You'll have to forgive, I don't know a lot about vocal music, classical or otherwise, but thought I would give this thread a try anyway.

A few months ago I was chatting opera with a friend of mine who mentioned that there are certain parts of an opera which are (his words) really what opera is about. Parts that I called 'passages' here, where the vocalist is given a period of time to really let loose, emote, explore their vocal range, and produce music that is truly beautiful.

In this thread I'm predominantly interested in opera, but I'd like to extend it to non-classical pieces too. I'm curious what some would consider some of the greatest female vocal 'passages' in produced or live music.