How weird it is when you are doing a floor bar exercise at the same time hearing music transcribed from excerpt of La Traviata aria. I don’t speak Italian, but almost start to sing with the music “A quell’amor…Misterioso…” . I cannot help visualizing the scene of Violetta alone in her room (La Traviata, Act I Scene V, Violeta’s aria) --- thinking about her falling in love with Afredo but soon concluding her own needs to live her life free. As a result, I kind of lose the focus of the floor bar exercise, but enter into the world of La Traviata.

This proves that “E' strano!...Ah forse lui…Sempre libera” is such as strong dramatic aria that can capture the attention and imagination (no matter what you are doing, for example, a floor bar exercise...). Not to mention the high level of techniques, expressions and acting required for a soprano to perform this aria well.

No doubt Maria Callas is the classic of the classics.

Maria Callas 1955 Live


New generation Violetta probably can be named after Angela Gheorghiu and Anna Netrebko, both having the look, the voice and the charm. Here is to show Anna Netrebko’s live performance, for the innovative production in Salzburg Festival. (I always like Salzburg Festival’s experimental and innovative elements to re-present classical operas that bridge the old and the new.)

Anna Netrebko 2005 Live (Her breathing and fast coloratura is not perfect though…)


Lyrics in Italian

E' strano! e' strano! in core
Scolpiti ho quegli accenti!

Sari'a per me sventura un serio amore?
Che risolvi, o turbata anima mia?
Null'uomo ancora t'accendeva O gioia
Ch'io non conobbi, essere amata amando!
E sdegnarla poss'io
Per l'aride follie del viver mio?

Ah, fors'e' lui che l'anima
Solinga ne' tumulti
Godea sovente pingere
De' suoi colori occulti!

Lui che modesto e vigile
All'egre soglie ascese,
E nuova febbre accese,
Destandomi all'amor.

A quell'amor ch'e' palpito
Dell'universo intero,
Misterioso, altero,
Croce e delizia al cor.
A me fanciulla, un candido
E trepido desire
Questi effigio' dolcissimo
Signor dell'avvenire,
Quando ne' cieli il raggio
Di sua belta' vedea,
E tutta me pascea
Di quel divino error.
Senti'a che amore e' palpito
Dell'universo intero,
Misterioso, altero,
Croce e delizia al cor!
(Resta concentrata un istante, poi dice)

Follie! follie delirio vano e' questo!
Povera donna, sola
Abbandonata in questo
Popoloso deserto
Che appellano Parigi,
Che spero or piu'?
Che far degg'io!
Gioire,
Di volutta' nei vortici perire.

Sempre libera degg'io
Folleggiar 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.
Lyrics translated in English

VIOLETTA
How strange it is... how strange!
Those words are carved upon my heart!
Would true love bring me misfortune?
What do you think, o my troubled spirit?
No man before kindled a flame like this.
Oh, joy…
I never knew…
To love and be loved!
Can I disdain this
For a life of sterile pleasure?
Was this the man my heart,
Alone in a crowd,
Delighted many times to paint
In vague, mysterious colours?
This man so watchful yet retiring,
Who haunted my sick-bed
And turned my fever
Into a burning flame of love!
That love,
The pulse of the whole world,
Mysterious, unattainable,
The torment and delight of my heart.
It’s madness. It’s empty delirium!
A poor, lonely woman
Abandoned in this teeming desert
They call Paris!
What can I hope? What should I do?
Enjoy myself? Purge into the vortex
Of pleasure and drown there!
Enjoy myself!

Free and aimless I must flutter
From pleasure to pleasure,
Skimming the surface
Of life’s primrose path.
As each day dawns,
As each day dies,
Gaily I turn to new delights
That make my spirit soar.

ALFREDO
(outside the window)
Love is the pulse…

VIOLETTA
Oh!

ALFREDO
… of the whole world…

VIOLETTA
Yes! Love!

ALFREDO
Mysterious, unattainable,
The torment and delight of my heart.

VIOLETTA
It’s madness!
Pleasure!
Free and aimless I must flutter
From pleasure to pleasure,
Skimming the surface
Of life’s primrose path.
As each day dawns,
As each day dies,
Gaily I turn to new delights
That make my spirit soar.

Extended reading: Other great soprano/mezzo soprano arias
Mon cœur s'ouvre à ta voix
Regnava nel silenzio

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