ALL How kind of you! We accept with pleasure. As they are going out through the centre door, Violetta suddenly turns pale. ALL What is the matter? S'ode musica dall'altra sala. Tutti accettiamo. ALL Why have you stopped here? She takes a few steps, but then is forced to stop again and to sit down. Oh God! ALL Again!
ALL Heavens, what can it be? Go on - please - there. She points towards the other room. All except Alfredo go into the other room. Oh Dio! Indica l'altra sala. Tutti passano all'altra sala, meno Alfredo. Oh, qual pallor! Is there anyone to care for me? Si volge e si accorge di Alfredo. Voi qui!
Ha forse alcuno cura di me? I had forgotten this great love. Have you no heart? One day you passed before me, happy and light as air, and ever since that day, even without knowing it, I loved you - with that love which is the very breath of the universe itself - mysterious and noble, both cross and ecstasy of the heart. E in voi v'ha un core? Non potreste allora celiar. I am simple and frank. You must find another. It won't be hard, then, for you to forget me. What the devil are you doing? Please stay.
He withdraws. Do you accept the pact? I shall leave you. Io sono franca, ingenua; altra cercar dovete; non arduo troverete dimenticarmi allor. Che diavol fate? Sta ben - restate. Vi garba il patto? Take this flower. Prendete questo fiore. Alfredo goes out as the other guests return to the drawing room, flushed from dancing. ALL Dawn is breaking in the sky and we must leave. Thank you, gentle lady, for this delightful evening. The city is filled with parties, the season of pleasure is at its height. We shall sleep now, to regain our strength for another night of joy.
They go out. How strange! His words are burned upon my heart! Would a real love be a tragedy for me? What decision are you taking, oh my soul? No man has ever made me fall in love. What joy, such as I have never known - loving, being loved! And can I scorn it for the arid nonsense of my present life?
Alfredo esce mentre gli altri ospiti ritornano nel salotto accaldati dalle danze. Partono dalla destra. In core scolpiti ho quegli accenti! Saria per me sventura un serio amore? Che risolvi, o turbata anima mia? Null'uomo ancora t'accendeva - O gioia ch'io non conobbi, esser amata amando! E sdegnarla poss'io per l'aride follie del viver mio? Ah, perhaps he is the one whom my soul, lonely in the tumult, loved to imagine in secrecy! Watchful though I never knew it, he came here while I lay sick, awakening a new fever, the fever of love, of love which is the very breath of the universe itself - Mysterious and noble, both cross and ecstasy of the heart.
All is folly! This is mad delirium! A poor woman, alone, lost in this crowded desert which is known to men as Paris. What can I hope for? What should I do? Revel in the whirlpool of earthly pleasures. Revel in joy! Forever free, I must pass madly from joy to joy. My life's course shall be forever in the paths of pleasure. Whether it be dawn or dusk, I must always live.
Gaily in the world's gay places, ever seeking newer joys. Lui che modesto e vigile all'egre soglie ascese, e nuova febbre accese, destandomi all'amor. Povera donna, sola, abbandonata in questo popoloso deserto che appellano Parigi. Che far degg'io? Gioir, gioir! Sempre libera degg'io folleggiare di gioia in gioia, vo' che scorra il viver mio pei sentieri del piacer.
Nasca il giorno, o il giorno muoia, sempre lieta ne' ritrovi, a diletti sempre nuovi dee volare il mio pensier. Ah yes! From joy to joy, forever free, I must pass madly from joy to joy. Gaily in the world's gay places, ever seeking newer joys, etc. My thoughts have to seek new joys. My thoughts. Nasca il giorno, o il giorno muoia, sempre lieta ne' ritrovi, a diletti sempre nuovi, dee volare il mio pensier.
Dee volar il mio pensier. Il mio pensier. A drawing room on the ground floor. On either side of the fireplace, French doors open on a garden. On the floor above, two other doors, facing each other. Chairs, tables, books, writing materials. Alfredo enters in hunting clothes. Three months have passed since Violetta gave up for me a life of ease, luxury, love affairs and the pomp of society, where, surrounded by adoration, she enslaved all with her beauty. Now, happy in this quiet country home, she has forgotten everything for me.
