Here's another song from an opera---Puccini this time----that I fell in love with as a teen-ager. While I was much too much a product of the seventies to see the famous sexual appeal of Mario Lanza (who flourished earlier), my dad had the album "The Great Caruso" and I played this song incessantly on my Seventies style "hi fi" till the grooves were quite worn down.
Though I was studying voice at the time and dreaming of a career in opera (ha ha ha I had no talent), this was really my first introduction to a number of the great tenor roles.
As a matter of fact, it vied as far as I was concerned with The Siciliano as one of my favorite songs from any opera. Lanza was often criticized for his over-the-top emotive style. I'm not sure that's a problem when it comes to this aria.
You can see it being sung stage in this magnificent contemporary version by magnificent Jose Cura, who I think would fit the bill for any teen-ager' heart throb . Opera singers, like rock singers, have become MUCH better looking in the video age than they were in my day.
I'm actually not a big fan of Tosca, but I do like this scene, in which the painter, Mario, is (ill advisedly) enjoying the 'recondite harmony of contrasts' between the beautiful blond model for his painting and a miniature of his own dark-eyed "ardent lover", Floria, Yeah, that's going to go well, right?