"Pronta io son," soprano/baritone duet from Donizetti's comic opera Don Pasquale.

Ernesto wishes to marry Norina, but his crotchety old uncle, Don Pasquale, disapproves of the match because Norina is poor. To punish his nephew, Don Pasquale resolves to take a wife and disinherit him. Doctor Malatesta, a friend of the couple, comes up with a plan to trick Don Pasquale. In this scene, he explains the plan to Norina, who joins in enthusiastically.

NORINANORINA
E il dottor non si vede! And I don't see the doctor!
Oh, che impazienza! How impatient I am!
Del romanzetto ordito a gabbar don Pasquale, Of the little story hatched to dupe Don Pasquale,
ond'ei toccommi in fretta, which he briefly touched on,
poco o nulla ho capito, I understood little or nothing,
ed or l'aspetto...and now I'm waiting for him . . .
 
[A servant enters, gives her a letter and leaves. NORINA looks at the address.]
 
La man d'Ernesto... io tremo. Ernesto's handwriting . . . I tremble.
  
 [She reads the letter. She shows signs of surprise and then of dismay.]
  
Oh! me meschina! Oh! Unhappy me!
  
 [Enter MALATESTA.]
  
MALATESTAMALATESTA
Buone nuove, Norina, il nostro stratagemma... Good news, Norina! Our stratagem --
  
NORINANORINA
Me ne lavo le mani. I wash my hands of it.
  
MALATESTA MALATESTA
Come? Che fu? Why? What happened?
  
NORINA NORINA (giving him the letter)
Leggete.Read it.
  
MALATESTA MALATESTA (reading)
"Mia Norina; "My Norina:
vi scrivo colla morte nel cor." I write to you with death in my heart."
Lo farem vivo. We'll bring him back to life.
"Don Pasquale aggirato da quel furfante..." "Don Pasquale, tricked by that scoundrel . . ."
Grazie! Thank you!
"da quella faccia doppia del dottore, " . . . by that two-faced doctor,
sposa una sua sorella, is marrying a sister of his,
mi scaccia di sua casa, driving me from his house,
mi disereda infine. and in short, disinheriting me.
Amor m'impone di rinunziare a voi. Love forces me to renounce you.
Lascio Roma oggi stesso, I leave Rome this very day,
e quanto prima l'Europa. and Europe as soon as possible.
Addio. Siate felice. Farewell. Be happy.
Questo è l'ardente mio voto. This is my heartfelt wish.
Il vostro Ernesto." Your Ernesto."
Le solite pazzie! The usual nonsense!
  
NORINA NORINA
Ma s'egli parte!... But if he leaves!
  
MALATESTA MALATESTA
Non partirà, v'accerto. He won't leave, I assure you.
In quattro salti son da lui, In four steps I can be at his house,
della nostra trama lo metto a parte, I bring him into our plot,
ed ei rimane, e con tanto di cor. and he stays, with all his heart.
  
NORINA NORINA
Ma questa trama si può saper qual sia? But may I know what this plot is?
  
MALATESTA MALATESTA
A punire il nipote, To punish his nephew,
che opponsi alle sue voglie who opposes his wishes,
Don Pasqual s'è deciso a prender moglie. Don Pasquale has decided to take a wife.
  
NORINA NORINA
Già mel diceste. You already told me that.
  
MALATESTA MALATESTA
Or ben, io suo dottore, Very well. I am his doctor.
vistolo così fermo nel proposto, Seeing him so firm in his plan,
cambio tattica, I changed tactics
e tosto nell'interesse vostro, e in quel d'Ernesto, and immediately, in your and Ernesto's interests,
mi pongo a secondarlo. I pretended to go along with him.
Don Pasquale sa ch'io tengo al convento una sorella, Don Pasquale knows that I have a sister in a convent.
vi fo passar per quella --I will pass you off as her --
egli non vi conosce --he doesn't know you --
e vi presento pria ch'altri mi prevenga; and present you before anyone anticipates me.
vi vede e resta cotto.He will see you and be captivated.
  
NORINA NORINA
Va benissimo. That's excellent.
  
MALATESTA MALATESTA
Caldo caldo vi sposa. He'll marry you on the spot.
Carlotto mio cugino ci farà da Notaro. My cousin Carlotto will play the Notary.
Al resto poi tocca pensare a voi. Then it's up to you to plan the rest.
Lo fate disperar: il vecchio impazza, Drive him to desperation: if the old man goes crazy,
l'abbiamo a discrezione... we'll have him where we want him.
Allor...And then . . .
 
NORINA NORINA
Basta. Ho capito. Enough. I understand.
  
