In George Frederic Handel’s opera Rinaldo, he puts to music a dramatic love tragedy and joyful reunion, in the setting of the early eleventh century during the first crusade. Lascia ch’io pianga is the sad aria sung by Almerina (a soprano), who is mourning for her lover, Rinaldo. Being a typical baroque aria, it is dramatic and full of vivid emotion.
Lascia ch’io pianga
Il duolo infranga
Let me weep
May sorrow break
Today, the aria is normally sung by a mezzo-soprano. There are many different renditions because this is a more well-known baroque opera aria, but here is one version by Italian mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli.
A couple other of my favorites: