At the request of an anonymous commenter on LJ, here is "Ecco l'orrido campo . . . Ma dall'arido stelo" from Verdi's Un Ballo in Maschera.

Although she is married, Amelia has fallen in love with the royal governor, Riccardo. She goes for help to the fortune-teller Ulrica, who tells her that to eliminate her guilty passion, Amelia must pick a certain herb from the foot of the gallows at midnight. Arriving at the place, Amelia is terrified and finds herself strangely reluctant to pick the herb.

What remains to you, once love is lost? )
An anonymous commenter on LJ has requested three arias: this one, "Poveri Fiori" from Cilea's Adriana Lecouvreur and Amelia's aria in the graveyard from Un Ballo in Maschera. Here is "Pace, pace, mio Dio!" from Verdi's opera La Forza del Destino; the others will follow at some point.

Despairing, Leonora has retired to a life of prayer in a remote place. She prays to God for peace but confesses that her soul is still troubled by the memory of her love.

Only death can give me calm )
Continuing my translation-by-installments, here is Act II, scene 1 of Verdi's opera Oberto conte di S. Bonifacio (Oberto, Count of San Bonifacio). To see the complete translation, click on the opera: oberto tag.

Read more... )
Later than I expected, but here is the second scene of Verdi's opera Oberto conte di S. Bonifacio (Oberto, Count of San Bonifacio). To see the complete translation, click on the opera: oberto tag.

Read more... )
At the request of an anonymous commenter on LJ, here is "Morrò, ma prima in grazia," Amelia's aria from Verdi's Un Ballo in Maschera. Thanks to the commenters at [livejournal.com profile] linguaphiles for help with an idiom.

Renato suspects his wife Amelia of infidelity and resolves to kill her. She begs for a last moment with her son.

now that the last of my fleeting hours has come )
Here is the first part in my translation of Verdi's first opera, Oberto conte di S. Bonifacio (Oberto, Count of San Bonifacio). To see the rest of the opera, once I have posted all the scenes, just click on the opera: oberto tag.

Read more... )
Returning after a hiatus!

Nabucco was Verdi's third opera and his first hit. It is loosely based on the Biblical stories of Nebuchadnezzar (Nabucodonosor) and the Babylonian Exile. As frequently happens in opera, the libretto shows little acquaintance with Biblical Judaism or actual history. However, if you can put that aside, there is glorious music, some highly dramatic confrontations, a soprano villain with a notoriously difficult part, and an unusual mad scene for baritone. Nabucco includes the well-known chorus "Va, pensiero," which became an unofficial anthem of the Italian Risorgimento.

Today I am posting a different chorus: "Il maledetto non ha fratelli." In this scene, the Jewish religious leaders curse Ismaele for betraying his people by saving Nabucco's daughter.

In vain he readies the poison for his lips, in vain the dagger strikes his heart! )
opera_cat: (baritones)
( Nov. 5th, 2010 04:45 pm)
It looks like I won't be able to keep up the pace of a post every day, after all. Some scenes (like this one) are longer and more complicated and so take more time. Thanks to the commenters at [livejournal.com profile] linguaphiles and my mother for helping me with some confusing bits. As always, any remaining mistakes are entirely mine.

Giuseppe Verdi's opera Don Carlos, first set to a French libretto in 1867, is more commonly performed in its revised Italian version, Don Carlo. In this powerful scene for bass and baritone, King Philip II of Spain (Philippe) questions Rodrigo (Rodrigue), the idealistic Marquis of Posa, and gets more than he bargained for.

I have never heard this stranger whose name is Truth! )
Verdi's opera Don Carlos was originally performed in French, but is better known in its Italian version, Don Carlo. This time, I have chosen to translate the French version of this duet, in which Rodrigue tries to console his friend Don Carlos for the arranged marriage of his beloved Elisabeth to Carlos's father King Philip. The two men swear eternal brotherhood and devotion to the cause of liberty. The Italian version is "Dio, che nell'alma infondere." In my opinion, this duet deserves to be better known. It may well be the most beautiful tenor/baritone duet I am familiar with, the only rival being "Au fond du temple saint" from Bizet's The Pearl Fishers.

I have omitted some background lines sung by the chorus and the Monk.

Let us be united in life and death )
Read more... )
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