And here, near her, I feel like a man reborn; invigorated by the pulse of love, I have forgotten the past in the joy of being with her. The violent fire of my youthful spirits was tempered by the quiet smile of her love! Ever since the day when she said: "I want to live only for you" I seem to live in heaven, unmindful of the world. Annina enters, dressed for travelling. Salotto al piano terreno. Al primo piano altre due porte, una di fronte all'altra.
Sedie, tavolini, qualche libro, l'occorrente per iscrivere. Alfredo entra in costume da caccia. Ed or contenta in questi ameni luoghi tutto scorda per me. Qui presso a lei io rinascer mi sento.
E dal soffio d'amor rigenerato scordo ne' gaudi suoi tutto il passato. Annina entra vestita da viaggio. Tell me, how much is needed? Or v'abbisogna? Madam must know nothing of our talk. I can still take care of everything. He leaves. Soon Violetta enters with various papers in her hand. She speaks with Annina. He asked me to tell you. In a few minutes a man is coming on business. Show him in immediately. Questo colloquio non sappia la signora. Il tutto valgo a riparare ancora. Entra subito Violetta con varie carte.
Parla con Annina. Violetta, reading the letter Aha! Flora has found my hideaway! She has invited me to a dance this evening! She'll wait for me in vain. She gestures for Annina to admit him. Giorgio Germont enters. Now please excuse me, more for your sake than for mine. She is on the point of going out.
Violetta apre la lettera. Ah, ah! Scopriva Flora il mio ritiro. E m'invita a danzar per questa sera! Accenna ad Annina di introdurlo. Entra Giorgio Germont. Sta per uscire. But it shall not be from you. She gives him the paper. What is this! You wish to sell everything you own? Ah, why does your past accuse you so? A voi nol sia. Che discopro! D'ogni vostro avere or volete spogliarvi?
Certainly you would ask some frightening thing. I knew it - I expected you - I was too happy. God blessed me with a daughter, like an angel in her purity; if Alfredo refuses to return to the bosom of his family, the young man in love and beloved in turn, who was soon to marry my daughter, would reject this bond on which our happiness depends.
Ah, do not be the cause of love's roses changing into thorns. Do not let your heart refuse what I so fervently ask of you. Il previdi - v'attesi - era felice troppo. Deh, non mutate in triboli le rose dell'amor.
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A' prieghi miei resistere no, no non voglia il vostro cor. I offered much! No, no! Can you not see what tremendous, burning love I feel for him, I, who have no friends or family among the living? Don't you know that Alfredo swore that I should find everything in him? Don't you know that my life is endangered by a terrible disease, that I have but a short time to live? To leave Alfredo forever? Offersi assai! Non sapete quale affetto vivo, immenso m'arda in petto?
Ch'io mi separi da Alfredo! Ah, the anguish would be so cruel that I should prefer to die. I understand - I cannot - I shall never love anyone but him. Then what? Think - Even the deepest feelings can bring you no balm, since this bond was never blessed by heaven. It's true!
Lui solo amar vogl'io. Think - You still have time. Young lady, it is God who inspires these words on a father's lips.
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For the wretched woman who erred one day! Even if God grants her mercy charitably Man will always be implacable. VIOLETTA then, to Germont as she weeps Oh, tell your daughter, so lovely and pure, that a poor and wretched woman, who has but one precious thing in life - will sacrifice it for her - and then will die! I see now that the sacrifice I asked could not be greater. Within my heart I feel what you must suffer; be brave, your noble heart will conquer all.
VIOLETTA Tell your daughter, so lovely and pure, that a poor and wretched woman, who has but one precious thing in life - will sacrifice it for her - and then will die! Weep, poor girl. They embrace. Piangi, o misera! Soon he will be yours again, but desperately sad. Violetta sits down to write. What can I do for you? Generous woman! Let him not curse my memory; when I am dead, let someone tell him of my suffering.
Heaven one day will recompense these tears. Tra breve ei vi fia reso. Ma afflitto oltre ogni dire. Violetta va a scrivere. E per voi che far poss'io? O generosa! La mia memoria non fia ch'ei maledica, se le mie pene orribili vi sia chi almen gli dica. Then your heart will be proud of so noble an act. And your heart's sacrifice will be rewarded.
