O mio babbino caro

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"O mio babbino caro" ("Oh My Beloved Father") is a soprano aria from the opera Gianni Schicchi (1918) by Giacomo Puccini to a libretto by Giovacchino Forzano. It is sung by Lauretta after tensions between her father Schicchi and the family of Rinuccio, the boy she loves, have reached a breaking point that threatens to separate her from Rinuccio. It provides an interlude expressing lyrical simplicity and single-hearted love in contrast with the atmosphere of hypocrisy, jealousy, double-dealing, and feuding in the medieval Florence of Puccini's only comedy. It provides the only set-piece in the through-composed opera.

Florence Easton as Lauretta at the world premiere of Gianni Schicchi, 14 December 1918

The aria was first performed at the premiere of Gianni Schicchi on 14 December 1918 at the Metropolitan Opera in New York by the popular Victorian English soprano Florence Easton. It has been sung subsequently by many sopranos. Dame Joan Hammond won a Gold Record in 1969 for 1 million sold copies of this aria.[1]

The aria is frequently performed in concerts and as an encore in recitals by many popular and crossover singers. It has been used in several films.

Music[edit]

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Range

The short aria consists of 32 bars and takes between 2½ and 3 minutes to perform. It is written in A-flat major with the time signature of 6/8 and a tempo indication of andantino ingenuo (eighth note=120). The vocal range extends from E4 to A5, with a tessitura of F4 to A5. The 5-bar orchestral prelude, in E-flat major and 3/4 time, consists of octave tremolos by the strings; in the opera, these five bars are Gianni Schicchi's words ("Niente!") at the end of his preceding dialogue with Rinuccio. Many recital arrangements start with a presentation of the melodic theme; the remaining accompaniment uses strings and a harp playing broken chords.

Lyrics[edit]

Sung by Frances Alda in 1919

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Italian Literal translation Singable English

O mio babbino caro,
mi piace, è bello, bello.
Vo'andare in Porta Rossa (it)
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!

Oh my dear papa,
I love him, he is handsome, handsome.
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 Vecchio
And throw myself in the Arno!

I am anguished and tormented!
Oh God, I'd like to die!
Papa, have pity, have pity!
Papa, have pity, have pity!

Oh my beloved father,
I love him, I love him!
I’ll go to Porta Rossa,
To buy our wedding ring.

Oh yes, I really love him.
And if you still say no,
I’ll go to Ponte Vecchio,
And throw myself below.

My love for which I suffer,
At last, I want to die.
Father I pray, I pray.
Father I pray, I pray.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hammond, Joan (1970). A Voice, a Life. Victor Gollancz. p. 238. ISBN 0-575-00503-3. 

External links[edit]