Carmen And Butterfly Are My FavoritesI guess that how I feel about women makes those no surprise. LOL
In the beginning I didn't really care for classical vocal music, I have got to admit. but since I am not one to turn off the radio just because I don't like the current piece I gradually became hooked, on some operas, at least.
Carmen, by Bizet was the first one of which I owned a recording: Marilyn Horne and James McCracken starring and the great Leonard Bernstein conducting The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, recorded back in 1973 and first acquired on vinyl. When I changed over to CDs the same version of this piece was among my very early purchases. This was also the first opera I ever saw live on stage, at Baltimore's Myerhoff. It was great! By the way, an English translation would have Carmen say to Don José, "No way, Jose", a line, (not an exact translation) written back in 1875. [When I Googled Carmen to find its date I stopped off at YouTube to listen to a little bit of music. As bad as the reproduction was, it still brought tears to my eyes. I think I'm going to listen to this again.]
Madama Butterfly is another of my favorites, and a very popular opera world-wide. By Puccini and a bit more modern in setting. This opera was easy to grow to like as so much of the music is familiar. I mean, a recurrent theme comes from the Star-Spangled Banner,
I'll only mention one more although there are many that could be mentioned. But a personal favorite is The Abduction from the Serail by Mozart, almost a hundred years older than Carmen. This is a lighter piece and one I would love to see live on stage.