MALATESTA MALATESTA
Va benone. Excellent.
  
  
NORINA NORINA
Pronta io son; purch'io non manchi I am ready -- as long as I don't betray
all'amor del caro bene: my beloved's love;
farò imbrogli, farò scene, I'll lay traps, I'll play scenes –
so ben io quel ch'ho da far. I know very well what I have to do.
  
MALATESTA MALATESTA
Voi sapete se d'Ernesto You know whether I am Ernesto's
sono amico, e ben gli voglio, friend and care for him;
solo tende il nostro imbroglio our trick is only intended
Don Pasquale a corbellar. to make a fool of Don Pasquale.
  
NORINA NORINA
Siamo intesi. Or prendo impegno. We understand each other. I'll do it.
  
MALATESTA MALATESTA
Io la parte ecco v'insegno. Now look here, I'll teach you the part.
  
NORINA NORINA
Mi volete fiera? Do you want me to be haughty?
  
MALATESTA MALATESTA
No. No.
  
NORINA NORINA
Mi volete mesta? Do you want me to be melancholy?
  
MALATESTA MALATESTA
No, la parte non è questa. No, that isn't the part.
  
NORINA NORINA
Ho da pianger? Do I have to cry?
  
MALATESTA MALATESTA
No. No.
  
NORINA NORINA
O gridare? Or shout?
  
MALATESTA MALATESTA
No, la parte non è questa. No, that isn't the part.
State un poco ad ascoltar. Listen to me for a moment.
Convien far la semplicetta. You need to play the ingénue.
  
NORINANORINA
La semplicetta?The ingénue?
  
MALATESTAMALATESTA
Io la parte ecco v'insegno. Now look here, I'll teach you the part.
  
NORINA NORINA
Posso in questo dar lezione. I could give lessons in it.
  
MALATESTA MALATESTA
Collo torto, bocca stretta. Your neck bent, your lips pursed.
  
MALATESTA, NORINA MALATESTA, NORINA
Or proviam quest'altra azione. Now let's try it.
  
NORINA NORINA (acting)
Mi vergogno... son zitella... I'm too shy . . . I'm a maiden . . .
grazie... serva... serva, signor sì.Thank you . . . Your servant, yes sir!
MALATESTA MALATESTA
Brava, brava, bricconcella! Very good, you minx!
Va benissimo così. That's excellent.
  
MALATESTAMALATESTA
Collo torto.Your neck bent.
 
NORINA NORINA
Così... Like this . . .
  
MALATESTA MALATESTA
Brava. Bocca stretta. Good. Your lips pursed.
  
NORINA NORINA
Così... Like this . . .
  
MALATESTA MALATESTA
Ah brava.Good.
  
NORINA NORINA
Vado, corro al gran cimento, I go, I hasten to the great combat;
Pieno ho il cor d'ardimento. My heart is full of courage.
A quel vecchio affé la testa For sure, that old man's head
questa volta ha da girar. is going to spin this time.
M'incomincio a vendicar.I am beginning to avenge myself.
MALATESTAMALATESTA
Sì, corriamo al gran cimento,Yes, let's hasten to the great combat;
Pieno ho il cor d'ardimento.My heart is full of courage.
La saetta fra non molto Very soon we'll hear
sentiremo ad iscoppiar. the thunderbolt hit.
A quel vecchio affé la testa For sure, that old man's head
questa volta ha da girar. is going to spin this time.
  
NORINANORINA
Quel vecchione rimbambitoThat senile old man
a miei voti invan contrasta;fights against my wishes in vain;
io l'ho detto e tanto basta,I have said it, enough,
la saprò, la vo' spuntar. I know how to do it, I'll succeed.
MALATESTAMALATESTA
Urla e fischia la bufera, The storm roars and whistles,
veggo il lampo, il tuono ascolto; I see the lightning, I hear the thunder;
la saetta fra non molto Very soon we'll hear
sentiremo ad iscoppiar. the thunderbolt hit.
Poco pensa don Pasquale Don Pasquale little thinks
che boccon di temporale what stormy weather
si prepari in questo punto is even now preparing
sul suo capo a rovinar. to dash upon his head.
  
NORINA NORINA (acting)
Serva, grazie, grazie, Your servant, thank you, thank you,
serva, signor sì!your servant, yes sir!
MALATESTA MALATESTA
Brava, va benissimo così! Good, that's excellent!
  
NORINANORINA
Sì, la saprò, la vo' spuntar. Yes, I know how to do it, I'll succeed.
MALATESTAMALATESTA
La saetta sentiremo ad iscoppiar.We'll hear the thunderbolt hit.

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