Un bel dì vedremo
"Un bel dì vedremo" (Italian pronunciation: [um bɛl di veˈdreːmo]; "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 (Butterfly) on stage with Suzuki, as she imagines the return of her absent love, Pinkerton.
"Un bel dì vedremo" is the opera's most famous aria and one of the most popular pieces in the soprano repertoire.
Three years after her marriage to U.S. naval officer named Pinkerton, Cio-Cio San ("Butterfly") awaits the return of her long-absent husband to Japan. Her maid, Suzuki, does not believe that Pinkerton will come back, but Butterfly is optimistic. Trying to convince Suzuki of Pinkerton's loyalty, Butterfly sings of an imaginary scene in which a thread of smoke on the far horizon signals the arrival of a white ship into Nagasaki harbour , bringing her long-lost love back to her. The imagined scene culminates in a romantic reunion.
The aria is noted for its lyrical beauty, and it is of particular dramatic importance as Butterfly's yearning expressed in the song is later met with tragedy. Butterfly's longed-for "beautiful day" is heralded at the end of act 2 by the arrival of Pinkerton's ship, but it proves to be her last; Butterfly learns that Pinkerton has married another woman, and at the end of the opera the distraught Butterfly takes her own life. "Un bel dì vedremo" is especially significant as it appeals to audiences with its emotive melody but also encapsulates the tragedy at the heart of the opera, foretelling Cio-Cio San's inevitable demise.
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.
In 1984 the pop musician Malcolm McLaren adapted the aria for his single "Madam Butterfly (Un bel di vedremo)", a synth-pop remix of opera and 1980s R&B. The record reached No.13 in the UK Singles Chart and was included on McLaren's album of the same year, Fans.
"Un bel dì vedremo" occurs in act 2 in both the original and the revised version. The Italian text here below is taken from the first version of the libretto, published by Ricordi in 1904.
Un bel dì, vedremo
One fine day we'll see
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