Sunday, February 26, 2012

Mamma, quel vino è generoso – Cavalleria Rusticana

Mother, Mother!
That wine is ample, and of course
I have drunk
Too many glasses today.
I’m going out in the open.
But first I want  
You to bless me
Like the day
When I left to be a soldier.

And then, mother, listen ...
If I should not return,
You must be
A mother to Santa,
Whom I have sworn
To lead to the altar.
You must be
A mother to Santa
If I should not return.

Oh, never mind!
It’s the wine talking!
The wine suggested it!
Pray to God for me!
A kiss, a kiss, mother!
One more kiss, farewell!
If I should not return,
Be a mother to Santa.
One kiss, mother, farewell!

Placido Domingo as Turridu sings 'Mamma, quel vino e generoso' from Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana.

Tokyo, 1976.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Il balen del suo sorriso – Il Trovatore

The flashing of her smile
Outshines a star!
The splendour of her lovely face
Infuses new courage in me!...
Ah! love, enflaming love
Speak to her in my favour!
May the light of her gaze chase away
The tempest of my heart.
What a sound!... Oh heavens...

Leo Nucci sings the great baritone aria from Verdi's Il Trovatore.

La Scala, 2001. Conductor: Riccardo Muti.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Il Grande Inquisitor - Don Carlo

The Count of Lerma
The Grand Inquisitor!

Am I before the king...?

Yes; I summoned you, my father!
I am in doubt,
Carlo has filled my heart
with a bitter sadness.
The child is rebelling against me,
Arming himself against his own father.

What method of punishment will you choose?

Extreme measures.

Tell me.

That he would escape... that he would be executed...


If I send my son to his death,
Will you absolve me?

The peace of the empire is worth one rebel.

Can I sacrifice my own son for the world
Me, a Christian?

God sacrificed His Son to redeem us.

But can you enforce a law that harsh?

The same harshness is everywhere,
if it was there on Calvary.

Could nature
And love keep silent in me?

All must be silent to exalt the faith.

Very well.

Does the king have nothing more to ask me?


Well then, I will speak with you, Sire.
Heresy has never ruled Spain,
But there is a man who wishes to undermine
the divine structure;
The king’s friend, his faithful companion,
The demon tempter who leads him to ruin.
Carlo’s betrayal has angered you
But that is a silly game by comparison.
And I, the Inquisitor,
I have often raised
My mighty hand above hordes of vile criminals,
For the great men of this world, should I forget my faith,
And quietly let a great rebel go free...
even for the king?

To pass through the sorrows in which we live
I searched in vain within my Court
But I have found what I longed for,
A man! A loyal heart! I have found him!

Why do you need a man?
Why do you hold the title of king,
Sire, if there is an equal for you?

That’s enough, priest!

The innovator’s ideas have taken root in you!
With your weak hand, you want to break the tare
Of the holy yolk, extended above the Roman orb...!
Return to your duty;
The church for the man who hopes,
for the man who repents,
Can offer a full pardon;
I ask you for Posa.

No, never!

O King, if I weren’t here with you in this secret meeting
This very day, I swear before God,
Tomorrow you would be brought to the Grand Inquisitor
At the supreme tribunal.

I have suffered your harsh words long enough!

Why are you evoking the ghost of Samuel?
Henceforth I have given two royals
The reign of your kingdom...!
You want to destroy all that work, madman!
Why am I here?
What does the king want from me?

(To leave)

My father, let there be peace between us yet.


You must forget what has passed.



So the throne
must always bow to the altar!

Jerome Hines as the Grand Inquisitor and Paul Plishka as King Phillip in Verdi's Don Carlo.

Met, 1980. Conductor: James Levine.