We may never see each other again. Germont goes out through the garden door. She sits down and writes, then rings for the servant. Annina enters. Germont esce per la porta del giardino. Siede e scrive, poi suona il campanello. Annina entra. Annina reads the address, then looks up in surprise. Silence - go immediately. Annina goes out. And now to write to him.
What can I say? Who will give me courage? She writes, then seals the letter. To whom were you writing? Silenzio - va' all'istante. Annina parte. Ed or si scriva a lui. Scrive, poi suggella. Che fai? A chi scrivevi? He left a stern letter for me. But I'm expecting him. He'll love you at first sight. Let me go away - you calm him - I'll throw myself at his feet - then he'll not want to separate us.
We shall be happy - because you love me, you love me Alfredo, you love me, don't you? Why are you weeping? I am smiling at you - see? I shall always be here, near you, among the flowers.
Love me, Alfredo, love me as much as I love you. She runs out into the garden. Ti sorrido - lo vedi? Amami, Alfredo, quant'io t'amo. Corre in giardino. He sits down, reads a book for a moment. Then he stands up and goes to look at the clock on the mantel. It is late: perhaps today my father will not come. A carriage was waiting for her; they are on their way to Paris already. Annina left too, before Madam. But Annina will prevent that. He gives the letter to Alfredo, who tips him. Siede, apre un libro; poi guarda l'ora sul caminetto. Annina pure prima di lei spariva. Why am I so upset?
Perhaps she wants me to join her - I am trembling. Oh, Heaven! He opens the letter and reads: "Alfredo, by the time you receive this letter -" thunderstruck, he cries out: Ah! Turning, he sees his father, and throws himself into his arms. Oh, how you are suffering! Ah, dry your tears - be once again your father's pride.
In despair, Alfredo sits down at the table, his head in his hands. The sea, the hills of Provence, who effaced them from your heart? What destiny took you away from the sunny land of your birth? Oh, remember in your sorrow what joy warmed you there; and that only there can your soul find peace again. God brought me here! You cannot know how your old father has suffered. With you away his house is clouded with sorrow. But at last I have found you, if my hope has not been in vain. If the voice of honour is not wholly stilled in you.
But I have found you again. Oh ciel! Apre la lettera. Germont entra dal giardino. Si volge e si trova nelle braccia del padre. Padre mio! Oh, quanto soffri! Oh, tergi il pianto - ritorna di tuo padre orgoglio e vanto. Alfredo disperato siede presso il tavolino col volto fra le mani. Don't you return your father's love? She is at the party! Let me fly to take revenge for this offence.
Alfredo runs out of the house, followed by his father. Volisi l'offesa a vendicar. Ah, ferma! Alfredo corre fuori di casa seguito dal padre. Scene Two A salon in Flora's home, richly furnished and brightly lighted. A door to the rear, others on either side. To the right, somewhat to the foreground, a gaming table with equipment for play; left, an elaborate table with flowers and refreshments; nearby, sofa and chairs.
Flora, the Marquis and Dr. Grenvil enter with other guests - all chatting. I've invited Violetta and Alfredo. Violetta and Germont have separated. Scena seconda Un salone nel palazzo di Flora, riccamente ammobiliato e molto illuminato. Una porta sul fondo e altre ai due lati. Flora, il Marchese e il Dr. Grenvil entrano con altri ospiti, discorrendo. Violetta e Germont sono disgiunti. The sound of laughing voices is heard. Ladies disguised as gypsies enter. When we call upon the stars, nothing is hidden from us, and we can tell you all what the future holds in store.
S'ode rumore di risate. Molte signore mascherate da zingare, entrano. Se consultiam le stelle null'avvi a noi d'oscuro, e i casi del futuro possiamo altrui predir. Fine - I'll make you pay for this. It's a bare-faced lie. Take care, my dear Marquis, or you'll be sorry, I swear. ALL Come, come, whatever's happened shall be veiled by the past; what's been has been, think only of what's to be. Flora and the Marquis shake hands.
