The joyous soprano cavatina "Come per me sereno", from La Sonnambula by Vincenzo Bellini....................Amina is dressed for her imminent wedding ceremony and awaits her lover, Elvino:
[Care compagne, e voi,
Teneri amici, che alla gioia mia
Tanta parte prendete, oh come dolci
Scendon d'Amina al core
I canti che v'inspira il vostro amore!]
A te, diletta,
Tenera madre, che a sì lieto giorno
Me orfanella serbasti, a te favelli
Questo, dal cor più che dal ciglio espresso,
Dolce pianto di gioia, e quest'amplesso.
(con tenero accento)
Compagne... teneri amici...
Ah! madre... ah! qual gioia!
Come per me sereno
Oggi rinacque il dì!
Come il terren fiorì
Più bello e ameno!
Mai di più lieto aspetto
Natura non brillò;
Amor la colorò
Del mio diletto.
Dear and tender mother
to whom I,
an orphan, owe this happy day,
may these tears of joy,
welling from my heart
rather than from my eyes,
speak my feelings to you
Companions, loving friends...
oh, mother! How happy I am!
How brightly this day
dawned for me!
How the earth blossomed,
lovelier than ever before!
Never, never has the face of nature
smiled with such radiance;
love transfigured it,
the love of my beloved.
La Sonnambula (The Sleepwalker) received its first performance at the Teatro Carcano, Milan on March 6, 1831 with Giuditta Pasta in the title role. The opera was revived by Adelina Patti, Maria Galvany, Luisa Tetrazzini, Amelita Galli-Curci... Since then the title role has been assumed by a number of other prominent sopranos: Maria Callas, Joan Sutherland, Cecilia Bartoli and Natalie Dessay.
Maria Galvany doesn't have the dolcezza found in Galli-Curci's voice, and I find her phrasing for '"Come per me..." to lack the necessary broad sweep. Her singing is similar to that of Tetrazzini, but lacks the irresistible abandon of the Italian soprano. The remarkable legato of Galli-Curci's singing is nowhere more evident than in Amina's cavatina. The pure, beautiful piano tones, flowing ease of execution, and agility are virtually matchless. Only Sutherland's singing of the aria is at all comparable. Beautiful, flowing legato phrasing, a firmly drawn vocal line, and gentle expression combine to create a superb performance.
Amelita Galli-Curci (1882-1963) is remembered in the history of opera for the sweetness and agility of her voice and her captivating musical interpretations (Amina, Lucia, Norina, Gilda).
Amelita Galli had no children. In 1908 she married the Marchese Luigi Curci. They divorced in 1920 and she then married Homer Samuels, her accompanist. They remained together, based in Los Angeles, till his death. She died a couple of days after JFK was assassinated. At the time such was the fuss that her death went unnoticed in the local media.
She is charming and happily she survives in this opera.
"She was seen by many critics as an antidote to the host of squally, verismo-orientated sopranos then populating Italian opera houses."
For more substantial biographical notes, please see: