Sunday, August 18, 2013

Short vid

Addio, fiorito asil – Madama Butterfly

Yes, all in an instant
I see my mistake and I feel
That from this torment
I will have no respite.
Forever that mild countenance
I will see, with excruciating agony,
Forever that sweet voice
I will hear mourning.

Farewell flowery refuge
Of joy and love
I cannot bear your misery
I must run away, I must run away – I am vile.

Peter Dvorsky as Pinkerton in Puccini's Madame Butterfly. With Richard Stilwell as Sharpless.

Chicago, 1985.

È la solita storia – L’arlesiana

It’s the old story of the shepherd...
The poor boy that wanted
To recount it
And he fell asleep
There is oblivion in sleep.
How I envy him!
I would like to sleep like that as well,
To at least find oblivion in sleep!
I am looking only for peace.
I would like to be able to forget it all!
But every effort is in vain.
I have always before me
Her sweet countenance.
Peace is only taken from me.
Why must I suffer so?
Her! She is always speaking to my heart!
Irresistible vision, leave me!
You hurt me so badly! Alas!

Jose Carreras sings Federico's lament from Cilea's L'arlesiana.

Colon, 1987.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Come paride vezzoso – L’elisir d’amore

As the graceful Paris
Handed the apple to the most beautiful woman,
my beloved country girl,
I offer you these flowers.         
But more glorious than him,
I am happier than him,
Because as a reward for my gift          
I will carry away your lovely heart.

I see clearly in that little face
That I am making my way into your heart.
It’s not surprising;
I’m gallant, I’m a sergeant;
There’s no beauty that can resist
The sight of a crest;
To Mars, the god of war,
Even the mother of love gives way.

Tito Gobbi as Sergeant Belcore in a somewhat dated film version of Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Stride la vampa – Il Trovatore

The blaze crackles!
The unrestrained crowd
Runs to that fire
happy in appearance; 
shouts of joy
echo all around:           
Surrounded by henchmen
A woman approaches!

Menacingly shines        
On those horrible faces
That gloomy flame
That reaches to the heavens!    

The blaze crackles!
Here comes the victim,
Dressed in black,
Dishevelled and barefoot!
A fierce shout
Of death arises.           
The echo repeats
From cliff to cliff!

Menacingly shines        
On those horrible faces
That gloomy flame
That reaches to the heavens!    

Fiorenza Cossotto as Azucena in Verdi's Il Trovatore.

Firenze, 1977. Conductor: Riccardo Muti.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

No, no pazzo son – Manon Lescaut

No! No! I’m crazy!
Look, I’m crazy, look,
As I cry and I beg...
As I cry, look,
As I ask for pity!...
Listen! Take me
As a cabin boy or a lower position,
And I will come happily!... Accept me!
Ah! look, I cry and I beg!
Take my blood…my life!...
I implore you, I ask you for mercy!
Ah! mercy! I will not be ungrateful!

Placido Domingo as Des Grieux in Puccini's Manon Lescaut. For me one of his best roles.

Milan, 1978.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Sì, ritrovarla io giuro – La Cenerentola

Yes, I swear I will find her.
Love, love, move me:
If she were in the lap of Jupiter
I would find her.

Beloved, dear proof
That at least gratifies me
Ah! The lip and the breast
How I will cling to you!

We will fly, we will ask,
We will seek, we will find.
Sweet hope, cold fear,
Inside my heart
They are fighting;
Love, love,
Give me guidance.

Ramon Vargas in Rossini's Cenerentola.

Met, 1997

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tu qui, Santuzza – Cavalleria Rusticana

You’re here, Santuzza?

I’ve been waiting here for you.

It’s Easter,
Aren’t you going to church?

I don’t want to.
I had to talk with you…

I’ve been looking for mother.

I had to talk with you...

Not here! Not here!

Where were you?

What do you mean?
In Francofonte!

No, that’s not true!

Santuzza, believe me...

No, don’t lie to me;
Off the path...
And this morning, at dawn,
They saw you
At Lola’s door.

