We know that love isn't really a bed of roses, so if you've been jilted, dumped. left all alone this Valentine's Day, fear not. Here's our alternative guide – a cynic's guide, if you will – to what love can really be like! 

Alison has suggested Leporello's Catalogue aria as he explains to an unsuspecting Donna Elvira just how many conquests Don Giovanni has notched up... 1003 in Spain alone!

David has chosen the Tango Ballad from Weill's The Threepenny Opera. You can read the lyrics here

The female contingent on the editorial team are far too sweet and fluffy when it comes to matters of the heart and refused to 'play ball'. Stony-hearted Mark has no such qualms and provides enough suggestions for all! 

One of the greatest cynics of them all is Don Alfonso. In Così fan tutte, he places a wager with his gullible friends Ferrando and Guglielmo that he can prove their girlfriends will be unfaithful to them given half the chance. Here, he expounds his philosophy:

Sticking with Mozart, Figaro believes his newlywed Susanna is about to be unfaithful to him in Act IV of Le nozze di Figaro. He warns the men in the audience to open their eyes and see women for what they really are. (Rider: Susanna isn't really up to no good. She's busy setting up the Count for a fall... but has neglected to keep Figaro in on her plan!)

The final scene of Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin is devastating. Onegin, having refused Tatyana's advances years before, now returns to St Petersburg and completely falls for her... but Tatyana is now married. After a passionate final scene, in which they declare that happiness was so close, she rejects him, leaving Onegin to face his pitiable fate alone.

The Act III quartet from Puccini's La bohème deals with not one, but two break-ups: Mimì and Rodolfo part amicably, reluctantly, while Marcello and Musetta interrupt with a huge bust-up!


Picture the romantic scene: husband brings his new bride home; they cross the threshold and she starts poking around asking awkward questions... Welcome to Bluebeard's Castle! "What's behind the fifth door...?" You sense it's not going to end well in Bartók's opera: 

In Peer Gynt, our hero abandons the faithful Solveig and runs off with the daughter of the Mountain-King... only to discover that she's a troll! (Serves him right)

And finally, a tender reflection on how love can break your heart. Britten's setting of the folk song O Waly Waly, including the devastating final verse:

O! love is handsome and love is fine,
And love's a jewel while it is new;
But when it is old, it groweth cold,
And fades away like morning dew.


If this is all too much cynicism and bitterness, you might need our warm and cosy lovers' playlist instead. ;)