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Opera Cat
29 January 2012 @ 10:00 am
Due to an influx of spammers, I have changed the journal settings to require a CAPTCHA for anonymous commenters. If that presents a problem for anyone, please e-mail me at opera (dot) translation (at) gmail (dot) com. You can also leave anonymous comments on the Dreamwidth version, which has much less of a problem with spam. Thanks!

ETA, 1/31: That didn't seem to help against the spammers at all, so I am disabling anonymous commenting. If you would like to comment and don't have an LJ account, please either use OpenID, e-mail me at the above address, or comment on the corresponding Dreamwidth entry. I'm sorry to have to do this.
 
 
Current Mood: annoyedannoyed
Current Music: G.F. Handel, Overture to Giulio Cesare
 
 
Opera Cat
At the request of an anonymous commenter on LJ, here is "Ecco l'orrido campo . . . Ma dall'arido stelo" from Verdi's Un Ballo in Maschera.

Although she is married, Amelia has fallen in love with the royal governor, Riccardo. She goes for help to the fortune-teller Ulrica, who tells her that to eliminate her guilty passion, Amelia must pick a certain herb from the foot of the gallows at midnight. Arriving at the place, Amelia is terrified and finds herself strangely reluctant to pick the herb.

What remains to you, once love is lost?Collapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://opera-cat.dreamwidth.org/19473.html. There are comment count unavailable comments on Dreamwidth. LiveJournal users may comment there using OpenID.
 
 
Opera Cat
21 October 2011 @ 03:15 pm
An anonymous commenter on LJ has requested three arias: this one, "Poveri Fiori" from Cilea's Adriana Lecouvreur and Amelia's aria in the graveyard from Un Ballo in Maschera. Here is "Pace, pace, mio Dio!" from Verdi's opera La Forza del Destino; the others will follow at some point.

Despairing, Leonora has retired to a life of prayer in a remote place. She prays to God for peace but confesses that her soul is still troubled by the memory of her love.

Only death can give me calmCollapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://opera-cat.dreamwidth.org/19269.html. There are comment count unavailable comments on Dreamwidth. LiveJournal users may comment there using OpenID.
 
 
Opera Cat
Continuing my translation-by-installments, here is Act II, scene 1 of Verdi's opera Oberto conte di S. Bonifacio (Oberto, Count of San Bonifacio). To see the complete translation, click on the opera: oberto tag.

Read more...Collapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://opera-cat.dreamwidth.org/19196.html. There are comments on Dreamwidth. LiveJournal users may comment there using OpenID.
 
 
Opera Cat
Later than I expected, but here is the second scene of Verdi's opera Oberto conte di S. Bonifacio (Oberto, Count of San Bonifacio). To see the complete translation, click on the opera: oberto tag.

Read more...Collapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://opera-cat.dreamwidth.org/18056.html. There are comments on Dreamwidth. LiveJournal users may comment there using OpenID.
 
 
Opera Cat
At the request of an anonymous commenter on LJ, here is "Morrò, ma prima in grazia," Amelia's aria from Verdi's Un Ballo in Maschera. Thanks to the commenters at linguaphiles for help with an idiom.

Renato suspects his wife Amelia of infidelity and resolves to kill her. She begs for a last moment with her son.

now that the last of my fleeting hours has comeCollapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://opera-cat.dreamwidth.org/17894.html. There are comments on Dreamwidth. LiveJournal users may comment there using OpenID.
 
 
Opera Cat
Here is the first part in my translation of Verdi's first opera, Oberto conte di S. Bonifacio (Oberto, Count of San Bonifacio). To see the rest of the opera, once I have posted all the scenes, just click on the opera: oberto tag.

Read more...Collapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://opera-cat.dreamwidth.org/17501.html. There are comments on Dreamwidth. LiveJournal users may comment there using OpenID.
 
 
Opera Cat
31 March 2011 @ 11:20 pm
I have gone back to working on a more ambitious project, to wit, translating an entire opera. I started with Verdi's first opera, Oberto conte di S. Bonifacio. The cast of characters and introduction may be found here, or by clicking on the opera: oberto tag. I am experiencing computer trouble at the moment, but I hope to post the whole opera in segments over the next few weeks.

This entry was originally posted at http://opera-cat.dreamwidth.org/17226.html. There are comment count unavailable comments on Dreamwidth. LiveJournal users may comment there using OpenID.
 