Now from the right, Gastone and other men, dressed as Spanish matadors and picadors, enter. We've just arrived to join in the fun of carnival time in Paris; if you'll hear our story to the end, you'll know what great lovers we are. Tell us, tell us: we'll hear your story with pleasure. Flora ed il Marchese si stringono la mano. Gastone ed altri mascherati da mattadori e piccadori spagnuoli entrano vivacemente dalla destra. Piquillo is a strapping young man. A matador from Biscay: strong of arm and fierce of eye, he is the lord of the bullring.
He fell for an Andalusian lass, madly in love fell he; but the stubborn little miss answered him this way: "Five bulls in a single day - I'll see you kill them all; and if you win, when you return, my heart and hand are yours. ALL Yes, with carefree gaiety. Now first let's try the humour of Fortune; we'll open the ring to the dauntless gamblers. The men unmask.
Some of them walk about, talking together, while the others prepare to play. Alfredo enters. ALL Alfredo! ALL How nonchalant! Come, now we can play. Gastone cuts the cards. Alfredo and others place their bets. Violetta enters, escorted by the Baron. Flora goes forward to meet her. Or pria tentiamo della sorte il vario umor; la palestra dischiudiamo agli audaci giuocator. Gli uomini si tolgono la maschera: chi passeggia e chi si accinge a giuocare. Alfredo entra. Opera had revealed its first stage of maturity in the hands of Monteverdi. L'Orfeo also has the distinction of being the earliest surviving opera that is still regularly performed today.
Within a few decades opera had spread throughout Italy. Rospigliosi's patrons were the Barberini. Since the s, the subject of the works changed greatly: those of the pastoral tradition and Arcadia, it is preferable that the poems of chivalry, usually Ludovico Ariosto and Torquato Tasso , or those taken from hagiography and Christian commedia dell'arte.
With the increased number of characters, the Roman operas became very dramatic, and had several twists. With these came along a new method of fixing the lines of the recitative, better suited to the various situations that arose from the rich storyline and that was closer to speech, full of parenthetical at the expense of the paratactic style that had so characterized the first Florentine works. The principal characteristics of Venetian opera were 1 more emphasis on formal arias; 2 the beginning of bel canto "beautiful singing" style, and more attention to vocal elegance than to dramatic expression; 3 less use of choral and orchestral music; 4 complex and improbable plots; 5 elaborate stage machinery; and 6 short fanfarelike instrumental introductions, the prototypes of the later overture.
Opera took an important new direction when it reached the republic of Venice. It was here that the first public opera house, the Teatro di San Cassiano , was opened in by Benedetto Ferrari and Francesco Manelli. Its success moved opera away from aristocratic patronage and into the commercial world. In Venice, musical drama was no longer aimed at an elite of aristocrats and intellectuals and acquired the character of entertainment.
Soon many other opera houses had sprung up in the city, performing works for a paying public during the Carnival season. The opera houses employed a very small orchestra to save money. A large part of their budget was spent on attracting the star singers of the day; this was the beginning of the reign of the castrato and the prima donna leading lady.
The chief composer of early Venetian opera was Monteverdi, who had moved to the republic from Mantua in , with later important composers including Pier Francesco Cavalli , Antonio Sartorio , and Giovanni Legrenzi. The subjects of the new operas by Monteverdi and others were generally drawn from Roman history or legends about Troy, in order to celebrate the heroic ideals and noble genealogy of the Venetian state.
However they did not lack for love interest or comedy. Most of the operas consisted of three acts, unlike the earlier operas which normally had five. The bulk of the versification was still recitative, however at moments of great dramatic tension there were often arioso passages known as arie cavate. Under Monteverdi's followers, the distinction between the recitative and the aria became more marked and conventionalised. This is evident in the style of the two most successful composers of the next generation: Francesco Cavalli and Antonio Cesti.
La traviata libretto (English/Italian) - opera by Giuseppe Verdi
In Polish—Lithuanian Commonwealth a tradition of operatic production began in Warsaw in , with a performance of Galatea composer uncertain , the first Italian opera produced outside Italy. Another first, this is the earliest surviving opera written by a woman. Gli amori di Aci e Galatea by Santi Orlandi was also performed in A dramma per musica as serious Italian opera was known at the time entitled Giuditta , based on the Biblical story of Judith , was performed in The composer was probably Virgilio Puccitelli.
