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Col sorriso d'innocenza

Opera details:

Opera title:

Il Pirata


Vincenzo Bellini




Il Pirata Synopsis


Il Pirata Libretto


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Aria details:









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Next scene: Oh! sole ti vela di tenebra fonda

Tu vedrai la sventurata (Il Pirata) - Giuseppe Morino (live 1987)

Singer(s): Mirto Picchi Domenico Donzelli

Madness, the Gothic, and Bellini's Il Pirata. Sicily. 13th century. Act II. Gualtiero meets Imogene again. Ernesto, arriving, conceals himself and overhears the end of their passionate declarations of love. He is discovered, and exits with Gualtiero, each determined to fight to the death. It is Ernesto who is killed. Gualtiero gives himself up to justice, and, as he is taken away, he prays that Imogene may forgive him: "Tu vedrai la sventurata".
She appears in a state of anguish and sees visions of her dead husband: "Col sorriso d'innocenza" - Maria Callas (1959)
Giuseppe Morino in Bellini's IL PIRATA (live 1987):

Mirto Picchi in Bellini's IL PIRATA (1958):

IL PIRATA - Maria Callas, New York 1959 (Complete Opera Bellini):


Now that is what I call Belcanto. The "mixed" head voice ("voce mista") is a feature of this pre-1914 style. The full belted high register, which made Caruso a popular favorite, breaks the suave romantic legato which was the great glory of this school of singing. It is NOT an easy thing to do!!
By the standards of a Rubini or a Donzelli, YES, Pavarotti and even Gedda were violent singers. Big screams from the chest that would have horrified Rossini and even Donizetti. At least Gedda knew how to sing softly (Pearl Fishers) which Pavarotti couldn't do. His "Una furtiva lagrima" is all loud, like Di Stefano.
Learning how to sing softly (sotto-voce) and mezza-voce (mid volume), not only in the mid register but in the high register as well is ESSENTIAL.
Why do singers today always sing LOUD, LOUD??
Several reasons perhaps for louder singing today. As indicated, it is not so easy to sing in the mixed head-voice in the upper register. Also, the musical demands of Verdi, Puccini, Wagner, and the verismo school (power not mezza voce), and larger modern orchestras, compared to most of those of the past. Finally, "charmless" changes in public taste (as in everything else). Bad taste today excludes falsettone, portamento and accacciatura, favored by singers such as Bonci and De Lucia. Tenor Giuseppe Morino incorporated, at least in Martina Franca, some of those techniques...


"The pharyngeal voice is sandwiched between the basic and the falsetto; small wonder, then, that is has been ignored or, shall we say, smothered in the folds of indiscriminate thick cord singing so prevalent today... The modern methods of forced breath pressure singing induce the employment mainly of the thick underlying folds of the cords, making it impossible for the pharyngeal to function." Edgar Herbert-Caesari, The Voice of the Mind (1951).


"To cover the notes is related to managing the 'passaggio'. For most tenors this transition is around F#. The problem is that the same singing technique the tenor is using in his central tessiture, often produces in the top notes an unpleasant, open sound. To avoid this there are basically two options:

1. Use the Belcanto technique and go for the 'falsettone', what almost everybody were doing until the 1830s. The tenor role in the Italian opera of the early 19th century, was sung in falsettone. For instance, Domenico Donzelli (the tenor that premiered Pollione), wrote to Bellini that he was able to use his chest voice up to G3, and then he switched to the falsettone. What 'falsettone' was, it's not totally clear. Reading the singing manuals of the period, it should be something similar to the 'voce mista', but...

2. Use the Caruso technique, and cover those notes. This is like turn your mouth around, picking up the sound with your palate, and moving it up to the upper facial resonators. Most tenors today sings this way, the ideal result is a powerful and liberated sound, that remains uniform through all the tessiture."

le stratosferiche tessiture di Gualtiero...

