For the Glory

"Per la Gloria d’adorarvi"  from GRISELDA
by Giovani Bononcini

Ernesto is in love with Almirena, the missing daughter of Griselda, the title character of the opera.  Griselda, a beautiful peasant woman has just married the King of Thessaly after being his longtime mistress. The King decides to test Griselda’s virtue to discover whether or not she will remain faithful to their marriage.  The King pretends to cast Griselda aside and marry Almirena not knowing she is his long lost daughter.  In the end, all is reconciled and Almirena marries Ernesto who sings this famous aria.

For the glory of adoring you, I want to love you.
O dear eyes (lights), in love I will suffer,
But always I will love you.
Yes, in my suffering I will love you.

Without hope of delight and in vain affection, there is only to sigh.
But with your sweet rays, who could ever gaze upon you and not love you?
I will suffer, I will love you, dear eyes!

Under the Dome

"Sous le dome"  from LAKMÉ
by Léo Delibes

Lakmé, the daughter of a Brahmin priest and Mallika, her servant, are gathering flowers by a river.  Shortly after this duet, Lakmé falls in love with a British officer.  The shape of the lovely melody rises and falls in fluid motion that may remind one of the river’s gently flowing water.


Come, Mallika, the creepers are in flower.
They already cast their shadows on the sacred river which flows calmly and serenely.
They have awakened by the song birds!


Oh! Mistress, this is the time when your face smiles.
The time when I can read Lakmé’s secrets hidden in her heart!


Under the thick dome where the white jasmine with the roses entwined together,
On the river bank covered with flowers laughing in the morning,
Let us descend together!
Gently floating on the river’s current and shining waves, one hand reaches for the bank. 
The spring sleeps and the bird sings.
Under the thick dome with the white jasmine,
Ah, calling us together!

What are you doing, white turtledove?

"Que fais-tu, blanche tourterelle?"  from ROMEO ET JULIETTE
by Charles Gounod

Stephano, Romeo’s page, baits the Capulets with this mocking song which states that the white dove (which symbolizes Juliet) will go free one day (implying that she will choose to leave the Capulet family to marry Romeo).

Since yesterday I have sought my master in vain!
Is he still in your home, my lords Capulet?
Let us see if your worthy servants will dare to reappear at the sound of my voice.

What are you doing in this nest of vultures, white turtledove?
Someday, unfolding your wing, you will follow love!
To the vultures, a battle is necessary.
To hit with a cut and a thrust, their beaks are sharpened!
Leave them; these birds of prey!
Turtledove, who gets your joy from amorous kisses!
Guard well the fair one; whoever lives will see your turtledove will escape from you!

A ring-dove, far from his green grove, drawn by love, has sighed.
The vultures are at the quarry.
Their songs, from which Cytheria flees, resound with a loud noise!
Meanwhile, in their sweet intoxication, the lovers tell of their tenderness to the stars of night.
Guard well the fair one; whoever lives will see your turtledove will escape from you!

It's the Usual Story

É la solita storiafrom L’ARLESIANA
by Francesco Cilea

Federico has fallen in love with a girl from Arles who has betrayed him.  When he has been left alone, Federico reads the letters from l’Arlesiana and ponders them with a broken heart.

It’s the old story of the shepherd…
The poor boy wanted to recount it, but fell asleep.
There is oblivion in sleep.
How I envy him!
I would like to sleep like that as well,
To at least find oblivion in sleep!
I am looking only for peace.
I would like to be able to forget it all!
But every effort is in vain.
I have always before me her sweet countenance.
Peace is only taken from me.
Why must I suffer so?
Her!  She is always speaking to my heart!
Irresistible vision, leave me!
You hurt me so badly! Alas!


Gavottefrom MANON
by Jules Massenet

In this coloratura showpiece, the music depicts a woman who is the center of attention and loves it.  In the Gavotte’s stately rhythm, the character of Manon relishes the control she has over the male chorus who are absolutely in her thrall.  Sincere delight radiates from Manon throughout the aria.

I go everywhere; the equal of every sovereign.
People bow and kiss my hand because I am queen by my beauty!
I am queen!
My horses race me about;
Seeing the boldness of my life, nobility approach me with their hats off.

I am beautiful and happy!
Everything blooms all around me; I go everywhere that attracts me.
If Manon should ever die, my friends, she would die in a burst of laughter!