Cavalli's operas were performed throughout Italy by touring companies with tremendous success. In fact, his Giasone was the most popular opera of the 17th century, though some critics were appalled at its mixture of tragedy and farce. Cavalli's fame spread throughout Europe. One of his specialties was giving his heroines " ground bass laments ". These were mournful arias sung over a descending bass line and they had a great influence on Henry Purcell , whose "When I am laid in earth" from Dido and Aeneas is probably the most celebrated example of the form. Italian opera had already been performed in France in the s to a mixed reception and Cavalli's foreign expedition ended in disaster.
French audiences did not respond well to the revival of Xerse and the specially composed Ercole amante , preferring the ballets that had been inserted between the acts by a Florentine composer, Jean-Baptiste Lully , and Cavalli swore never to compose another opera. Cesti was more fortunate when he was asked to write an opera for the Habsburg court in Vienna in Il pomo d'oro was so grandiose that the performance had to be spread over two days.
It was a tremendous success and marked the beginning of Italian operatic dominance north of the Alps. In the late 17th century, German and English composers tried to establish their own native traditions but by the early 18th century they had given ground to imported Italian opera, which became the international style in the hands of composers such as Handel. Only France resisted and her operatic tradition had been founded by the Italian Lully. This set the pattern until well into the 19th century: the Italian tradition was the international one and its leading exponents e.
Handel, Hasse, Gluck and Mozart were often not natives of Italy. Composers who wanted to develop their own national forms of opera generally had to fight against Italian opera. Thus, in the early 19th century, both Carl Maria von Weber in Germany and Hector Berlioz in France felt they had to challenge the enormous influence of the Italian Rossini. By the end of the 17th century some critics believed that a new, more elevated form of opera was necessary.
Their ideas would give birth to a genre, opera seria literally "serious opera" , which would become dominant in Italy and much of the rest of Europe until the late 18th century. The influence of this new attitude can be seen in the works of the composers Carlo Francesco Pollarolo and the enormously prolific Alessandro Scarlatti. During the 18th century artistic and cultural life in Italy was heavily influenced by the aesthetic and poetic ideals of the members of the Accademia dell'Arcadia.
The Arcadian poets introduced many changes to serious music drama in Italian, including:. By far the most successful librettist of the era was Pietro Metastasio and he maintained his prestige well into the 19th century. He belonged to the Arcadian Academy and was firmly in line with its theories. A libretto by Metastasio was often set by twenty or thirty different composers and audiences came to know the words of his dramas by heart.
In the 17th century comic operas were produced only occasionally and no stable tradition was established. Only in the early years of the 18th century was the comic genre of opera buffa born in Naples and it began to spread throughout Italy after In the second half of the 18th century comic opera owed its success to the collaboration between the playwright Carlo Goldoni and the composer Baldassare Galuppi.
Thanks to Galuppi, comic opera acquired much more dignity than it had during the days of the intermezzo. Operas were now divided into two or three acts, creating libretti for works of a substantially greater length, which differed significantly from those of the early 18th century in the complexity of their plots and the psychology of their characters. These now included some serious figures instead of exaggerated caricatures and the operas had plots which focused on the conflict between the social classes as well as including self-referential ideas.
Goldoni and Galuppi's most famous work together is probably Il filosofo di campagna This had two buffo characters, two nobles and two "in between" characters. The one-act farsa had a significant influence on the development of comic opera. This was a type of musical drama initially considered as a condensed version of a longer comic opera, but over time it became a genre in its own right.
It was characterised by: vocal virtuosity; a more refined use of the orchestra; the great importance given to the production; the presence of misunderstandings and surprises in the course of the drama. Opera seria had its weaknesses and critics; a taste for embellishment on behalf of the superbly trained singers, and the use of spectacle as a replacement for dramatic purity and unity drew attacks. He advocated that opera seria had to return to basics and that all the various elements—music both instrumental and vocal , ballet, and staging—must be subservient to the overriding drama.