Switching musical gears ever-so-slightly from the preceding post...
Quite recently I was chatting music with a friend of mine, and the topic came round to those pieces of operatic music which have become famous outside of the contexts of the actual operas for which they were written. The list of such pieces is fairly long. You've got "The Anvil Chorus," "La Donna E' Mobile," "Musetta's Waltz," "The Ride of the Valkyrie," (I am sure that there's a large segment of the population that, upon hearing "The Ride of the Valkyrie," subconsciously supplies either: a) the sound of Vietnam-era helicopters, or b) Elmer Fudd singing "kill da wabbit, kill da wabbit!"), "The Toreador Song," "The Queen of the Night's Aria," and many many others (Edit!:...such as "The William Tell Overture!" Thanks Llama!) .
There is, however, one piece that is the arch-overlord of all of the sort of "operatic popular songs." Here 'tis (watch, just as the three of them have finished singing, for the glance that Pavarotti shoots at his two colleagues. It is a glance that quite eloquently says "boys, we just nailed that..."):
I would have posted this earlier, but I had to watch the video to make sure it was working properly. About 47 times.