Composers Datebook

Composers Datebook from American Public Media sends out free daily recording about compsers, its well done and informative. Here's the link
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Francis Bicknell Carpenter




From delanceyplace.comd (aily@delanceyplace.ccsend.com)

The portrait artist Francis Bicknell Carpenter (1830-1900), who used the White House as a studio while painting Abraham Lincoln, studied and painted Lincoln for nearly six months. On at least one notable occasion, he saw the forceful side of Lincoln's personality. He wrote:

"It has been the business of my life to study the human face, and I have said repeatedly to friends that Mr. Lincoln had the saddest face I ever attempted to paint. During some of the dark days of the spring and summer of 1864, I saw him at times when his care-worn, troubled appearance was enough to bring the tears of sympathy into the eyes of his most bitter opponents. I recall particularly one day, when, having occasion to pass through the main hall of the domestic apartments, I met him alone, pacing up and down a narrow passage, his hands behind him, his head bent forward upon his breast, heavy black rings under his eyes, showing sleepless nights--altogether such a picture of the effects of sorrow and care as I have never seen! ...

"A great deal has been said of the uniform meekness and kindness of heart of Mr. Lincoln, but there would sometimes be afforded evidence that one grain of sand too much would break even this camel's back. Among the callers at the White House one day was an officer who had been cashiered from the service. He had prepared an elaborate defense of himself, which he consumed much time in reading to the President. When he had finished, Mr. Lincoln replied that even upon his own statement of the case, the facts would not warrant executive interference. Disappointed, and considerably crestfallen, the man withdrew. ...

"[However, the man returned on two additional occasions and presented the same case in its entirety, and was twice again dismissed] Turning very abruptly, the officer said: 'Well, Mr. President, I see you are fully determined not to do me justice!' This was too aggravating, even for Mr. Lincoln. Manifesting, however, no more feeling than that indicated by a slight compression of the lips, he very quietly arose, laid down a package of papers he held in his hand, and then suddenly seized the defunct officer by the coat-collar, he marched him forcibly to the door, saying, as he ejected him into the passage: 'Sir, I gave you fair warning never to show yourself in this room again. I can bear censure, but not insult!' In a whining tone the man begged for his papers, which he had dropped. 'Begone, sir,' said the President, 'your papers will be sent to you. I never wish to see your face again.' "

Harold Holzer, Lincoln as I Knew Him, Algonquin, Copyright 1999 by Harold Holzer, pp. 193-195.

Una furtiva lagrima

Una furtiva lagrima (A furtive tear) is the romanza taken from Act II, Scene VIII of the Italian opera, L'elisir d'amore by Gaetano Donizetti. It is sung by Nemorino (tenor) when he finds that the love potion he bought to win his dream lady’s heart, Adina, works.
Nemorino is in love with Adina, but she isn't interested in a relationship with an innocent, rustic man. To win her heart, Nemorino buys a “love potion” with all the money he has in his pocket. The “love potion” is actually a cheap red wine sold by a traveling con man. But when he sees Adina weeping, he knows that she has fallen in love with him and the “Elixir” works.

Translation in English
One furtive secret tear
from her eyes did spring:
as if those youths who can be playful
it ( or she ) seemed to be envious of.
What more searching do I want?
What more searching do I want?
She loves me! Yes, she loves me, I see it. I see it.
Just for an instant the beats
of her beautiful heart if I could feel!
My sighs if they were mingled
for a while with her sighs!
The beats, the beats of her heart if I could feel,
to fuse my sighs with hers...
Heavens! Yes, I could die!
I ask for nothing more, nothing.
Oh, heavens! Yes, I could, I could die!
I ask for nothing more, nothing.
Yes, I could die! Yes, I could die of love.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t936rzOt3Zc

Un dì, felice, eterea

Un dì, felice, eterea is a duet from the first act of Giuseppe Verdi's opera La Traviata. It is sung by the male and female protagonists of the opera, Alfredo (a tenor) and Violetta (a soprano). The main melody of the duet, which is very famous in its own right, is also an important musical theme throughout the opera. It is also notable for being one of the songs heard in Pretty Woman.
English Translation (poetic
Alfredo:
That day I've never forgotten,
When I beheld your beauty.
Since that moment I loved you,
Loved and adored from afar.
Hoping for love, love that fills the universe,
Love that inspires radiant dreams of life eternal,
Strangely mysterious,
Shining in golden splendor,
Sorrow, sorrow and rapture,
Sorrow and rapture, rapturous joy!
Violetta:
Love, I fear, can never be,
Friendship is all I can offer.
Since love is pain and torment,
I avoid that strange emotion.
Pleasure is all I ask of life,
Freedom and joy forever!
So you must soon forget me
And find another love.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-D8fd95anYw

The Toreador Song

The Toreador Song (Votre toast, je peux vous le rendre) is one of the most famous arias from the opera Carmen by Georges Bizet. Sung by the matador Escamillo, it describes various situations in the ring, the cheering of the crowds and the fame that comes with victory.

English Translation
Your toast, I can give it to you
Sirs, sirs, for along with the soldiers
Yes, the Toreros, can understand;
For pleasure, for pleasure
They have fights!
The arena is full,
it is the day of celebration!
The arena is full, from top to bottom;
The spectators, losing their heads,
The spectators begin a grand ovation!
Apostrophes, cries and uproar
grow into a furor!
Because it is a celebration of courage!
It is the celebration of people with heart!
Let’s go, on guard! Let’s go! Let’s go! Ah!
Toreador, on guard! Toreador, Toreador!
And consider, yes, consider while fighting,
That a black eye is watching you,
And that love awaits you,
Toreador, love, love awaits you!
And consider, consider while fighting,
That a black eye is watching you
And love awaits you
Toreador, love, love awaits you!
All of a sudden, it is silent
It is silent
Ah, what is happening?
No more shouts! It is the moment!
No more shouts! It is the moment!
The bull throws himself out
Bounding out of the Toril!
He throws himself out! He enters.
He strikes! A horse rolls,
Dragging a picador,
Ah, Bravo! Bull! The crowd roars!
The bull goes, he comes,
He comes and strikes again!
Shaking his banderillos,
Full of fury, he runs!
The arena is full of blood!
They save themselves, they pass the gates
It is your turn now. Let’s go!
On guard! Let’s go! Let’s go! Ah!
Toreador, on guard! Toreador, Toreador!
And consider, yes, consider while fighting,
That a black eye is watching you,
And that love awaits you,
Toreador, Love, love awaits you!
And dream away, yes, dream in combat,
That a black eye is looking at you
And that love awaits you
Toreador, Love, love awaits you!
Love! Love! Love!
Toreador, Toreador, love awaits you!

The triumphal march occurs in the second act of Verdi's Aida as Radames and the Egyptian army return home after their victory over the Ethiopians. It is perhaps the most famous excerpt from the operatic score. The triumphal scene gives directors the opportunity for elaborate spectacle typical of the grand opera of the period in the nineteenth century.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqEn57tVA1s

Svegliatevi nel core


Svegliatevi nel core is the famous aria taken from act 1, scene 1 of the Italian opera, "Giulio Cesare" by German-born British Baroque composer, Georg Friedrich Händel. The aria is written for the role “Sesto”, a soprano in trouser role, including during the premiere, who sing it to assure his mother that he will avenge his father’s death (Pompey). Pompey was assassinated by the Egyptians, instructed by Tolomeo (Ptolemy XIII Theos Philopator) to demonstrate Egyptians loyalty to Julius Caesar. The words were written by Nicola Francesco Haym.
The scene takes place at the bridge over the Nile entering Alexandria, Egypt at 48 B.C.

Translation in English
Awaken in my heart
The wrath of an offended soul
So I may wreak upon a traitor
My bitter vengeance!
The ghost of my father
Hastens to my defense
Saying, “From you, my son
Ferocity is expected”

Sposa son disprezzata

Sposa son disprezzata ("I am wife and I am scorned") is an Italian aria written by Francesco Gasparini. It is used in Vivaldi's pasticcio, Bajazet.
The music for this aria was not composed by Vivaldi. The originating work is Francesco Gasparini's opera Metrope, composed before Vivaldi's pasticcio Bajazet. It was a common practice during Vivaldi's time to compile arias from other composers with one own's work for an opera. Vivaldi himself composed the arias for the good characters and mostly used existing arias from other composers for the villains in this opera. "Sposa son disprezzata" is sung by a villain character, Irene. Vivaldi has recently been attributed as the composer of the work, perhaps because Cecilia Bartoli's album "If You Love Me (Se tu m'ami ), 18th-Century Italian Songs") which uses Alessandro Parisotti's 19-century piano version, attributes the work solely to Vivaldi.
Translation in English
I am a scorned wife,
faithful, yet insulted.
Heavens, what did I do?
And yet he is my heart,
my husband, my love,
my hope.
I love him, but he is unfaithful,
I hope, but he is cruel,
will he let me die?
O God, valor is missing -
valor and constancy.

In the 1880s adaptation by Alessandro Parisotti, the second stanza is left out. This adaption is the most widely heard, popularized by mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli in the aforementioned album If You Love Me (Se tu m'ami).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jr3WNaMJMA8


Sebben, crudele

Sebben, crudele (Although, cruel love) is an aria from Antonio Caldara's 1710 opera La constanza in amor vince l'inganno (Faithfulness in love conquers treachery). Although the opera itself has been rarely performed in modern times, Sebben, crudele remains a popular concert aria. It has been recorded by Cecilia Bartoli, Beniamino Gigli and Janet Baker, amongst others

Libretto
Although, cruel love,
you make me languish,
I will always
love you true.
With the patience
of my serving
I will be able to tire out
your pride.

The cavatina Se vuol ballare


The cavatina Se vuol ballare is the title of an aria from the opera The Marriage of Figaro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. It means If you want to dance in Italian. Written a mere three years before the French Revolution, it portrays Figaro's intent to foil Count Almaviva's womanizing, but can also be read as a political attack on the power-wielding nobility of the time.
The song is sung by Figaro upon discovering the Count's ploys to exercise his newly reasserted feudal right of ius primae noctis to sleep with Figaro's wife Susanna before the consummation of their marriage. Figaro sings of how he will unravel the Count's schemes and thwart him

Translation in English
If you would dance, my pretty Count,
I'll play the little guitar for you, yes.
If you will come to my dancing school
I'll teach you the capriole, yes.

I will, I will learn, slowly;
Sooner every dark secret
by dissembling I shall uncover.

Artfully fencing, artfully working,
stinging here, joking there,
all of your schemes I'll turn inside out.

If you would dance, my pretty Count,
I'll play the little guitar for you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0PcHEdSpnA

Ombra mai fù

"Ombra mai fù" is an aria from the opera Serse (Xerxes) by George Frideric Handel.
The title, which translates from the Italian as Never has there been a shade, is the first aria of the opera. It is sung by the main character, Serse (or "Xerxes"), in praise of a tree's shade as he sits underneath it. It is commonly known as Handel's "Largo", although the original tempo was larghetto.
The opera was a commercial failure, lasting only five performances in London after its premiere. In the 19th century, however, the aria was rediscovered and became one of Handel's best-known pieces. Originally composed to be sung by a soprano castrato (and sung in modern performances of Serse by a countertenor or a mezzo-soprano), it has often been arranged for other voice types and instruments, including solo organ, solo piano, violin and piano, and string ensembles, often with the full title "Largo from Xerxes." Handel adapted the aria from the setting by Bononcini who, in turn, adapted it from the setting by Francesco Cavalli. All three composers had produced settings of the same opera libretto by Niccolò

Ombra mai fù
di vegetabile,
cara ed amabile,
soave più.
Never has there been a shade
of a plant
more dear and lovely,
or more gentle.

Vaga luna, che inargenti

Vaga luna, che inargenti is an arietta composed by Italian composer Vincenzo Bellini. The arietta is from Bellini's Composizioni da Camera. This song, along with many other of Bellini's songs is written in the style of bel canto. The arietta's lyrics are from an anonymous writer. The song was published after Bellini died. Its original key is in A-flat major with an andante cantabile tempo, and begins and ends with piano dynamics.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDmsqnOLRFM

Vesti la giubba

Vesti la giubba (Put on the costume) is a famous tenor aria performed as part of the opera Pagliacci, written and composed by Ruggero Leoncavallo, and first performed in 1892. Vesti la giubba is the conclusion of the first act, when Canio discovers his wife's infidelity, but must nevertheless prepare for his performance as Pagliaccio the clown because 'the show must go on'.
The aria is often regarded as one of the most moving in the operatic repertoire of the time. The pain of Canio is portrayed in the aria and exemplifies the entire notion of the 'tragic clown': smiling on the outside but crying on the inside. This is still displayed today as the clown motif often features the painted on tear running down the cheek of the performer.
Since the opera's first performance in 1892, this aria in particular has ingrained itself well into popular culture, and has often been featured in many renditions, mentions, and spoofs over the years. The 1904 recording by Enrico Caruso was the first million-selling record in history

Translation in English
To act! While out of my mind,
I no longer know what I say,
or what I do!
And yet it's necessary... make an effort!
Bah! Are you not a man?
You are Pagliaccio!
Put on your costume,
powder your face.
The people pay to be here, and they want to laugh.
And if Harlequin shall steal your Columbine,
laugh, Pagliaccio, so the crowd will cheer!
Turn your distress and tears into jest,
your pain and sobbing into a funny face - Ah!
Laugh, Pagliaccio,
at your broken love!
Laugh at the grief that poisons your heart!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ky271W94VHA

Vissi d'arte

Vissi d'arte is a soprano aria from Act II of the opera Tosca by Giacomo Puccini. It is sung by Tosca as she thinks of her fate and of her lover’s life which is at the mercy of Baron Scarpia. The aria begins “I lived for art, I lived for love, I never did harm to a living soul!”. She questions God for allowing her to make a decision to give away her dignity in the exchange for her lover’s life.
Translation in English
I lived for art, I lived for love,
I never did harm to a living soul!
With a secret hand
I relieved as many misfortunes as I knew of.
Ever in true faith
My prayer
Rose to the holy shrines.
Ever in true faith
I gave flowers to the altar.
In the hour of grief
Why, why, Lord,
Why do you reward me thus?
I gave jewels for the Madonna's mantle,
And songs for the stars, in heaven,
That shone forth with greater radiance.
In the hour of grief
Why, why, Lord
Ah, why do you reward me thus?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OIExoUb8jk

Vorrei spiegarvi, oh Dio

Vorrei spiegarvi, oh Dio! (K. 418) is a soprano aria by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Performed in the Burgtheater, Vienna 30 June 1783, it formed part of Il curioso indiscreto (I.6), an opera by Pasquale Anfossi along with two other Mozart insertion arias No, che non sei capace (I.7) (K. 419) and Per pietà, non ricercate (II. 4) (K. 420).

The Ride of the Valkyries


The Ride of the Valkyries (German: Walkürenritt), is the popular term for the beginning of Act III of Die Walküre by Richard Wagner. The main theme of the ride, the leitmotif labelled Walkürenritt was first written down by the composer on 23 July 1851. The preliminary draft for the Ride was composed in 1854 as part of the composition of the entire opera which was fully orchestrated by the end of the first quarter of 1856. Together with the Bridal Chorus from Lohengrin, the Ride of the Valkyries is one of Wagner's best-known pieces.
In the opera-house, the Ride, which takes around eight minutes, begins in the prelude to the Act, building up successive layers of accompaniment until the curtain rises to reveal a mountain peak where four of the eight Valkyrie sisters of Brünnhilde have gathered in preparation for the transportation of fallen heroes to Valhalla. As they are joined by the other four, the familiar tune is carried by the orchestra, while, above it, the Valkyries greet each other and sing their battle-cry. Apart from the song of the Rhinemaidens in Das Rheingold, it is the only ensemble piece in the first three operas of Wagner's Ring cycle. Outside the opera-house, it is usually heard in a purely instrumental version, which may be as short as three minutes.
The complete opera Die Walküre was first performed on 26 June 1870 in Munich against the composer's wishes. By January of the next year, Wagner was receiving requests for the Ride to be performed separately, but wrote that such a performance should be considered "an utter indiscretion" and forbade "any such thing". However, the piece was still printed and sold in Leipzig, and Wagner subsequently wrote a complaint to the publisher Schott. In the period up to the first performance of the complete Ring cycle, Wagner continued to receive requests for separate performances, his second wife Cosima noting "Unsavory letters arrive for R. – requests for the Ride of the Valkyries and I don't know what else." Once the Ring had been given in Bayreuth in 1876, Wagner lifted the embargo. He himself conducted it in London on Saturday 12 May 1877, repeating it as an encore.
Within the concert repertoire, the Ride of the Valkyries remains a popular encore, especially when other Wagnerian extracts feature in the scheduled programme. For example, at the BBC Proms it has been performed as such by Klaus Tennstedt and the London Philharmonic Orchestra on 6 August 1992 and also by Valery Gergiev with the Kirov Orchestra on 28 August 2001. It was also performed as part of the BBC Doctor Who Prom on July 27, 2008.
A group of German tanks are said to have played "Ride of the Valkyries" on their shortwave radios just before an assault launched in World War II. The scenario is described in the book The Forgotten Soldier, written in late 1940s and first published in French in the 1960s, which claims to be a personal account of the author, Guy Sajer, and his experience as a soldier of the German "Großdeutschland Division". He describes standing next to the tanks in the Battle of Memel (now Klaipeda) where he was gathering together with a ragtag force to attempt a breakout from a surrounded position, and says in the book that it was "a fitting accompaniment to supreme sacrifice"

"Ride of the Valkryies" was used to accompany several editions of Die Deutsche Wochenschau, the German wartime newsreel. The films in question were typically narrated by Harry Geise and featured sequences of Luftwaffe bombings

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gz3Cc7wlfkI

Recondita Armonia

Recondita Armonia is the first romanza in the opera Tosca, by Giacomo Puccini. It is sung by the painter, Mario Cavaradossi, when comparing his love, Tosca, to a lady he was painting.

Translation in English

Pass me the colors...
Concealed harmony of contrasting beauties!
Floria, my ardent lover, is dark haired.
And you, unknown beauty, crowned with blond hair,
You have blue eyes,
Tosca has black eyes!
Art, in its mysterious way,
blends the contrasting beauties together...
But while I'm painting her,
My only thought,
My only thought is of you,
Tosca, it is of you!


O zittre nicht, mein lieber Sohn

O zittre nicht, mein lieber Sohn ("Tremble not, my dear son") is the first aria performed by the Queen of the Night character (a famous soprano coloratura part) in Mozart's singspiel opera The Magic Flute. It is not as well known as the Queen's second aria, Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen, though no less demanding; the aria requires a soprano coloratura with extremely high tessitura and great vocal flexibility.
Among all famous coloratura soprano arias, this aria along with Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen are the two most commonly named. The Queen of the Night was one of the first well known roles which demanded a range that until Mozart's time was never called for, and this opened the door for many followers to call for specific kind of singers (lyric, dramatic, coloratura etc.) rather than just "soprano", "tenor" etc.[citation needed]
The part, in whole, calls for two arias, O zittre nicht and Der Hölle Rache. The first calls for a rather lyric and flexible voice while the second requires a dramatic and powerful voice. Originally, the part was written for Josepha Hofer, the composer's sister-in-law, whose voice possessed both of these qualities. Most modern performers are specialists in either lyric or dramatic style. This, along with the difficulty of the two arias, makes the role of the Queen of the Night one of the most demanding roles in operatic repertoire.
In the preceding scene, Prince Tamino was shown a portrait of the Queen's daughter Pamina and fallen instantly in love with her, singing of his feelings in the aria "Dies Bildnis ist bezaubernd schön". The Queen then makes a dramatic entrance, preceded by the Three Ladies calling to Tamino "Sie kommt! Sie kommt!" ("[Here] she comes!"). The grand entrance music for the Queen is in B flat, marked Allegro maestoso, with the following stage direction:
The mountains [in the scenery] are parted, and the stage is transformed into a magnificent chamber. The Queen is seated on a throne decorated with transparent stars.[1]
Not all modern productions adhere to this prescription.
In the aria, the Queen first quiets Tamino's fears and attempts to befriend him, then tells the sad tale of Pamina's abduction by Sarastro, then finally makes a stirring plea to Tamino to rescue her daughter. As the aria ends, the Queen and the Three Ladies leave the stage, leaving the astonished Tamino to ponder his task and gather his resolve.
The lyrics for the aria were written by the opera's librettist Emanuel Schikaneder. Schikaneder was the impresario for whom the opera was written as well as the first performer of the role of Papageno.

English translation
Oh, tremble not, my dear son!
You are innocent, wise, pious;
A youth like you must do his best
to console this deeply troubled mother's heart.

I am chosen for suffering
For my daughter is gone from me;
Through her all my happiness has been lost,
A villain fled with her.
I can still see her trembling
with fearful shaking,
her frightened quaking,
her timid effort.
I had to see her stolen from me,
Oh help! Oh help! was all that she said.
But in vain was her pleading,
For my powers of help were too weak.

You, you, you will go to free her,
You will be the rescuer of my daughter.
And if I see you return in triumph,
Then she will be yours forever.

There are five quatrains, of which the third is written in amphibrachic dimeter and the remaining ones in iambic tetrameter, which is the normal meter for The Magic Flute. Mozart repeats the words "Ach, helft!" ("Oh, help!") and "Du" ("you", twice), so the lines with these words are not iambic tetrameters as they are actually sung. The rhyme scheme is [AABB][CDCD][EEFF][GHGH][IJIJ].

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nndAlgIGQg

Non piangere, Liù

Non piangere, Liù (Don't cry, Liù) is an aria sung by Calàf, the "Unknown Prince" from Act I of the Italian opera, Turandot by Giacomo Puccini. The lyrics were written by Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni. The scene takes place before the walls of the imperial palace. In the preceding aria (Signore, ascolta! - "My lord, listen!" ), Liù begs Calàf not to risk his life by playing a deadly game to marry Princess Turandot, and Calàf responds to her gently, asking her not to cry.

Translation in English
Do not cry, Liù
If on a long-ago day
I smiled at you
For the sake of that smile,
My dear child
Listen to me
Your lord
will be, tomorrow,
perhaps, left alone in the world
Not to leave him...
take him with you
from exile,
make the journey easy for him
This... this,
oh my poor Liù,
to your modest heart
that does not fall
plead for the one
that doesn't smile anymore!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9pusxyUU70

No puede ser


No puede ser (It cannot be) is an aria sung by Leandro (tenor) in the second act of the zarzuela, La tabernera del puerto, composed by Pablo Sorozábal to a libretto by Federico Romero and Guillermo Fernández-Shaw. La tabernera del puerto premiered in Barcelona in 1936. One of the most famous arias in Spanish language, No puede ser has been part of the concert repertoire of many Spanish tenors, including Alfredo Kraus, José Carreras and Plácido Domingo who sang it in the 1990 Three Tenors concert.

Nessun dorma


Nessun dorma (English: None shall sleep) is an aria from the final act of Giacomo Puccini's opera Turandot, and is one of the best-known tenor arias in all opera. It is sung by Calaf, il principe ignoto (the unknown prince), who falls in love at first sight with the beautiful but cold Princess Turandot. However, any man who wishes to wed Turandot must first answer her three riddles; if he fails, he will be beheaded.
In the act before this aria, Calaf has correctly answered the three riddles put to all of Princess Turandot's prospective suitors. Nevertheless, she recoils at the thought of marriage to him. Calaf offers her another chance by challenging her to guess his name by dawn. (As he kneels before her, the Nessun dorma theme makes a first appearance, to his words, "Il mio nome non sai!") If she does so, she can execute him; but if she does not, she must marry him. The cruel and emotionally cold princess then decrees that none of her subjects are to sleep that night until his name is discovered. If they fail, all will be killed.
As the final act opens, it is now night. Calaf is alone in the moonlit palace gardens. In the distance, he hears Turandot's heralds proclaiming her command. His aria begins with an echo of their cry and a reflection on Princess Turandot:
"Nessun dorma! Nessun dorma! Tu pure, o Principessa, nella tua fredda stanza, guardi le stelle che tremano d'amore, e di speranza!"
(English translation: "None shall sleep! None shall sleep! Even you, O Princess, in your cold bedroom, watch the stars that tremble with love and with hope!")
"Ma il mio mistero è chiuso in me; il nome mio nessun saprà! No, No! Sulla tua bocca lo dirò quando la luce splenderà!"
("But my secret is hidden within me; none will know my name! No, no! On your mouth I will say it when the light shines!")
"Ed il mio bacio scioglierà il silenzio che ti fa mia!"
("And my kiss will dissolve the silence that makes you mine!")
Just before the climactic end of the aria, a chorus of women is heard singing in the distance:
"Il nome suo nessun saprà... E noi dovrem, ahimè, morir, morir!"
("No one will know his name... and we will have to, alas, die, die!")
Calaf, now certain of victory, sings:
"Dilegua, o notte! Tramontate, stelle! Tramontate, stelle! All'alba vincerò! Vincerò! Vincerò!"
("Vanish, o night! Set, stars! Set, stars! At dawn, I will win! I will win! I will win! ")
In performance, the final "Vincerò!" features a sustained B4, followed by the final note, an A4 sustained even longer—although Puccini's score did not explicitly specify that either note be sustained. In the original score, the B is written as an eighth note while the A is a quarter note. Both are high notes in the tenor range. The only recording to follow Puccini's score exactly was the very first, sung by Gina Cigna and Francesco Merli, conducted by Franco Ghione.
In Alfano's completion of Act 3, the Nessun dorma theme makes a final triumphal appearance at the end of the opera. The theme also makes a concluding reappearance in Luciano Berio's later completion (this having been an expressed intention of Puccini's), but in a more subdued orchestration.






Mon cœur s'ouvre à ta voix

Con cœur s'ouvre à ta voix is a popular mezzo-soprano aria from Camille Saint-Saëns's opera Samson and Delilah, known in English as "Softly awakes my heart", or more literally "My heart opens itself to your voice". It is sung by Delilah in Act II as she attempts to seduce Samson into revealing the secret of his strength.[1] In actual performance of the opera, Delilah is responding to Samson's words "Dalila! Dalila! Je t'aime!" (Delilah! Delilah! I love you!) which he repeats between the first and second verses of her aria

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X79OkSayPSw

Madamina, il catalogo è questo


Madamina, il catalogo è questo (also known as The Catalogue Aria) is an aria from Mozart's opera Don Giovanni to an Italian libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte.
It is sung in scene 5 of the first act of the opera, by Leporello, to Donna Elvira. It consists of a description and count of his master's lovers but is sung (for the most part) to a light-hearted or laid-back tune. It is one of Mozart's most famous and popular arias.
The aria's two halves reverse the usual order of cavatina followed by cabaletta: in the first, a quick Allegro in 4/4, Leporello has a patter summarizing the number and occupations of Don Giovanni's lovers, while in the second, an Andante con moto in 3/4 (with a melody similar to that of the Larghetto of Mozart's earlier Quintet for Piano and Winds), he describes his approaches and preferences, while Donna Elvira presumably listens in horror.
A corresponding scene in which Don Giovanni's servant expounds the catalogue of his master's lovers was already present in several versions of Don Juan's story, in opera, theatre and Commedia dell'arte: probably the initiator was a version of Il convitato di pietra ("The Stone Guest") attributed to Andrea Cicognini. The most immediate forerunner (premiering in 1787, a few months before Mozart's Don Giovanni) was the opera Don Giovanni, o sia Il convitato di pietra composed by Giuseppe Gazzaniga to a libretto by Giovanni Bertati. In Gazzaniga's opera, the aria in which Don Giovanni's servant, Pasquariello, describes his master's catalogue of lovers to Donna Elvira begins


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqeyElCHRM8

Libiamo ne'lieti calici



Libiamo ne'lieti calici (Drinking Song) is the most famous duet from Verdi's La traviata, perhaps one of the most well known fragments of opera around the world, and an obligatory performance (as is this opera itself) for any great tenor. The song is categorised as a Brindisi, which encourages alcoholic drinking. Those who have performed it include Luciano Pavarotti, Giuseppe di Stefano, Plácido Domingo, José Carreras, Enrico Caruso, and many others. The words were written by Francesco Maria Piave.
The duet is performed in the first act of the opera, at Violetta Valéry's house, and it is sung by Alfredo Germont and Violetta. Alfredo is a young man in love with Violetta. The scene is a late-night party at Violetta's house. Alfredo is convinced by Gastone (Alfredo's friend) and Violetta to show off his voice. He sings this drinking song


Largo al factotum



Largo al factotum ("Make way for the factotum") is an aria from The Barber of Seville by Gioachino Rossini, sung at the first entrance of the title character; the repeated "Figaro"s before the final patter section are an icon in popular culture of operatic singing. The term "factotum" refers to a general servant and comes from the Latin where it literally means "do everything."
Due to the constant singing of triplets in 6/8 meter at a presto tempo the piece is often noted as one of the most difficult baritone arias to perform. This, along with the tongue-twisting nature of some of the lines, insisting on Italian superlatives (always ending in '-issimo'), have made it a pièce de résistance in which a skilled baritone has the chance to highlight all of his qualities.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yf4c8uREO3U

La mamma morta

La mamma morta (They Killed my Mother) is an aria of the 1896 opera Andrea Chénier by Umberto Giordano, sung by the role of Maddalena di Coigny (soprano).

Translation in English
They killed my mother
in the doorway of my room
She died and saved me!!
Later, at dead of night,
I wandered about with Bersi,
when suddenly
a livid glow flickers
and lights were ahead of me
the dark street!
I looked at it!
My birthhouse was on fire!
I was alone!
and surrounded by nothingness!
Hunger and misery!
deprivation and danger.!
I became ill,
and Bersi, so good and pure
made a market of her beauty (prostitution)
for my sake!
I bring misfortune to all who love me!
It was then, in my grief,
that love came to me!
And murmured in a sweet, melodius voice
You must live ! I am life itself!
Heaven is in my eyes!
You're not alone!
My breast can dry your tears
I will walk with you and be your support!
Smile and hope! I'm love itself!
Is all around you blood and mire?
I am divine! I can make you forget!
I am the god who descends to earth
from the empyrean and makes this world
A paradise! Ah!
I am love, love, love
And the angel approaches, kisses me,
and in that kiss is death!
The moribund body is my body.
So take it.
I have already died like that!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5FfGb5qtDU

"La donna è mobile"


"La donna è mobile" ("Woman is fickle") is the cynical Duke of Mantua's canzone from Giuseppe Verdi's opera Rigoletto (1851). The inherent irony, of course, is that it is the callous playboy Duke himself who is mobile ("inconstant"). Its reprise in the last act is chilling, as Rigoletto realizes from the sound of the Duke's lively voice coming from within the tavern (offstage), that the body in the sack over which he has grimly triumphed is not that of the Duke after all: Rigoletto had paid Sparafucile, an assassin, to kill the Duke but Sparafucile deceived him by killing Gilda, Rigoletto's beloved daughter, instead.
The canzone is famous as a showcase for tenors. Raffaele Mirate's performance of the bravura aria at the opera's 1851 premiere was hailed as the highlight of the evening. It has been recorded by Enrico Caruso, Mario Lanza, Plácido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, Juan Diego Flórez, Jussi Björling, Vitas and hundreds of others. Before this song's first public performance (in Venice), it was rehearsed under tight secrecy: a necessary precaution, because it proved to be catchy and soon after its first public performance every gondolier in Venice was singing it.
The almost comical-sounding theme of La donna è mobile is introduced immediately, and runs as illustrated (transposed from the original key of B major). The theme is repeated several times in the approximately two minutes it takes to perform the aria, but with the important -- and obvious -- omission of the last bar. This has the effect of driving the music forward as it creates the impression of being incomplete and unresolved, which it is, having left off not on the tonic or dominant but on the submediant. Once the Duke has finished singing, however, the theme is once again repeated; but this time including the last, and conclusive, bar and finally resolving to the tonic. The song is strophic in form with an orchestral ritornello



In questa reggia

In questa reggia (In this palace) is an aria from Giacomo Puccini's opera Turandot set to a libretto in Italian by Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni. The text is based on Friedrich Schiller's adaptation of the play Turandot by Carlo Gozzi. The aria takes place in Scene Two of the Second Act, and is sung mostly by the Princess Turandot (soprano), but with a reply from Calaf (tenor), which is a key point of the opera.
In the aria, Turandot explains that the reason the three riddles were conceived was as a test for any prince who might want to marry her. She explains that in the same palace, countless generations ago (thousands of years ago), a reigning Princess Lo-u-Ling was conquered by the King of the Tartars, raped and murdered. In particular, she dwells upon the Princess' final crying out and her moment of death at the hands of a man. Based on that memory alone and the concept of that crying out having been carried down through the many generations to Turandot herself, she resolves to avenge that death by imposing it on all men who fail in the attempt to marry her. She warns the prince that if he fails to answer any one of the three riddles, he will die.
The climax of the aria occurs with the word "grido" ("outcry" or "crying out") and clearly Turandot is reliving and personifying the last moments of her ancestor, its outrage and its long awaited vengeance.
The orchestra emphasises her ominous final couplet:-

Straniero! Non tentar la fortuna!
Gli enigmi sono tre, la morte una!
Stranger! Do not tempt Fortune!
The riddles are three, Death is one!
But Calaf returns this to her as
No,no... gli enigmi sono tre, una è la vita!
No, no... the riddles are three, Life is one!
Some of the very distinctive music which ends this aria, reappears briefly in the Act 3 duet Principessa di morte (as completed by Alfano), as Calaf finally embraces a still-reluctant Turandot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWle3od3BCc

Il dolce suono



Il dolce suono ("The Sweet Sound") is the incipit of the recitativo of a "scena ed aria" taken from Act III scene 1, Lucia di Lammermoor by Gaetano Donizetti. It is also commonly known as “mad scene” sung by the leading soprano, Lucia.
Lucia descends into madness, and on her first wedding night, while the festivities are still being held in the Great Hall, she stabs her new husband, Arturo, in the bridal chamber. Dishevelled, unaware of what she has done, she wanders in the Great Hall, recalling her meetings with Edgardo and imagining herself married to him.
Donizetti intended the aria to be accompanied by the eerie sound of the glass harmonica, though this instrument is often replaced in performance by a flute.
An arrangement of the aria was featured in the film The Fifth Element, sung by the alien character Diva Plavalaguna voiced by Inva Mula. Russian pop countertenor Vitas recorded a similar shortened version under the title "Lucia Di Lammermoor".


Translation in English
The sweet sound of his voice struck me!
Ah, that voice has entered my heart!
Edgardo! I surrender to you, oh my Edgardo!
I have escaped from your enemies.
A chill creeps into my breast!
Every fibre trembles!
My foot falters!
Sit down by the fountain with me a while!
Alas, the tremendous phantom arises and separates us!
Let us take refuge here, Edgardo, at the foot of the altar.
It is scattered with roses!
A heavenly harmony, tell me, do you not hear it?
Ah, the marriage hymn is playing!
They are preparing the rite for us! Oh, how happy I am!
Oh joy that is felt but not said!
The incense is burning!
The holy torches are shining, shining around!
Here is the minister!
Give me your right hand!
Oh joyful day!
At last I am yours, at last you are mine,
A god gives you to me.
Let me share
The greatest pleasures with you,
A smile from merciful heaven,
Life will be ours.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNqDEt8Ec38

The habanera



The habanera (from the Cuban Capital "Havana", which in Spanish is La Habana), a most popular music genre at the end of the 19th century, originated in Cuba and spread all over the Spanish colonies and subsequently to Europe. Many French musicians composed beautiful habaneras, Saint-Saëns among them. The famous aria from the opera Carmen by Georges Bizet was adapted from the habanera El Arreglito," originally composed by the Spanish musician Sebastián Yradier.[1] Bizet used the melody in the belief that it was a folk song. When he was made aware that it had been written by a composer who had died only ten years earlier, he added a note to the vocal score of Carmen, acknowledging its source.[2]
It is based on a descending chromatic scale followed by variants of the same phrase in first the minor and then the major key, corresponding with the vicissitudes of love expressed in the lyrics. In live performances, after singing the concluding words of the song (prends garde à toi!),[3] Carmen tosses a flower to Don José. Later on, in the celebrated Flower Song,[4] Don José tells how he treasured the flower while in prison


Translation in English

When will I love you?
Good Lord, I don't know,
Maybe never, maybe tomorrow.
But not today, that's for sure.
Love is a rebellious bird
that nobody can tame,
and you call him quite in vain
if it suits him not to come.
Nothing helps, neither threat nor prayer.
One man talks well, the other keeps silent;
it's the other one that I prefer.
He never said anything, but I like his looks.
Love! Love! Love! Love!
Love is a gypsy's child,
it has never, ever, recognized the law;
if you love me not, then I love you;
if I love you, you'd best beware!
if you love me not,
if you love me not, then I love you;
but if I love you,
if I love you, you'd best beware!
if you love me not,
if you love me not, then I love you;
but if I love you,
if I love you, you'd best beware!
The bird you thought you had caught
beat its wings and flew away ...
love stays away, you wait and wait;
when least expected, there it is!
All around you, swift, swift,
it comes, goes, then it returns ...
you think you hold it fast, it flees
you think you're free, it holds you fast.
Love! Love! Love! Love!
Love is a gypsy child,
it has never, ever, known law;
if you love me not, then I love you;
if I love you, you'd best beware!

The Flower Duet

"The Flower Duet" (Viens, Mallika, les lianes en fleurs... Sous le dôme épais) is a famous duet, between characters Lakmé and Mallika, from Léo Delibes’ opera Lakmé, first performed in 1883

Flight of the Bumblebee

"Flight of the Bumblebee" is an orchestral interlude written by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov for his opera The Tale of Tsar Saltan, composed in 1899–1900. The piece closes Act III, Tableau 1, during the magic Swan-Bird changes Prince Gvidon Saltanovich (the Tsar's son) into an insect so that he can fly away to visit his father (who does not know that he is alive). Although in the opera the Swan-Bird sings during the first part of the "Flight", her vocal line is melodically uninvolved and easily omitted; this feature, combined with the fact that the number decisively closes the scene, made easy extraction as an orchestral concert piece possible
Although the "Flight" does not have a title in the score of the opera, its common English title translates like the Russian one (Полёт шмеля = Polyot shmelya). Incidentally, this piece does not constitute one of the movements of the orchestral suite that the composer derived from the opera for concerts.
Those familiar with the opera Tsar Saltan may recognize two leitmotifs used in the Flight, both of which are associated with Prince Gvidon from earlier in the opera. These are illustrated here in musical notation:
The music of this number recurs in modified form during the ensuing tableau (Act III, Tableau 2), at the points when the Bumblebee appears during the scene: it stings the two evil sisters on the brow, blinds Babarikha (the instigator of the plot to trick Saltan at the beginning into sending his wife away), and in general causes havoc at the end of the tableau. Readers of Aleksandr Pushkin's original poem upon which this opera is based will note that Gvidon is supposed to go on three separate trips to Saltan's kingdom, each of which requires a transformation into a different insect.
"Flight of the Bumblebee" is recognizable for its frantic pace when played up to tempo, with nearly uninterrupted runs of chromatic sixteenth notes. It is not so much the pitch or range of the notes that are played that challenges the musician, but simply the musician's ability to move to them quickly enough.
Although the original orchestral version mercifully assigns portions of the sixteenth-note runs to various instruments in tandem, in the century since its composition the piece has become a standard showcase for solo instrumental virtuosity, whether on the original violin or on practically any other melodic instrument.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gfP-ag6i5o

E lucevan le stelle

E lucevan le stelle is the romanza of Mario Cavaradossi in the 3rd act of Tosca, the opera composed by Giacomo Puccini to an Italian libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa. It is sung by Tosca's lover, the painter Mario Cavaradossi (tenor), while waiting for his coming execution.
Written in B minor, is one of the most famous opera arias.
The aria is introduced by a somber clarinet solo. The incipit of the melody (heard in outline earlier in the Act, as the sky lightens and the gaoler prepares for the execution) is repeated on the lines "O dolci baci, o languide carezze", and also restated forte in the closing bars of the opera, as Tosca jumps from the ramparts.

How the stars used to shine there,
How sweet the earth smelled,
The orchard gate would creak,
And a footstep would lightly crease the sand.
She'd come in, fragrant as a flower,
And she'd fall into my arms.
Oh! sweet kisses, oh! lingering caresses,
Trembling, I'd slowly uncover her dazzling beauty.
Now, my dream of love has vanished forever.
My last hour has flown, and I die hopeless!
And never have loved life more!

In 1920, the stage performer Al Jolson, together with Buddy de Sylva and Vincent Rose, wrote a popular song, "Avalon", about the town of the same name on Santa Catalina island. The following year, G. Ricordi, the publisher of Puccini's operas, sued all parties associated with the song, arguing that the melody was lifted from E lucevan le stelle. Puccini and his publisher prevailed in the case and were awarded $25,000 in damages and all future royalties for the song.

"Lamento di Federico"


The "Lamento di Federico" È la solita storia del pastore is a famous aria taken from act II of the opera L'arlesiana by Francesco Cilea. It is sung by Federico who is deeply in love with a girl from Arles, l'Arlesiana but his family has arranged his marriage with Vivetta. Vivetta has always loved Federico since childhood and disappointed to know of his love for l'Arlesiana. When he was left alone, Federico read the letters of l'Arlesiana and ponder them with his broken heart.
The aria is famous for tenors and has been recorded by Enrico Caruso, Plácido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, José Carreras and many others

Translation in English
It’s the old tale of the shepherd...
The poor boy wanted to retell it
And he fell asleep.
There is oblivion in sleep.
How I envy him!
I too would like to sleep like that
To find oblivion at least in slumber!
I am searching only for peace.
I would like to be able to forget everything!
Yet every effort is in vain.
Before me I always have
her sweet face.
Peace is ever taken from me.
Why must I suffer so very much?
She, as always speaks to my heart.
Fatal vision, leave me!
You hurt me so deeply! Alas!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvNmK13r1fU


Donna non vidi mai


Donna non vidi mai (English:I have never seen a woman) is an aria from the first act of Giacomo Puccini's opera, Manon Lescaut.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cLZBFl8-sg

Dies Bildnis ist bezaubernd schön



Dies Bildnis ist bezaubernd schön ("This image is enchantingly lovely") is an aria from the 1791 opera Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, libretto by Emanuel Schikaneder. The aria comes from Act I, scene I of the opera. Prince Tamino has just been presented by the Three Ladies with an image of the princess Pamina, and falls instantly in love with her.

English translation
This image is enchantingly lovely,
Like no eye has ever beheld!
I feel it as this divine picture,
Fills my heart with new emotion.
I cannot name my feeling,
Though I feel it burn like fire within me,
Could this feeling be love?
Yes! Yes! It is love alone!
Oh, if only I could find her,
If only she were standing before me,
I would, I would, with warmth and honor ...
What would I do? Full of rapture,
I would fold her in this glowing bosom,
And then she would be mine forever!

Mozart composed the aria in E-flat major. It is scored for two clarinets, two bassoons, two horns, the usual string section, and the tenor soloist.
Mozart's musical setting mostly follows the scheme of Schikaneder's poem. There is an opening section in E flat corresponding to Schikaneder's first quatrain, a modulation to the dominant key of B flat for the second quatrain, a chromatic and modulating passage for the first triplet, and a return to E flat for the last.
The third to last line ":Was würde ich? Ich würde sie voll Entzücken" is not a legal iambic tetrameter, and may reflect a change of the text by Mozart, who places a dramatic full-measure pause after Tamino's self-directed question.
The orchestra for the most part plays a discreet accompaniment to the soloist. There is a solo for the clarinets between the first and second quatrains, and the first violins play a thirty-second note motif, evoking Tamino's surging emotions, in the third section.
The aria was first sung by Benedikt Schack (1758-1826), a friend of Mozart's[1] who performed the role of Tamino at the premiere of The Magic Flute.[2] It is frequently performed and recorded today, both as part of The Magic Flute and separately in recitals and recorded compilations.

Di quella pira


Di quella pira is a popular tenor aria (or more specifically cabaletta) sung by Manrico in Act 3, Scene 2 of Giuseppe Verdi's opera, Il trovatore
In a chamber adjoining the chapel at Castellor, Leonora and Manrico vow their love for each other. After Manrico's aria Ah si, ben mio coll'essere ("Ah, yes, my love, in being yours"), they are about to take their marriage vows. However, Ruiz, Manrico's comrade, suddenly returns to report that Manrico's mother Azucena is to be burned at the stake. Manrico calls together his soldiers and sings of how they will save Azucena from death: "Di quella pira l'orrendo foco tutte le fibre m'arse avvampò!..." ("The horrible blaze of that pyre burns, enflames all of my being!...")


Der Hölle Rache kocht


Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen ("Hell's vengeance boils in my heart") is the second aria sung by the Queen of the Night in Mozart's opera The Magic Flute (Die Zauberflöte).

"Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen", commonly abbreviated "Der Hölle Rache", is often referred to as "The Queen of the Night Aria", despite the fact that the Queen of the Night character sings another distinguished aria earlier in the opera, "O zittre nicht, mein lieber Sohn". It is considered to be one of the most famous opera arias, highly memorable, fast paced and menacingly grandiose.
The aria forms part of the second act of the opera. It depicts a fit of vengeful rage, in which the Queen of the Night puts a knife into the hand of her daughter Pamina and exhorts her to assassinate Sarastro, the Queen's rival, on pain of denying and cursing Pamina if she does not comply.
The aria is written in D minor, and is scored for pairs of flutes, oboes, bassoons, horns, and trumpets, along with timpani and the string section. This is a larger orchestra than for "O zittre nicht" and comprises all the players from the opera as a whole, other than the trombones.
The aria is widely renowned for being a demanding piece to perform well. The aria's range is two octaves, from F4 to a stunning F6. The piece requires a high tessitura — even for sopranos. The artistic demands of the dramatic context, a vengeful demand for murder, put a heavy demand on even the well-qualified voice.

Hell's vengeance boils in my heart,
Death and despair flame about me!
If Sarastro does not, through you, feel the pain of death,
Then you will be my daughter nevermore.
Disowned be forever,
Forsaken be forever,
Destroyed be forever
All the bonds of nature
If you do not make Sarastro turn pale!
Hear, Gods of Vengeance, hear a mother's oath!

Metrically, the text consists of a quatrain in iambic pentameter (exceptional for this opera, which is mostly in iambic tetrameter), followed by a quatrain in iambic trimeter, then a final pentameter couplet. The rhyme scheme is [ABAB][CCCD][ED].

Dance of the Hours



Dance of the Hours is a ballet from the opera La Gioconda composed by Amilcare Ponchielli.

The ballet was used in the Walt Disney animated film Fantasia, albeit with ballet-dancing hippos (complete with tutus), ostriches, alligators and elephants.[1] Some of the orchestration was revised by conductor Leopold Stokowski.
The piece may best be recognized from one segment of it that formed the basis for the hit song "Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh" and its sequel "Return to Camp Granada" by Allan Sherman. That same segment has also been used in television advertisements (Velveeta, et al.) as recently as 2005. It is also the source of the tune for the song "Like I Do", a hit for Maureen Evans in 1962.
Choreographer Christopher Wheeldon created a new rendition of Dance of the Hours for his ballet company, Morphoses [1]. The work was featured in the company's New York debut, on October 17, 2007.

Ch'ella mì creda libero



Ch'ella mì creda libero is a tenor aria from Act III of the opera La fanciulla del West by Giacomo Puccini. It is the final tenor aria sung by Dick Johnson (a.k.a the bandit "Ramerrez") before his death sentence. In the aria, he was hoping for the Sheriff and the miners not to tell Minnie, his lover about his ill-fated destiny. He wishes Minnie to be told that he has gone far away and will never return.
It is said that during World War I, Italian soldiers going away to the front would sing this aria as they marched.

Translation in English
Let her believe I’m far away and free
Ahead to a new life of redemption!…
She will wait for me to return…
And the days will pass,
And the days will pass,
and I would not be coming back..
and I would not be coming back..
Minnie, the only flower of my life,
Minnie, you who love me so much!…
So much!
Ah, you’re the only flower of my life!

Celeste Aida



Celeste Aida ("Heavenly Aida") is the romanza in the opera Aida, by Giuseppe Verdi. It is sung by Radamès, the young Egyptian warrior who wishes to be chosen as a Commander of the Egyptian army. He dreams of gaining victory on the battle field and also for the Ethiopian slave girl, Aida, with whom he is secretly in love.
The aria takes place in the first act in the hall of the King's palace
Translation in English
If only I were that warrior!
If only my dream might come true!
An army of brave men with me as their leader
And victory and the applause of all Memphis!
And to you, my sweet Aida,
To return crowned with laurels,
To tell you: for you I have fought,
For you I have conquered!
Heavenly Aida, divine form,
Mystical garland of light and flowers,
You are queen of my thoughts,
You are the splendour of my life.
I want to give you back your beautiful sky,
The sweet breezes of your native land,
To place a royal garland on your hair,
To raise you a throne next to the sun.


Bridal Chorus


The "Bridal Chorus" "Treulich geführt", from the opera Lohengrin, by German composer Richard Wagner, is the standard march played for the bride's entrance at many formal weddings throughout the Western world. In English-speaking countries it is generally known as "Here Comes the Bride" or "Wedding March" (though actually "wedding march" refers to any piece in march tempo accompanying the entrance or exit of the bride, notably Felix Mendelssohn's "Wedding March").
Its usual placement at the beginning of a wedding ceremony is not entirely in accordance with its placement in the opera. In the opera, the chorus is sung after the ceremony by the women of the wedding party, as they accompany the heroine Elsa to the bridal chamber. In addition, the marriage between Elsa and Lohengrin is an almost immediate failure.


Although at most weddings the chorus is usually played without vocal singing (usually on an organ, if there is any), in Lohengrin the wedding party sings these words at the beginning of Act Three:
Faithfully guided, draw near
to where the blessing of love shall preserve you!
Triumphant courage, the reward of love,
joins you in faith as the happiest of couples!
Champion of virtue, proceed!
Jewel of youth, proceed!
Flee now the splendour of the wedding feast,
may the delights of the heart be yours!
This sweet-smelling room, decked for love,
now takes you in, away from the splendour.
Faithfully guided, draw now near
to where the blessing of love shall preserve you!
Triumphant courage, love so pure,
joins you in faith as the happiest of couples!


The Anvil Chorus



The Anvil Chorus is the English term for the Coro di zingari (Italian gypsy chorus), a piece of music from Act 2, Scene 1 of Giuseppe Verdi's Il trovatore (The Troubador) (1853) which depicts Spanish Gypsies striking their anvils at dawn (hence its English name) and singing the praises of hard work, good wine, and their gypsy women. Most recordings will list this as Vedi! Le fosche notturne.
In the early twentieth century, the Anvil Chorus was commonly sung by the spectators or played by a band when a player, especially an opponent, committed an error, or to "rub it in" to the losing side.[clarification needed] References to this occur frequently in the sports verse of Grantland Rice.

See how the clouds melt away
from the face of the sky when the sun shines, its brightness beaming;
just as a widow, discarding her black robes,
shows all her beauty in brilliance gleaming.
So, to work now!
Lift up your hammers!
Who turns the gypsy's day from gloom to brightest sunshine?
His lovely gypsy maid!
Fill up the goblets! New strength and courage
flow from lusty wine to soul and body.
See how the rays of the sun play and sparkle
and give to our wine gay new splendor.
So, to work now!
Who turns the gypsy's day from gloom to brightest sunshine?
His lovely gypsy maid!


Amor, vida de mi vida


Amor, vida de mi vida (Love, life of my life) is a an aria (romanza) for tenor from the zarzuela Maravilla composed by Federico Moreno Torroba to a libretto by Luís Fernández Ardavín.[1] It premiered in Madrid in 1941, where the aria was sung by the tenor, Luis Sagi-Vela. It is one of the most famous arias in the Spanish language and was included in the repertoire of The Three Tenors (sung by Plácido Domingo)
The aria expresses the heartache of Rafael, a talented but unlucky singer, in love with Elvira. However, Elvira is in a relationship with Faustino, who is the theatrical producer of her mother, Maravilla, an opera diva who will be Rafael's
partner in her next performance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmtqTxiGJrE

Quando me'n vò



"Quando me'n vò," also known as "Musetta's Waltz," is a soprano aria from Act II of Puccini's opera La bohème. It is sung by the character Musetta, in the presence of her bohemian friends, and is directed toward Marcello in order to make him jealous

When I walk
When I walk alone in the street
People stop and stare at me
And everyone looks at my beauty,
Looks at me,
From head to foot...
And then I relish the sly yearning
which escapes from their eyes
and which is able to perceive
my most hidden beauties.
Thus the scent of desire is all around me,
and it makes me happy, makes me happy!
And you who know, who remember and yearn,
You shrink from me?
I know it very well:
you do not want to express your anguish,
I know so well that you do not want to express it
but you feel as if you are dying!

Puccini on film

O mio babbino caro

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zu5TkdcZA-M

O mio babbino caro (Oh my dear papa) is an aria from the opera Gianni Schicchi (1918), by Giacomo Puccini, to a libretto by Giovacchino Forzano. It is sung by Lauretta after tensions between Schicchi and his prospective in-laws have reached a breaking point that threatens to separate her from Rinuccio, the boy she loves. It provides a contrasting interlude expressing lyrical simplicity and single-hearted love in the atmosphere of hypocrisy, jealousy, double-dealing and feuding in medieval Florence of Puccini's only comedy, and it provides the only set-piece in the through-composed conversational musical give-and-take.

