Monday, November 12, 2012

Il lacerato spirito – Simon Boccanegra

A final farewell to you,
Lofty palace,
The cold tomb of my angel!
You are not worthy to protect her!
Oh damn! Oh vile seducer!
And you, Virgin Mary, did you stand by,
While her virginal crown was taken?
Ah! What am I saying? Lunatic!
Ah, forgive me!

The wounded spirit of a sad parent
Was kept in the agony of shame and grief.
Give her, o heaven, a martyr’s garland.
Yield her to the splendour of the angels,
Pray for me, Mary.

Nicolai Ghiaurov sings the famous bass aria from Verdi's Simon Boccanegra.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

In uomini, in soldati – Cosi’ fan tutte

In men, in soldiers, you’re hoping for fidelity?
Don’t let anyone here you, for goodness’ sake!

They are all made of the same stuff,

Blowing leaves, fickle breezes

Have more constancy than men!

Lying tears, false looks

Deceptive voices, lying charms

These are their best qualities!

They love us for their own pleasure,

Then they despise us, they deny us affection,

It’s worthless asking for mercy from barbarians!

We should pay them back in the same way,

This evil, indiscreet race.

Let’s love them for comfort, for vanity!

Cecilia Bartoli as Despina in Mozart's Cosi fan tutte.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Re dell’abisso, affrettati – Un Ballo in Maschera

Quiet... you must not disturb the incantation.
The devil will be here to talk soon.

King of the Abyss, make haste,
Plunge down through the skies,
Without soaring, the lightning
Penetrates my roof.
Now three times, the hoopoe
Breathed on high;
The fire breathing salamander
Hissed three times...
And the groaning of the tombs
Spoke to me three times.

I’m going to the front!

Villain, get in the back.
Oh, how everything shines with darkness!

It’s him, it’s him! Now I feel
The palpitations again.
The pleasure to burn again
In his awful embrace!
The light of the future
He holds in his left hand.
He was pleased with my spell
He blazes once again:
Nothing, nothing more will be hidden
From my gaze!

Long live the witch!

Silence, silence!

Bulgarian contralto Mariana Pentcheva as Ulrica in Verdi's Un Ballo in Maschera. Extraordinary performance! And a stunning low note at the end.

La Scala, 2001. Conductor: Riccardo Muti.

Friday, November 2, 2012

O mio Fernando - La Favorita

It is true then, oh heavens! You... Fernando 
are to be Leonora’s husband!
All this I’m told, and yet my spirit is still doubtful
of this unexpected joy! Oh God! Marry him?
Oh, what unbearable shame! As a dowry to the brave man...
I will bring him dishonor, no, never; If he should ever
abhor me, I’ll fly, he will know in a short time
This woman that he adores so.

Oh, my Fernando! Throne of the earth,
I would have given my heart to possess you,
But my pure love is like a pardon,
and yet I am damned, alas! It is a terrifying horror.

The truth shall be known, and in your extreme contempt
I will face the worst penalty possible;
If you are rightly displeased, then I will be a mockery
Strike me, great God, with your lightning.

Come, death, what is stopping you?
My pain is written in the skies,
Come, she is a festival,
An altar spread with flowers.

The grave is already opening for me;
The black veil is already covering me;
Ah! The sad bride,
damned, desperate,
She will not have forgiveness in heaven.

Fiorenza Cossotto as Leonora in Donizetti's La Favorita.

Tokyo, 1971.