Sunday, September 23, 2012

Celeste Aida - Aida

If only I was
That warrior! If my dream
Would only come true!... An army of brave men
Led by me... and the victory... and the praise
Of all Memphis! And you, my sweet Aida,
To return crowned with laurels...
To say to you: I fought for you, I triumphed for you!
Heavenly Aida, divine form.
Mystical garland of light and flowers,
You are the queen of my thoughts,
You are the splendour of my life.
I want to give you back your beautiful sky,
The sweet breezes of your homeland;
To place a regal garland upon your head,
To raise up a throne for you near the sun.

Carlo Bergonzi sings Radames' first act aria from Verdi's Aida.

Tokyo, 1973.

L’elisir d’amore – Udite, udite o rustici

Listen, listen, o peasants
Don’t breathe a word of this to anyone.
I already suppose and imagine
That you know as well as I
That I am that grand,
Encyclopaedic doctor
Called Dulcamara,
Whose illustrious virtue
And infinite wonders
Are known in all the world...and in other places.
Benefactor of mankind,
Curer of ills,
In a little while I will have cleared out
And swept away the hospitals,
Selling health
And travelling the world over.
Buy it, buy it,
I’ll give it to you for a small price.
It’s this toothache medicine
Marvellous liquor,
The mighty destroyer
Of mice and bugs,
Whose certificates,
authentic and labelled,
I will allow each of you
To touch, see and read.
This is my specialty,
A lovely wonder.
A man, in his seventies
And sickly,
Yet became
The grandfather of ten babes.
Well, ten to twenty babes
he had,
Because of this touch and health
In a brief week
It did more than cease
His crying affliction.
O all of you, stiff matrons,
Do you yearn to be rejuvenated?
Your inconvenient wrinkles
Will be erased with this.
Do you want, damsels,
To have smooth skin?
You, young gallant men,
To always have lovers?
Buy my specialty,
I’ll give it to you for a small price
It moves the paralytics,
despatches apoplectics,
asthmatics, asphyxiation,
Hysteria, diabetes,
It cures tympanitis
And tuberculosis and rickets,
And even liver trouble,
Which used to be fashionable.
Buy my specialty,
I’ll give it to you for a small price.
I brought it by post
From a thousand miles away
You ask me: How much is it?
How much is that bottle worth?
100 scudi?... 30?... 20?
No...nobody shall be dismayed.
To prove to you my gladness
That I am accepted as a friend,
I want from you, O good people,
To give 1 scudo.
Here it is: stupendous,
Truly balsamic elixir
All of Europe knows that I sell
Nothing under 10 lire:
But since it is also clear
That I was born in this country,
I’ll give it to you for 3 lire,
I ask only 3 lire:
It is as clear as the sun,
That to everyone who wants it,
1 scudo, nice and neat
I’ll put in my pocket.
Ah! The sweet affection of home
Can do great miracles.

Giuseppe Taddei makes a magnificent Dulcamara in Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore.