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Thread: Your favourite lines in librettos

          
   
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  1. #1
    Senior Member Involved Member Herkku's Avatar
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    Your favourite lines in librettos

    What are your favourite lines in librettos? They can be outright dramatic outbursts like Santuzza's

    A te la mala pasqua!

    or something much more refined, but full of ill foreboding in the context, like Scarpia's

    La povera mia cena fu interrotta.

    or something plain beautiful like Suzel's

    Eterna primavera la vostra vita sia!

    or Sieglinde's

    Du bist der Lenz, nach dem ich verlangte (I could write it all here. How could such seemingly impossible person come up with texts like this?)

    or Werther's

    Pourquoi me rveiller, souffle du printemps?

    {I seem to have a special affection for the spring. Never thought so. I should be a child of the summer, born in june and all. Do you guys ever think about horoscopes? My sign is cancer which could explain my need to collect things, like operas. All this is really beside the point. You might want to ignore it and proceed.}

    or something comical like Despina's

    Salvete, amabiles
    buonae puellae!


    I'm sure you got the point!

    Oh, I almost forgot! Maria Stuarda's

    Profanato il soglio inglese
    vil bastarda dal tuo pi.


    Now I have shown some of mine. Rereading them I understand that they are not necessarily very impressive as mere spoken words, but with the music and the dramatic situation added...! Please, feel free to reciprocate! There must be hundreds of them!

  2. #2
    Schigolch
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    There are hundreds, if not thousands, indeed!.

    I love Belcanto's period poetry. Sometimes the librettists were producing very fortunate lines, like the one above from Maria Stuarda.

    Ah s, fingiamo, se il finger giovi,
    Ma il furor in sen si covi


    Those lines are from the Warrior's chorus in the Second Act of Norma.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Involved Member Bardamu's Avatar
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    Speaking of L'amico Fritz, I always liked how the following line sound

    Quando Suzel vedr,
    tutto conoscer.


    Also I love how the librettist formulated the following sentence in Turandot

    Dell'esilio addolcisci
    a lui le strade


    From Zanetto

    La libert m' cara :
    non voglio altro fardello
    che il liuto e la piuma de capello.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Veteran Member Aksel's Avatar
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    I rather like the line just before 'Vil bastarda' in Maria Stuarda:

    Figlia impura di Bolena!


    Also, in general, the act I quartet of Falstaff, full of delicious insults, like:

    Quel re delle pance!
    And
    Un flutto in tempesta
    Gitt sulla rena
    Di Windsor codesta
    Vorace balena.


    Really all of Falstaff is my favourite libretto.

    As well as Nielsen's Maskarade, which, if you can understand Danish is quite frankly hilarious:

    Saa er jeg Tamperret:
    "Rector Magnificus
    og Professoribus
    kender for Ret:
    Saasom og eftersom
    Seigneur Leander,
    som under den femte Marts
    tilskrev Hr. Leonards Datter
    om gtepagt,
    for Consistorium
    intet har forebragt,
    hvorved en slig Kontrakt
    kan sttes ud af Magt,
    saa er vor Dom:
    At Matrimonium
    inden tre Ugers Rum,
    fra denne Dom er sagt,
    bliver tilendebragt.
    Hvis ikke, skal med Magt
    Indstvnte blive lagt
    under Arrest og Vagt.
    I Consistorium, Datum ut supra."
    Bum!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Involved Member Herkku's Avatar
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    There is also Elektra's ferocious

    Triff noch einmal!

    to consider.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Involved Member StLukesGuildOhio's Avatar
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    "Pa pa pa pa pa pa..."

    Obviously from Mozart's Magic Flute:



    What better expression can there possibly be of the power of love. Papageno is left absolutely dazed and unable to even speak coherently.
    "Suppose you were an idiot ... And suppose you were a member of
    Congress .. But I repeat myself." -Mark Twain

  7. #7
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    Mi preferred, from "La walkyria"

    "FRICKA
    Wann ward es erlebt,
    da leiblich Geschwister
    sich liebten?

