Chris Botti, Kurt Elling, Wynton Marsalis, Brad Mehldau and Gregory Porter among others.
Angela Gheorghiu – Guardian Angels
The Romania soprano’s international album is only available for download bia Amazon and iTunes but it features Christmas favorites including “White Christmas,” “Silent Night” and “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas.” If you are looking for a soprano voice to fill your holidays but you want a more traditional feel, this is the album for you.
Vittorio Grigolo – Ave Maria
Taking a queue from Pavarotti’s “O Holy Night” album, Grigolo’s album features mainly sacred pieces, many of which are perfect for the holiday.
Bryn Terfel – Carols and Christmas Songs
This is a thorough two-disc set featuring Christmas music from around the world. Terfel is the centerpiece, but features several international artists including tenor Rolando Villazon. Listeners will hear refreshing versions of major classics while hearing other festive songs from other countries around the world. There is also a memorable Bing Crosby duet of “White Christmas”, using the iconic singer’s original recording.
Fritz Wunderlich – The Christmas Album
Released in 2015, this album is simply a gem by one of the greatest singers of all time. This album is filled with Christmas Carols and an iconic recording of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio that features such legends as Gundula Jonnowitz and Christa Ludwig under the baton of Karl Richter.
Renata Tebaldi – Christmas Festival
The great Italian soprano known as having a “vocce d’un angelo” lives up to that very plaudit with some glorious and rich singing of an album filled with spiritual and religious pieces.
Bonus Album – Christmas With Mario Lanza
The great American tenor lends his glorious voice to some of the classics of the holiday repertoire like few others could.