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Era desso il figlio mio

Opera details:

Opera title:

Lucrezia Borgia

Composer:

Gaetano Donizetti

Language:

Italian

Synopsis:

Lucrezia Borgia Synopsis

Libretto:

Lucrezia Borgia Libretto

Translation(s):

Not entered yet.

Aria details:

Type:

aria

Role(s):

Lucrezia Borgia

Voice(s):

Soprano

Act:

2

Previous scene: Il segreto per esser felice
Next scene: M'odi ah! modi

The Original Finale of Lucrezia Borgia (Donizetti) - M. Caballé & G. Liccioni

Singer(s): Montserrat Caballé Henriette Méric-Lalande

Madre, se ognor lontano
Vissi al materno seno,
Che a te pietoso Iddio
M'unisca in morte almeno.
Madre... l'estremo anelito
Ch'io sopiri sul tuo cor.
(Gennaro muore. -- Lucrezia mette un grido straziante e cade sul figlio)


The closing cabaletta "Era desso il figlio mio" was added by Donizetti upon insistence by renowned soprano Henriette Méric-Lalande, who created the role of Lucrezia Borgia. It is one of the most demanding cabalettas in all the operatic repertoire, with trills and coloratura passages that demand extreme vocal agility. Donizetti later removed the cabaletta because he believed it damaged the credibility of the ending. This original finale of Lucrezia Borgia is the way Donizetti wanted the opera to end, without that flashy cabaletta, as glamorous as it turned out. He was right of course. The entire score was waayyy ahead of its time for 1833.

Although I like "Era desso" (as much as I like any cabaletta), this version DOES make way more sense to me. And I've heard people complaining about Donizetti setting tragic texts to lively, major-key melodies... that cabaletta pushes quite a bit in that direction. But the finale here is so simple and effective, and thanks to Caballé and Georges Liccioni, who sing it with great abandon, really suggest itself as the better way for Lucrezia's misery to sublimate... so "Wagnerian"!

That night Caballé's voice was gorgeous... rich and powerful yet flexible and capable of the most exquisite shadings and pianissimi... of all the unbelievable moments my favorite lies within the unbelievable larghetto sung here. Gennaro seizes a dagger and attempts to kill Lucrezia, but she stops him by revealing that he is in fact her son. He draws his last breath in his mother's fond embrace ("Madre, se ognor lontano vissi al materno seno"). Lucrezia falls lifeless upon the body of her son.

Reynald Giovaninetti conducts the Orchestra de L'Opéra de Marseille, 18 October, 1968.

Libretto Italian/English:
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LUCREZIA BORGIA - Montserrat Caballé 1968 (Complete Opera):

The Nightmare Of Lucrezia Borgia, Montserrat Caballe (sung on the 20th of April 1965 at Carnegie Hall): Uploader Georg M
.
Caballé / Kraus / Flagello: Guai se ti sfugge un moto (1966):
LUCREZIA BORGIA Recordings 1898-1908:

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Watch videos with other singers performing Era desso il figlio mio:

Libretto/Lyrics/Text/Testo:

Era desso il figlio mio,
La mia speme, il mio conforto ...
Ei potea placarmi Iddio ...
Mi parea far pura ancor ...
Ogni luce in lui m'è spenta ...
Il mio cuore con esso è morto.
Sul mio capo il cielo avventa
Il suo strale punitor.

English Libretto or Translation:

Not entered yet.

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