This is a leggiero tenor’s right-of-passage to bel canto. It’s an action-packed, high flying gauntlet of nine high C’s (and an optional 10th)! To sing this convincingly, the tenor must make every high C ring true with a robust, chesty sound and clear intonation. Making things even more difficult, the aria comes relatively fast in the first act giving the tenor less time to warm up and get comfortable. There are a couple hundred tenors that attempt it live and only but a handful that actually do it well.
In order to gain the 21st Regiment’s approval of his and Marie’s marriage, Tonio needs to prove his worthiness first and, thus, he joins their ranks. But before he does so, he gives a convincing proclamation of love and faithfulness by going above and beyond the call of duty with “Ah, mes amis… pour mon ame!” Some of the greatest tenors of all time like Pavarotti and Juan Diego Florez have put entire opera houses in a frenzied uproar with this acrobatic beast of an aria. Do you have a favorite?