You were watching me?

No, I swear to you.
Alfio, her husband
Told us
A little while ago.

And this is how you repay
The love that I have for you?
Do you want to kill me?

Oh! I don’t mean...

Let me alone then, let me alone;
Vain attempt to quell
Your righteous indignation
With your pity.

Do you love her then?


She’s much more beautiful.

Stop it, I don’t love her.

You love her...
Oh! damn!


That awful woman
Stole you from me!

Control yourself, Santuzza,
I am not a slave
To your vain jealousy!

Beat me, insult me,
I’ll love and forgive you,
But my anguish
Is too much to bear.

Fiorenza Cossotto and Placido Domingo in the first half of the great duet from Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana. With Gabriella Novielli as Lola.

Tokyo, 1976.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Ave Signor - Mefistofele

Hail Lord.
Pardon me if my gibberish
Is not quite up to par with
The supreme hymns of paradise;
Pardon me if my face
Doesn’t carry the beam
That garlands the ringlets
Of high cherubim;
Pardon me if in speaking
I run the risk of  
Being irreverent!

The God of the sweet little earth
Descends and wanders evermore,
And, like the cricket
Jumps, at random
Pushing his nose between the stars.
Then with superbly tenacious folly
Trills in the grass.
Arrogant dust! Haughty atom!
The phantom of man
Which makes
That inebriated illusion
That he calls: Reason, Reason.
Ah! Yes, Divine Master,
In utter darkness
The lord of the world degenerates,
And I have no heart left,
It is so weakened,
Than to tempt him to evil.

Up and coming star Ildebrando d'Arcangelo surprisingly sings the bass part of Mefistofele from Boito's opera.

Ravenna, 2005. Conductor: Riccardo Muti.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Oh quante volte – I Capuleti e Montecchi

Oh! How many times,
How many I ask you
Crying to heaven
With the ardour of waiting for you,
My desire is a trick!
The rays of your countenance
Are for me, the brightness of the day.
The aura that blows round
Seems to be one of your sighs.

Katia Ricciarelli sings 'Oh quante volte' from Bellini's I Capuleti e I Montecchi.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Nemico della Patria - Andrea Chenier

An enemy of the State?!
It’s an old fable
That people are still blissfully swallowing.
Born in Constantinople? Foreigner!
Studied at Saint-Cyr? Soldier!                          
Traitor! Accomplice to Dumouriez!
And a poet? Corrupter of hearts
And mores!
I once lived joyfully
Without hatred or vengeance
Pure, innocent and strong.
I thought myself a giant
But I’m just a servant
Who’s changed masters.           
An obedient servant to violent passions!
Ah, worse yet! I kill and tremble,
And while I kill, I weep!
Me, a son of the Revolution,                             
The first to hear its cry
For the world, I united that cry to my own.
Have I now lost faith
In that dream of destiny?
Oh how my path
Shone with glory!
The heart’s conscience
Reawakening the people,
Gathering up the tears
Of the vanquished and suffering,
Making the world a Pantheon,
Changing men into gods;
And in one kiss,
In one kiss and one embrace
To love all mankind!

Juan Pons in Giordano's Andrea Chenier.

Met, 1996.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

O patria mia – Aïda

Radamès is coming here!          
What does he want to tell me?  I’m trembling!
Ah! If you’re coming to bring me, o cruel man,
The final farewell,
The deep whirlpools of the Nile
Will give me a grave and maybe peace,          
and maybe peace and oblivion.

Oh my country, I will never see you again!
Nevermore! Nevermore will I see you!
O blue skies, o sweet native breezes
Where my morning shone peacefully,

O green hills, o fragrant shores,
Oh my country, I will never see you again!
Nevermore! Nevermore will I see you!
O cool valleys, o this blessed refuge
That once gave me a promise of love,

Now that the dream of love has disappeared,
O my country, I will never see you again.         
O my country, I will never see you again.

Leyla Gencer in Verdi's Aida.

Verona, 1963.