Un bel dì vedremo

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"Un bel dì vedremo" ("One fine day we’ll see") is a soprano aria from the opera Madama Butterfly (1904) by Giacomo Puccini to a libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa. It is sung by Cio-Cio San/Madama Butterfly (on stage with Suzuki), when she imagines and performs the return of Pinkerton on a white ship, signalled by a thread of smoke on the far horizon.

Leopoldo Metlicovitz, 1904 - Madama Butterfly

"Un bel dì vedremo" is the opera's most famous aria and one of the most popular pieces in the soprano repertoire.

The aria was first performed by the well-known soprano Rosina Storchio at the premiere of Madama Butterfly on 17 February 1904 at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan. In the revised version of the opera (28 May 1904 at the Teatro Grande in Brescia) it was sung by the famous Ukrainian soprano Solomiya Krushelnytska. It has been subsequently performed by many sopranos (including Geraldine Farrar, Maria Callas, and Renata Tebaldi among others), recently also by Maria José Siri at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, where the original version of the opera was staged on 7 December 2016.

Lyrics[edit]

"Un bel dì vedremo" occurs in Act II in both the original and the revised version. The Italian text here below is taken from the very first version of the libretto (17 February 1904) as reconstructed by Julian Smith.[1]

Original Italian English translation

Un bel dì, vedremo
levarsi un fil di fumo sull'estremo
confin del mare.
E poi la nave appare.
Poi la nave bianca
entra nel porto, romba il suo saluto.
Vedi? È venuto!
Io non gli scendo incontro. Io no. Mi metto
là sul ciglio del colle e aspetto, e aspetto
gran tempo e non mi pesa
la lunga attesa.
E ... uscito dalla folla cittadina
un uomo, un picciol punto
s'avvia per la collina.
Chi sarà? Chi sarà?
E come sarà giunto
che dirà? Che dirà?
Chiamerà "Butterfly" dalla lontana.
Io senza dar risposta
me ne starò nascosta
un po' per celia... e un po' per non morire
al primo incontro, ed egli alquanto in pena
chiamerà, chiamerà:
"Piccina mogliettina,
olezzo di verbena",
i nomi che mi dava al suo venire.
Tutto questo avverrà,
te lo prometto
Tienti la tua paura -
Io con sicura fede l'aspetto.

One fine day we'll see
A thread of smoke arising
On the far horizon of the sea,
And then the ship appears.
Then the white ship
Enters the harbour, thunders her salute.
See you? He has come!
I don’t go down to meet him. Not I! I stay
there on the hill’s brow, and wait, and wait
a lot of time, and I don’t mind
the long waiting.
And ... out of the city crowd
a man, a tiny point
starts climbing up the hill.
Who will it be? Who will it be?
And when he has arrived
What will he say? What will he say?
He will call "Butterfly" from the distance.
I, without giving an answer,
will keep myself concealed,
A bit in jest ... and a bit as to not die
At the first meeting; and he, a little worried,
will call, will call:
"Oh, little one, dear wife,
You fragrance of verbena",
The names he called me on coming here.
all this will happen,
I'll promise,
drive away your fears,
I stay with secure faith,
I'll wait for him…

References[edit]