Per Pietà: Cosi Fan Tutte

Miah Persson at Glyndebourne

Per pietà – No. 25, Rondo
from Act II, Scene 2 of the Italian opera, Così fan tutte by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Libretto : Lorenzo da Ponte
•Role : Fiordiligi, sister of Dorabella and fiancee of Guglielmo
•Voice Part : soprano Fach : dramatic coloratura
•Setting : the garden of Dorabella and Fiordiligi
•Range : A#/Bb4 to B6. Tessitura : B4 to G5
•Synopsis : After having begun to feel passion for one of the Albanians, Fiordiligi apologizes to the absent Guglielmo, her love. She sings that her feelings have betrayed him and that she will hide this terrible incident from him.

Ei parte…senti… He is leaving…Listen!
ah no…partir si lasci, Ah, no…let him leave,
si tolga ai sguardi miei l’infausto oggetto let the accursed object of my weakness be
della mia debolezza. removed from my sight.
A qual cimento il barbaro mi pose… In what a trial the cruel man has placed me…
un premio è questo ben dovuto a mie colpe… This is a reward well deserved by my faults.
in tale istante dovea di nuovo amante In such moments should I have listened
i sospiri ascoltar, to the sighs of a new lover,
l’altrui querele dovea volger in gioco? should I have made sport of another’s laments?
Ah questo core a ragione condanni, Rightly you condemn this heart to punishment,
o giusto amore! just love!
Io ardo, e l’ardor mio non è più effetto I burn, and my passion is no longer the result
di un amor virtuoso: of a virtuous love;
è smania, affano, rimorso, pentimento, it is agitation, torment, remorse, repentance,
leggerezza, perfidia, e tradimento! fickleness, perfidy, and betrayal!

Per pietà, ben mio, perdona In the name of pity, my beloved, pardon
All’error d’un alma amante; the error of a loving soul;
Fra quest’ombre, e queste piante among these shadows and these groves,
Sempre ascoso, oh Dio, sarà! oh God, it will always be hidden!
Svenerà quest’empia voglia my courage and my constancy
L’ardir mio, la mia costanza, will destroy this wicked desire,
Perderà la rimembranza and will erase the memory
Che vergogna e orror mi fà. that makes me feel shame and horror.
A chi mai mancò di fede To whom did this vain, ungrateful heart
Questo vano, ingrato cor? fail in loyalty?
Si dovea miglior mercede, You were owed a better recompense,
Caro bene, al tuo candor. my dearest, for your purity.

Translation by Rebecca Burstein

(note : In order to have this translation make sense, the Italian words do not always line
up with the English words. For instance, the phrase

Svenerà quest’empia voglia
L’ardir mio, la mia costanza,

actually translates as

Will destroy this wicked desire
my courage and my constancy.

However, this is incomprehensible in English so the translator has flipped the English lines
around so that it does make sense. Another instance where lines are flipped is “A chi mai mancò
di fede questo vano, ingrato cor?”.)

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About layanglicana

Author of books on Calcutta, Delhi and Dar es Salaam, I am now blogging as a lay person about the Church of England and the Anglican Communion. I am also blogging about the effects of World War One on the village of St Mary Bourne, Hampshire.
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