 
Current Mood: excitedexcited
 
 
Opera Cat
24 March 2011 @ 04:50 pm
That was a short translation, so have another one to go with it. This is Elettra's recitative and aria "D'Oreste, d'Ajace" from Mozart's opera Idomeneo. Thwarted in both her love and her ambition, Elettra vents her feelings in this dramatic aria.

This translation is not quite line-by-line, since I have shifted some words around for the sake of clarity.

Tear apart my heart, horned snakes, serpentsCollapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://opera-cat.dreamwidth.org/16979.html. There are comment count unavailable comments on Dreamwidth. LiveJournal users may comment there using OpenID.
 
 
Opera Cat
24 March 2011 @ 04:34 pm
"Porgi, amor," the Countess Almaviva's aria from Mozart's opera Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro). The Countess laments the Count's neglect of her.

or at least let me dieCollapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://opera-cat.dreamwidth.org/16862.html. There are comment count unavailable comments on Dreamwidth. LiveJournal users may comment there using OpenID.
 
 
Opera Cat
23 March 2011 @ 01:27 pm
This is the Act I Finale of Puccini's Turandot, set in an imaginary fairy-tale China. It is a complicated piece to translate because everyone is talking at once and their phrases overlap at different times. I have tried here to break it up into reasonable blocks of text.

I feel I should say, this scene is really not about the words. The way Puccini has set it, it's impossible to follow all the words while listening even if you know Italian. But it doesn't matter: the characters' emotions come through clearly, and the way the scene gradually builds in dramatic tension always makes me hold my breath. But I thought it would be interesting to step away for a moment and see what the words are.

The Prince (Calaf) has fallen in love with Turandot at first sight. He wishes to strike the gong in order to enter her riddle contest: if he succeeds, he marries the princess, but if he fails, he loses his head. His aged father Timur and the young slave Liù, who is in love with Calaf, desperately try to persuade him to change his mind. The three court officials hold him back and add their more practical arguments.

We're already digging a grave for you who want to challenge love!Collapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://opera-cat.dreamwidth.org/16607.html. There are comment count unavailable comments on Dreamwidth. LiveJournal users may comment there using OpenID.
 
 
Opera Cat
22 March 2011 @ 06:49 pm
"Tu fosti tradito," mezzo-soprano aria from Mozart's opera La Clemenza di Tito (The Clemency of Titus). This opera is set in ancient Rome during the reign of the emperor Titus. In this aria, Annio pleads with the emperor to spare his friend's life.

but Titus's heart still allows us to hopeCollapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://opera-cat.dreamwidth.org/16223.html. There are comment count unavailable comments on Dreamwidth. LiveJournal users may comment there using OpenID.
 
 
Opera Cat
21 March 2011 @ 03:45 pm
Returning after a hiatus!

Nabucco was Verdi's third opera and his first hit. It is loosely based on the Biblical stories of Nebuchadnezzar (Nabucodonosor) and the Babylonian Exile. As frequently happens in opera, the libretto shows little acquaintance with Biblical Judaism or actual history. However, if you can put that aside, there is glorious music, some highly dramatic confrontations, a soprano villain with a notoriously difficult part, and an unusual mad scene for baritone. Nabucco includes the well-known chorus "Va, pensiero," which became an unofficial anthem of the Italian Risorgimento.

Today I am posting a different chorus: "Il maledetto non ha fratelli." In this scene, the Jewish religious leaders curse Ismaele for betraying his people by saving Nabucco's daughter.

In vain he readies the poison for his lips, in vain the dagger strikes his heart!Collapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://opera-cat.dreamwidth.org/16027.html. There are comment count unavailable comments on Dreamwidth. LiveJournal users may comment there using OpenID.
 
 
Opera Cat
27 February 2011 @ 09:56 am
This is an LJ-only post, since it has only been a problem on LJ. Recently this account has had a influx of spammers leaving anonymous comments. If you are not a spammer and wish to leave a legitimate comment, please sign your comment with some sort of a name. It can be a pseudonym, it can be the name of an opera character -- I don't care -- but put something. This will let me know that I am dealing with a person and not a spambot. Thank you!

EDIT: If you sign with a name and include a link to an obvious spam website, I'm still going to delete your comment. Just so you know. However, non-spammers are always welcome to comment!