Florez (

Watch videos with other singers performing Col sorriso d'innocenza:

Lucia Aliberti Il Pirata Col sorriso d innocenza conductor Giuliano Carella 21589
1 - Lucia Aliberti
Maria Callas BJR143 Il Pirata Finale 1959 New York 225847
1 - Maria Callas

Leyla Gencer Ohs iopotessidissiparlenubi Il pirata 1974 Bellini 21609
1 - Leyla Gencer
Renee Fleming astonishing Il Pirata Finale LIVE Paris 2002 Col Sorriso Oh Sole 21591
1 - Renée Fleming

Montserrat Caballe sings Mad Scene from Il Pirata  21603
1 - Montserrat Caballé
V Bellini IL PIRATA Col sorriso d innocenza  21615
1 - Maria Dragoni

June Anderson 2003 Col sorriso d innocenza Il Pirata 21623
1 - June Anderson

Mariella Devia Col sorriso d innocenzaOh sole Ti vela Il Pirata Ancona 2007 21593
1 - Mariella Devia

Michele Lagrange Bellini Il Pirata Concert Paris 1989 90018
1 - Michèle Lagrange
Mara Zampieri Vincenzo Bellini Il Pirata Imogene Aria Col sorriso d innocenza 21612
1 - Mara Zampieri

Tu vedrai la sventurata Il Pirata Giuseppe Morino live 1987 148515
5 - Domenico Donzelli
5 - Mirto Picchi
Oh S io potessi dissipar Col sorriso d innocenza Bellini Il Pirata 21599
1 - Joyce El-Khoury

Saioa Hernandez Col sorriso d innocenza Il Pirata V Bellini 21618
1 - Saioa Hernández
V Bellini IL PIRATA Col sorriso d innocenza  21619
1 - Anna Caterina Antonacci

Renata Scotto Oh s io potessi Col sorriso d innocenza Pirata Bellini 1979 21588
1 - Renata Scotto
Angela Meade Col sorriso d innocenza Pirata Bellini 2017 21595
1 - Angela Meade

Bellini Il Pirata Col sorriso d innocenza ELIANE COELHO and DAVIDE DAMIANI 1 part 21628
1 - Eliane Coelho
Jenny Drivala Il Pirata Oh s io potessiCol sorriso d innocenzaOh sole ti vela  225855
1 - Jenny Drivala

Il pirata Col sorriso d innocenza Oh sole ti vela Voice 90080
1 - Jane Eaglen
Angela Gheorghiu Bellini Il Pirata Col sorriso d innocenza 21629
1 - Angela Gheorghiu

Angela Gheorghiu Il pirata Col sorriso d innocenza V Bellini 21590
1 - Angela Gheorghiu
1 - Maria Callas

Il Pirata Col sorriso d innocenza Bellini Rosalind Plowright Imogene s aria Il Pirata 21611
1 - Maria Callas
1 - Rosalind Plowright

Soprano ANNA DE CAVALIERI Il Pirata Col sorriso d innocenza  21613
1 - Anne McKnight
1 - Maria Callas
Il Pirata 1997 Remastered Version ACT 2 Scene 4 New York Col sorriso d innocenza 90097
1 - Maria Callas
2 - Regina Sarfaty


prendendola in disparte
Geme l'aura d'intorno... Ecco l'ignuda
Deserta riva, ecco giacer trafitto
Al mio fianco un guerrier... ma non è questo,
Non è questo Gualtier... È desso Ernesto.
Ei parla... ei chiama il figlio...
Il figlio è salvo... io lo sottrassi ai colpi
Dei malfattori... a lui si rechi... il vegga
Lo abbracci, e mi perdoni anzi ch'ei mora.
Deh! tu, innocente, tu, per me l'implora!
Col sorriso d'innocenza,
Collo sguardo dell'amor,
Di perdono, di clemenza,
Deh! favella al genitor.
Digli, ah! digli che respiri,
Che sei libero per me;
Che pietoso un guardo ei giri
A chi tanto oprò per te.
Odesi dalla sala del consiglio un lu­gubre suono.
Qual suono ferale Echeggia, rimbomba?
Del giorno finale È questa la tromba!

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