Oh Mio Babbino Caro Opera: Gianni Schicchi Composer: Giocomo

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Oh Mio Babbino Caro Opera: Gianni Schicchi Composer: Giocomo
Introduction to
O Mio Babbino Caro
Opera: Gianni Schicchi
Composer: Giocomo Puccini
O mio babbino caro
Mi piace è bello, bello
Vo'andare in Porta Rossa
a comperar l'anello!
Sì, sì, ci voglio andare!
e se l'amassi indarno,
andrei sul Ponte Vecchio,
ma per buttarmi in Arno!
Mi struggo e mi tormento!
O Dio, vorrei morir!
Babbo, pietà, pietà!
Babbo, pietà, pietà!
O my dearest daddy
He is pleasing to me, and so
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
and throw myself in the Arno!
I am aching, I am tortured!
Oh God, I'd rather die!
Father, have pity, have pity!
Father, have pity, have pity!
Why aren’t operas in English?
• Most operas were
written in Europe in
their native languages
(Italian, French, and
• Hard to translate to
the same music
• Supertitles to the
rescue! (in the 1980s)
• Librettos
• Plot Summaries
What type of voice am I hearing?
Mezzo Soprano (Habanera from Carmen by Bizet)
(Rodolfo’s Aria from La Boheme by Puccini)
Compete most with sopranos in pay checks
Highest-singing male voice
Usually play the male love interest; generally likable, vulnerable parts.
Baritone (Il balen del suo sorriso from Il Trovatore by Verdi)
Lowest female voice type
Portrays maids, mothers, grandmothers
Mezzo means “half”
Usually play tramps, vamps, witches, trouser roles
Typically the highest paid singer – also the most common
Most sympathetic roles & sing the highest notes
Types: Coloratura, Lyric, Soubrette, Dramatic
Sing in the medium voice range for a male
Usually play the all-around fun guy roles!
Dramatic baritone are often villains, evil prison wardens, etc.
Bass (In Diese Heil’gen Hallen from Die Zauberflote by Mozart)
Lowest paid of all
Sing the lowest notes the human voice can reach
Usually play priests, kings, fathers or the devil
What makes them different than pop or musical theatre singers???
(Size of voice, orchestra, no mics, age)
Opera Terminology
Libretto/Librettist – the script of an opera/the person that wrote the script
Musical Score/Composer – the music of an opera/the person that wrote the music
Recitative – Speech-singing, the singer semi-chants the words – imitating the free rhythms of speech
Giunse alfin il momento The moment finally arrives
Che godro senz'affanno When I'll enjoy [experience joy] without haste
In braccio all'idol mio In the arms of my beloved...
Timide cure uscite dal mio petto! Fearful anxieties, get out of my heart!
A turbar non venite il mio diletto. Do not come to disturb my delight.
O come par che all'amoroso foco Oh, how it seems that to amorous fires
L'amenita del loco, The comfort of the place,
La terra e il ciel risponda. Earth and heaven respond,
Come la notte i furti miei risponda As the night responds to my ruses.
Aria – An emotion expressing song in an opera; the big number!
Cadenza – A moment near the end of an aria for the singer alone (no accomp), lots of fast, high, difficult
notes. The show-off moment!
Finale – The last song of an act, often involving a large group of singers.
Finale Ultimo – The final finale, often involving a really large group of singers.
Bel Canto – italian for “beautiful singing”. A style of opera in which the beauty of the voice is more
important than the words or story. Emphasizes breath control, beautiful tone and great dynamics.
Opera Buffa – Funny opera, especially from the 18th century.
Opera Seria – Formal, serious opera from the 18th century.
Singspiel – German for “sing-play”. A German opera with spoken dialogue (instead of recitative)
between arias.
Opera History…the short
• 1600’s
– Operas are written about Greek Mythology (1/2 recit with musical
– Florentine Camerata – how can we make this better?
• Madrigals make text hard to understand
• Important words will be recit style so audiences can understand
– Roles were written for male and female voices
• Women not allowed on stage – solution: castrati
• These men were idolized
• Today those are operas are done by women or men in a lower key
Opera History…the short
• 1700’s and 1800’s
– People are bored! The music becomes more important.
– Introduction of the ARIA
– 2 main types of operas were written during this time:
• Opera Seria
Stately, formal – written for royalty
Stand in position for arias
People come and go during the performance
Very politically correct
• Opera Buffa
– For the common people! Funny!
– Tricky for composers – funny usually means timing, emphasis on
certain words and quick witted.
– Short musical phrases, quick snippets of melody, voices were used for
What about now?
• Operas have not changed a lot – most
operas are still in recitative/aria form.
• Music through the years has been
composed in different styles – too much
info for today!
• Primary opera composers came from Italy,
Germany, Austria, Russia and England.
• What about the United States?
What about the US?
• We were about 100 years too late!
• Even today, majority of operas performed
are from the 1700s and 1800s.
• Modern day opera composers have never
compared to Mozart, Handel, Puccini,
Verdi, etc.
• US more successful with musicals
• Barber, Copland and Gershwin wrote the
most popular American Opera.
Rules for attending an Opera
Don’t be late! Don’t exit until intermission.
Be quiet! (Overture included!)
Read the plot summaries
Be prepared – they are long acts
Applause – no whistles! Bravo! Brava!
No longer formal dress – dress nice (no
• No cell phones
Quando me'n vò
Opera: La Boheme (first performed in 1896)
Composer: Giocomo Puccini
Quando me'n vò
Quando me'n vò soletta per la via,
La gente sosta e mira
E la bellezza mia tutta ricerca in me,
ricerca in me
Da capo a pie' ...
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...
Ed assaporo allor la bramosia
sottil che da gl'occhi traspira
e dai palesi vezzi intender sa
Alle occulte beltà.
Cosi l’effluvio del desio tutta m'aggira,
felice mi fa, felice me fa!
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!
E tu che sai, che memori e ti struggi
Da me tanto rifuggi?
And you who know, who remember and yearn
you shrink from me?
So ben:
le angoscie tue non le vuoi dir,
non le vuoi dir so ben
Ma ti senti morir!
I know it very well:
you do not want to express your anguish,
but you feel as if you are dying!
Fly UP