In spite of appearances, I have not forgotten about this journal. I can't promise to start updating it again immediately, but as the Count of Monte Cristo says, "Wait and hope."
 
 
Opera Cat
07 November 2010 @ 09:12 am
"Pronta io son," soprano/baritone duet from Donizetti's comic opera Don Pasquale.

Ernesto wishes to marry Norina, but his crotchety old uncle, Don Pasquale, disapproves of the match because Norina is poor. To punish his nephew, Don Pasquale resolves to take a wife and disinherit him. Doctor Malatesta, a friend of the couple, comes up with a plan to trick Don Pasquale. In this scene, he explains the plan to Norina, who joins in enthusiastically.

For sure, that old man's head is going to spin this time.Collapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://opera-cat.dreamwidth.org/15490.html. There are comment count unavailable comments on Dreamwidth. LiveJournal users may comment there using OpenID.
 
 
Current Music: John Playford: Daphne (Ensemble Buon Tempo)
 
 
Opera Cat
05 November 2010 @ 04:45 pm
It looks like I won't be able to keep up the pace of a post every day, after all. Some scenes (like this one) are longer and more complicated and so take more time. Thanks to the commenters at linguaphiles and my mother for helping me with some confusing bits. As always, any remaining mistakes are entirely mine.

Giuseppe Verdi's opera Don Carlos, first set to a French libretto in 1867, is more commonly performed in its revised Italian version, Don Carlo. In this powerful scene for bass and baritone, King Philip II of Spain (Philippe) questions Rodrigo (Rodrigue), the idealistic Marquis of Posa, and gets more than he bargained for.

I have never heard this stranger whose name is Truth!Collapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://opera-cat.dreamwidth.org/15085.html. There are comment count unavailable comments on Dreamwidth. LiveJournal users may comment there using OpenID.
 
 
Opera Cat
"Chi mi frena in tal momento," the famous sextet from Lucia di Lammermoor. Lucy Ashton (Lucia) has fallen in love with Edgar of Ravenswood (Edgardo), whose family has been at enmity with hers. When her brother Henry (Enrico) discovers this, he does everything possible to separate the couple, including showing Lucy a forged letter that indicates Edgar has married another woman. Henry finally browbeats Lucy into a marriage with the politically well-connected Lord Arthur (Arturo). A few moments after Lucy and Arthur sign the marriage contract, Edgar bursts into the hall. Lucy faints. All present express their varied emotions.

Like a wilting rose, she stands between life and deathCollapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://opera-cat.dreamwidth.org/14653.html. There are comment count unavailable comments on Dreamwidth. LiveJournal users may comment there using OpenID.
 
 
Current Mood: tiredtired
 
 
Opera Cat
"Dein ist mein ganzes Herz!" tenor aria from Franz Lehár's operetta Das Land des Lächelns (The Land of Smiles). This aria was written for Richard Tauber.

When I hear the sound of your voice, it is just like music.Collapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://opera-cat.dreamwidth.org/14434.html. There are comment count unavailable comments on Dreamwidth. LiveJournal users may comment there using OpenID.
 
 
Opera Cat
01 November 2010 @ 01:43 pm
"Vous qui faites l'endormie," Mephistopheles's aria from Gounod's Faust. Mephistopheles sings a mocking serenade outside Marguerite's house.

Don't open the door, my beauty, until the ring is on your finger.Collapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://opera-cat.dreamwidth.org/13601.html. There are comment count unavailable comments on Dreamwidth. LiveJournal users may comment there using OpenID.
 
 
Current Mood: busybusy
 
 
Opera Cat
01 November 2010 @ 01:23 pm
"Appressati, Lucia" -- scene for baritone and soprano from Lucia di Lammermoor.

Lucy Ashton (Lucia) has fallen in love with Edgar of Ravenswood (Edgardo), an enemy of her family. Her brother Henry (Enrico) wishes her to marry Lord Arthur (Arturo) to repair the family's political fortunes. When Lucy refuses, Henry shows her a forged letter stating that Edgar has married another woman.

The anger in my heart is quenched; quench your mad love.Collapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://opera-cat.dreamwidth.org/14218.html. There are comment count unavailable comments on Dreamwidth. LiveJournal users may comment there using OpenID.
 
 
Current Mood: tiredtired
Current Music: Verdi Requiem: "Libera me"