Here is a scene and duet from Bellini's opera Norma. This opera (with very little historical accuracy, but lots of beautiful music) is set in Roman-occupied Gaul. The High Priestess Norma, although the priestesses are sworn to virginity, has secretly yielded to love and borne two children to the Roman governor Pollione. In this scene a young priestess, Adalgisa, comes to Norma with a confession. Norma is sympathetic, not yet knowing the identity of Adalgisa's lover: the fickle Pollione.

From a single glance, from a single sigh )
"Si può?" Prologue to Ruggero Leoncavallo's opera I Pagliacci.

rather than our poor costumes as actors, consider our souls )
"Ave Signor," Mefistofele's first aria from Boito's opera Mefistofele. The Prologue of the opera takes place in heaven. In this aria, Mephistopheles (the Devil) shows up to mock God, the heavenly hosts, and humanity. Thanks to the people at [ profile] linguaphiles for helping me figure out a tricky bit of grammar. As always, any remaining mistakes are entirely mine.

that drunkard's illusion which he calls Reason )
It occurred to me that I haven't translated any German in a while, so I did a long scene from Wagner today. But I'm less fluent in reading German than Italian or French, so I want to have someone else look it over before I post it. Hopefully I can post that scene tomorrow. In the meantime, here's something lighter: a duet from Domenico Cimarosa's opera Il Matrimonio Segreto (The Secret Marriage). The Count has agreed to marry Geronimo's daughter Elisetta, but now he wants a slight change of plans. Geromino is displeased.

But if you are stubborn, I'll be stubborn too, my friend, I'll be stubborn too. )
"Nel puro ardor," aria from from Jacopo Peri's opera Euridice (1600). I found this simple and beautiful piece in a book of Italian art songs, but it is originally from an opera. It is sung by the shepherd Tirsi (alto).

In the pure heat of the most beautiful star, kindle your golden torch of beautiful fire )
Recitative and tenor aria ("Nel furor delle tempeste") from Bellini's opera Il Pirata (The Pirate).

It is a ray of light, which shines in the darkness of my heart. )
"In questa reggia," Turandot's aria from Turandot.

No man will ever possess me! )
"Il rival salvar tu dei . . . Suoni la tromba," baritone/bass duet from Bellini's opera I Puritani (The Puritans). The opera is set during the English Civil War and concerns a love affair between a Cavalier and the daughter of a Puritan. The characters in this scene are two Puritan soldiers, Sir Richard Forth (Riccardo) and Sir George Walton (Giorgio Valton).

He who truly loves his country, honors mercy. )
"Illustratevi, o Cieli," scene for Penelope and Ulysses from Claudio Monteverdi's Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria (The Return of Ulysses to His Homeland).

Read more... )
opera_cat: (love)
( Sep. 2nd, 2010 08:32 am)
"Dunque io son," duet between Rosina and Figaro from Rossini's opera Il Barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville).

Ah, you alone, love, it is you alone that must console me. )
Here is another Classical piece (in the Greco-Roman, not musical, sense): "Di misera regina," Penelope's monologue from Claudio Monteverdi's Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria (The Return of Ulysses to His Own Country). I've translated this one more poetically and less literally than usual.


You alone have lost the day of your return )

Here is a love duet between Caesar and Cleopatra from Handel's opera Giulio Cesare. The words aren't very substantial, but the music is gorgeous. But perhaps I shouldn't editorialize?

Read more... )
opera_cat: (vengeance!)
( Aug. 30th, 2010 05:06 pm)
"Son lo Spirito che nega," an aria from Arrigo Boito's opera Mefistofele. Seriously, you should hear Samuel Ramey sing this one.

Son lo Spirito I am the Spirit
Che nega sempre, tutto; that eternally denies everything:
L'astro, il fior. the star, the flower.
Il mio ghigno e la mia bega My mocking laughter and my quarrelling
Turbano gli ozi al Creator. disturb the Creator's rest.
Voglio il Nulla e del Creato I seek Annihilation and Creation's
La ruina universal, universal ruin,
È atmosfera mia vital, my breath of life
Ciò che chiamasi peccato, is that which is called sin,
Morte e Mal. Death and Evil.
Rido e avvento questa sillaba: "No!" I laugh and I hurl this word: "No!"
Struggo, tento, ruggo, sibilo: "No!" I devour, I tempt, I roar, I hiss: "No!"
Mordo, invischio, I gnaw, I stir things up,
Struggo, tento, ruggo, sibilo: I devour, I tempt, I roar, I hiss: "No!"
Fischio! Fischio! Fischio! Eh! I whistle mockingly! I whistle! I whistle! Hey!
Parte son d'una latebra I am part of a lurking-place
Del gran tutto: Oscurità. of the great all-in-all: Shadow.
Son figliuol della Tenebra I am a son of the Darkness
Che Tenebra tornerà. that to Darkness will return.
S'or la luce usurpa e afferra If for now the light usurps and seizes
Il mio scettro a ribellion, my scepter in rebellion,
Poco andrà la sua tenzon: soon will come its battle:
V'è sul Sole e sulla Terra, Distruzion!over the Sun and over the Earth, is Destruction!
Rido e avvento questa sillaba: "No!"I laugh and I hurl this word: "No!"
Struggo, tento, ruggo, sibilo: "No!" I devour, I tempt, I roar, I hiss: "No!"
Mordo, invischio, I gnaw, I stir things up,
Struggo, tento, ruggo, sibilo: I devour, I tempt, I roar, I hiss: "No!"
Fischio! Fischio! Fischio! Eh! I whistle in mockery! I whistle! I whistle! Hey!
Read more... )
"Fiero incontro! . . . Lasciami: non t'ascolto," soprano/mezzo-soprano duet from Act II of Rossini's opera Tancredi. Read more... )
Since I actually have a reader now, I should update occasionally! I have a large backlog of translations on my computer that I will gradually upload here. Let me know if some formats work better than others, or if there's anything in particular you want to see. Read more... )
opera_cat: (classical)
( Mar. 30th, 2009 11:24 am)
"V'adoro, pupille," Cleopatra's aria from Handel's Giulio Cesare

Read more... )


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