Italian Translation in English

Oh my dear papa
I like him, he is handsome, handsome
I want to go to Porta Rossa
to buy the ring!
Yes, yes, I want to go there!
And if my love were in vain,
I would go to the Ponte Vecchio
and throw myself in the Arno!
I am being consumed and tormented!
Oh God, I'd like to die!
Papa, have pity, have pity!
Papa, have pity, have pity!

Allen Hughes

Allen Hughes was a longtime music and dance critic for the New York Times, known for his encouragement of experimental dance companies and his love of the 20th-century French musical repertory.

Jeanne-Claude Javacheff


Jeanne-Claude Javacheff was an artist who created the 2005 Central Park installation The Gates and other large-scale “wrapping” projects around the globe with her husband Christo. Their other projects include wrapping the Reichstag in Germany, the Pont Neuf in Paris, the Kunsthalle in Bern, Switzerland, and a Roman wall in Italy; a 1991 project involved thousands of bright yellow and blue umbrellas positioned across miles of inland valleys in Japan and California.

Elisabeth Söderström




Elisabeth Söderström was a Swedish soprano, an international opera star who
performed at the Royal Swedish Opera from 1949 through 1980. She
frequently appeared in and sold out some of the largest opera houses in the world, including New York’s Metropolitan Opera

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KSSqfQd-R4


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otIzqKF1pdA

Otomar Krejca

Otomar Krejca was a theater director in the Czech Republic, who, in 1965 help to co found the Theater Za Branou in Prague. After the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, Krejca signed a petition demanding the Russian withdraw from his country. He Soviets responded by firing him from his job as director of the National Theater and exiling him out of the country. He directed more than 40 productions in theaters in Germany, Austria, Italy, Belgium, France, Finland, and Sweden.

Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein

"In the months following the opening of Oklahoma!, Richard (Dick) and Oscar Hammerstein began setting up a series of other business arrangements through their lawyer, Howard Reinheimer. Between them they laid the foundation for what would become within a few short years one of the most powerful and influential organizations in the American theater. Their basic intention was to put themselves in a position, vis a vis their own work, that would have turned even [Flo] Ziegfeld green with envy. ...

"In 1951, the magazine Business Week estimated the income of the team as around $1,500,000 a year {$12.5 million in today's dollars]. By the mid-50s, the firm was grossing well over $15,000,000 a year [over $120 million in today's dollars], by which time it had also bought back The Theatre Guild's investments in the early Rodgers and Hammerstein triumphs. Dick and Oscar owned one hundred percent of everything they wrote, and a good-sized piece of everything else.

"They set [the] rules and stuck to them. Anyone wanting motion picture rights to their work had to pay up 40 percent of the profits of the movie, and no haggling. Collaboration with Rodgers and Hammerstein meant that Rodgers and Hammerstein got 51 percent of the credit, and 51 percent of the billing, not to mention the action. The effect of this was to consolidate the Rodgers and Hammerstein interests, to make them into an empire with Rodgers (and, to a much lesser degree, Hammerstein) at its head.

"Rodgers was no longer a theatrical songwriter with business interests, but a chairman of the board who happened to write songs. He supervised every detail - he even signed the weekly paychecks - spending more and more time in an office above a bank on Madison Avenue that had as little charm as a dentist's waiting room, the only concession to his craft a Steinway grand he rarely played. ...

"For all that, throughout his career Rodgers was unfailingly courteous, endlessly patient, infinitely available to the hundreds and hundreds of people who felt they had to talk with him, offer him ideas, seek his support. ...

"Nevertheless, everyone seems to agree that after South Pacific there was a change. Success seems not to have made him blossom, but to have soured him. He became more ruthless, almost dictatorial. He flew off the handle more often. 'He didn't take criticism well and he was always getting his feelings hurt,' actress Billie Worth recalled. And there were other more personal problems. His wife Dorothy underwent a hysterectomy shortly after the show opened, another internal operation a year later. He was suffering from a depression he would not admit to, and drinking heavily.

"If the recent revelations of his daughters are anything to go by, Rodgers was imprisoned in a desperately unhappy marriage. Dorothy Rodgers, beautifully poised and chic in a Duchess of Windsor sort of way, was also a neurotic hypochondriac, the kind of woman whose house was so organized there were postage stamps on the envelopes in the guest-room writing desks. Perhaps as a result, or perhaps anyway, he was a vulpine womanizer. And he wasn't very subtle about it, either. Many, many years earlier Larry Hart had commented that Dick adored chorus girls. What kind? 'Blonde. And very innocent-looking. Brains not essential - but they must be innocent-looking.' ... Josh Logan probably put it as simply as it can be said. 'We used to say to him, 'Dick, for God's sake don't screw the leading lady till she's signed the contract.' ' "

Frederick Nolan, The Sound of Their Music, Applause, Copyright 2002 by Frederick Nolan, pp. 149-150, 216-217.

Cinerama Dome in LA

Designed by Pierre Cabrol a French-born architect with Welton Becket & Associates

Gilberto Zaldívar

Gilberto Zaldívar (1934 – October 6, 2009) was the Cuban-born American co-founder of the Repertorio Español as Spanish language theater company based in New York City that presents classic Spanish plays, modern works from Hispanic playwrights and adaptions of works from other languages. Zaldívar spent nearly four decades at the helm of Repertorio Español, which he established in 1968 together with Artistic Director René Buch.

Zaldívar was born in 1934 in the town of Deleyte in Cuba's eastern Holguín Province and attended the University of Havana. In Cuba, he established the Teatro Arlequín, which focused on contemporary works. Zaldívar was hired by the local affiliate of B.F. Goodrich, a position that lasted until 1961 when his personal disagreements with the direction of the government of Fidel Castro led him to emigrate to the United States, where he found an accounting job with Diners Club in New York City and worked his way up to become an executive there.

Building on his experience in Cuba, Zaldívar decided to focus his full time efforts on theater, initially working with mainstream groups like the Greenwich Mews Theater, which sought to include works from minority playwrights. He decided to go off on his own and created Repertorio Español in 1968 together with René Buch, a Cuban emigre who was an art critic who had attended Yale Drama School. With the rise of the Hispanic population in New York City, Zaldívar recognized an opportunity to involve the "hundreds of Spanish actors in New York working in restaurants and offices who are highly desirous of working again in the theater" with the hope of providing acting positions for the many "Spanish, Cuban and Puerto Rican actors who come here to find opportunities to perform". By 1972, Zaldívar had raised the funds needed to be based at the 140-seat Gramercy Arts Theater in Manhattan on East 27th Street.

By the time of his death, Repertorio Español had produced plays ranging from Spanish works of the 17th century such as those by Pedro Calderón de la Barca and new works from Hispanic playwrights, totaling more than 250 plays in 40 years with appearances from such actors as Raúl Juliá. The company produced Spanish-language works by Federico García Lorca and Miguel de Unamuno. Translations of English-language plays such as The Fantasticks and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, as well as novel adaptions of works from Gabriel García Márquez and Mario Vargas Llosa were put on stage. Repertorio Español has run an annual playwriting competition for Spanish-language dramatists since the 1990s. The production of The Fantasticks toured Central and South America under the sponsorship of the United States Information Agency. In 1988, the company toured his native Cuba.

Zaldívar's work has won Drama Desk Awards, Obie Awards and received the New York State Governor's Award. The University of Miami's Cuban/Latino Theater Archive called Repertorio Español "a national treasure, providing a rich cultural environment which is unmatched by any other Spanish-language theater company".

Zaldívar stepped down from his leadership role at the Repertorio Español in 2005 due to his progressing illness. A resident of Manhattan, Zaldívar died at his home there in the Gramercy neighborhood at age 75 on October 6, 2009, due to complications of dementia with Lewy bodies. Zaldívar was survived by his companion, Robert Weber Federico, as well as a sister and several cousins