O mio babbino caro
"O mio babbino caro" ("Oh my dear papa") 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 love in contrast with the atmosphere of hypocrisy, jealousy, double-dealing, and feuding in medieval Florence. It provides the only set-piece in the through-composed opera.
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 Edwardian English soprano Florence Easton. It has been sung by many sopranos. Dame Joan Hammond won a Gold Record in 1969 for 1 million sold copies of this aria.
The short aria consists of 32 bars and takes between 2 1⁄2 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 ( = 120). The vocal range extends from E♭4 to A♭5, with a tessitura of F4 to A♭5. The five-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.
|Italian||Literal translation||Singable English|
Oh my dear papa,
Oh my beloved father,
- "O mio babbino caro": Scores at the International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP)
- "O mio babbino caro" at The Aria Database
- "O mio babbino caro", score (piano and voice)
- "Il trittico Musical Highlight: 'O mio babbino caro' " by Kate Hopkins, Royal Opera House, 11 February 2016
- on YouTube, sung by Joan Hammond (in English as "Oh, my beloved father")
- on YouTube, sung by Victoria de los Ángeles
- on YouTube, sung by Elisabeth Schwarzkopf
- on YouTube, sung by Maria Callas
- on YouTube, sung by Renata Tebaldi and conducted by Ernesto Barbini, 1965
- on YouTube, whistled by Woodstock in She's a Good Skate, Charlie Brown