    WOTAN
    Heut' hast du 's erlebt!
    Erfahre so,
    was von selbst sich fgt,
    sei zuvor auch noch nie es geschehn."

    Is something like that:
    "FRICKA: When have you seen to love between two brothers?
    WOTAN: Today, you have seen it. Something may happen, althoug never happened before"
    Marvellous! An advanced and tolerant sight of life.


    And, from "Turandot":

    "LI
    Ahim, ahim, quanto cammino
    col tuo nome nell'anima,
    col nome tuo sulle labbra!"

    This brokes my heart everytime I hear it.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Involved Member Herkku's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loge View Post
    "FRICKA
    Wann ward es erlebt,
    da leiblich Geschwister
    sich liebten?
    Is something like that:
    "FRICKA: When have you seen to love between two brothers?
    Methinks we have to correct this: I would use the word siblings or a brother and a sister or twins that they are instead of brothers.

  9. #9
    Opera Lively News Coordinator Top Contributor Member MAuer's Avatar
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    Well, of course, my first choice would have to be Leonore's "Tt’ erst sein Weib!" But a close second is Butterfly's "Ah, sua moglie!," when she realizes who Kate Pinkerton is. Heartbreaking . . .

  10. #10
    Senior Member Involved Member Herkku's Avatar
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    From La Rondine:

    Penso con occhi umidi di pianto
    ch'essa sar la madre dei tuoi figli


    Melodramatic, yes, but moving in the context, because it was never going to happen.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Veteran Member Aksel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herkku View Post
    From La Rondine:

    Penso con occhi umidi di pianto
    ch'essa sar la madre dei tuoi figli


    Melodramatic, yes, but moving in the context, because it was never going to happen.
    Ugh, the third act is so meh. Besides, all the good quotes are in act I:


    un microbo sottile
    che turbina nell’aria.
    Vi prende di sorpresa
    e il cuor non ha difesa!

  12. #12
    Schigolch
    Guest
    Ho tante cose che ti voglio dire, o una sola, ma grande come il mare, come il mare profonda ed infinita...Sei il mio amore e tutta la mia vita!

  13. #13
    Senior Member Involved Member Herkku's Avatar
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    Gianni Schicchi:

    Lascio la mula, quella che costa trecento fiorini,
    che la migliore mula di Toscana
    al mio devoto amico - Gianni Schicchi.

    ...

    Lascio la casa di Firenze
    al mio devoto affezionato amico Gianni Schicchi!

    ...

    I mulini di Signa... (addio, Firenze!)...
    li lascio al caro... (addio, cielo divino!)...
    affezzionato amico Gianni Schicchi!...
    (e ti saluto con questo moncherino!...)
    la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la,
    Ecco fatto!


  14. #14
    Schigolch
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    Du Weit, das ich in Brgge blieb,
    um allein zu sein mit meiner Toten.
    Die tote Frau, die tote Stadt

  15. #15
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    From Handel's Hercules:

    Where shall I fly? Where hide this guilty head?
    Oh fatal error of misguided love!
    Oh cruel Nessus, how art thou revenged!
    Wretched I am! By me Alcides dies!
    These impious hands have sent my injured lord
    untimely to the shades!
    Let me be mad!
    Chain me, ye furies, to your iron beds.
    And lash my guilty ghosts with whips of scorpions!

    See! See! They come! Alecto with her snakes,
    Megaera fell, and black Tisiphone!
    See the dreadful sisters rise.
    Their baneful presence taints the skies!
    See the snaky whips they bear!
    What yellings rend my tortured ear!"


    In a more bucolic mood, from Acis and Galatea:

    O ruddier than the cherry,
    O sweeter than the berry,
    O nymph more bright,
    Than moonshine night,
    Like kidlings blithe and merry.
    Natalie

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