Saturday, July 30, 2011

La calunnia - Il Barbiere di Siviglia

Slander is a breeze
A light air, considerably kind
That insensitive, sharp air
Lightly, sweetly
Begins to whisper
Softly softly, down low
Whistling under its breath
Flowing, buzzing,
In people’s ears
It deftly breaks in,
Making people’s heads and minds
Dazed and swollen.
Coming out of the mouth
The uproar is growing:
Gaining strength bit by bit,
Already flowing from place to place,
Seeming like thunder or a storm
In the heart of the forest,          
It’s whistling, rumbling,
And it will freeze you with horror.
When the overflows and the bursting stops,
It begins again with twice the force
Producing an explosion
Like a cannon shot,
An earthquake, a storm,
A general tumult
That makes the air reverberate. 
And the miserable wretch
Chastened, trampled
Under the public scourge
Will drop dead if he’s lucky.

Ruggero Raimondi sings Don Basilio's aria from Rossini's Barber of Seville.
Versailles, 1980.

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