As I was scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed with high hopes of finding a new cat video, I ended on a 2014 Buzzfeed article titled The 13 Types Of People You See On Valentine's Day. I went through the list, trying to figure out which one was me, hoping for a revelation, much like when I read the horoscope (don't we all?)
When I was done reading, I wondered if there was something like this with more opera. So instead of looking for one, I figured I'd just make a list!! Plus, this article completes as a serenading playlist. You’re welcome. So which Valentine are you?
*** Warning: Spoilers ahead. ***
7 OPERA CHARACTERS YOU FIND ON VALENTINE'S DAY
1. THE MATCH-MAKER
This opera is for that person who is either in denial of their lack of relationship, or in a long-term one, and finds the need to spice up their life by playing match-maker. But just like Figaro in The Barber of Seville, they make true love happen, so we love them for who they are.
Now if you have a friend matchmaker, go ahead and trust what they're doing. They have more than one trick up their sleeve and are quick on their feet! If you can end up with dreamy Almaviva instead of your tutor Bartolo, why not give it a try? You could finally have your Say Anything… John Cusack moment.
Without this person, there would be no great love story. So if you are like Figaro, you can tap yourself on the shoulder and congratulate your efforts. Well done!
2. THE INDEPENDENT
It’s normal to fear that you might lose yourself or lose sight of your personal goals if you get into a relationship. In the case of Turandot, she fears ''the domination of men'' which is understandable when you are the heir to the throne. Its’ all very Queen Elizabeth I. To protect herself from suitors, she asks them three riddles and if they fail, well, they are executed.
However, the one man who eventually succeeds happily places his fate and life in her hands. That's just how much he loves her. (Cue the awws).
A man like this would thaw any frozen heart. Just remember that if you don't jump on the occasion, there is a Liu pining for the same person...
3. THE TRAGIC LOVER
Not all stories have the happy ending you'd hope for. But that doesn't mean they aren't worth living. No regrets. Although there was a disapproving father, a sense of obligation, and a terminal illness, our lovers in La Traviata had a truly passionate – with ups and downs – relationship. For a few months. But there are memories you'll cherish forever. And nothing could ever change that. So go for it, you might not have a second chance.
4. THE ACCIDENTAL SWINGER
Your entourage might try to convince you that your betrothed could be unfaithful, and go to extreme lengths to prove it.
In Cosi Fan Tutte, although the two sisters have professed their unwavering love, they are easily duped when their fiancés disguise themselves and switch sisters to win a bet. They must have had really good costumes, just saying. The sisters eventually succumb, unaware of the ruse. Fortunately, all is forgotten in the end. Word of advice? Not everyone forgives and forgets as easily as the gentlemen in this opera do!
5. THE EVERYONE-LOVES-ME-WHY-DON'T-YOU TYPE
Now this might seem like an odd choice at first. But this list isn't about the most romantic or lovey-dovey of operas. There is something for every type of feelings. If this is you, you might want to figure out why you absolutely need attention. It’s impossible to please everyone, and you wouldn't want to learn it the hard way like Salome. She does get the guy at the end - well, his head anyway - but that's a long shot from a happy ending.
So if you're day is heading (pun not intended) for this, please review your options. ASAP.
6. THE GIPSY SEDUCTRESS
The Seductress is untameable, doesn't belong to anyone, and is easily bored. Nothing is guaranteed with Carmen. Heads up: If she outright tells you that if you don't love her, she loves you, but if you do love her, well beware, perhaps you should take that into consideration before leaving everything behind for her. Because it could lead you to dark and desperate measures...
So love her if you must, but set her free when the time comes. She's an oiseau rebelle afterall.
7. THE KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOUR
This is pretty much every little girl's dream come true. When your honour and life is at risk, you hope to see a Lohengrin arrive, shining armour, on his white swan (the swan is the new steed.) He'll save you, marry you, but on one condition: that you do not ask his name. You'd think that this is fairly simple to respect. But opera isn't simple. So unless you want to instantly fall dead (that's just how it goes), enjoy your life without knowing your lover's name. Call him Bob or something, and avoid all the drama.
Happy Valentine’s Day!!