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Aure deh per pieta

Opera details:

Opera title:

Giulio Cesare

Composer:

Georg Handel

Language:

Italian

Synopsis:

Giulio Cesare Synopsis

Libretto:

Giulio Cesare Libretto

Translation(s):

English

Aria details:

Type:

aria

Role(s):

Giulio Cesare

Voice(s):

Contralto or Mezzo-Soprano or CounterTenor

Act:

3.05b

Previous scene: Lascia questo sigillo
Next scene: Cerco invan Tolomeo

Aria: "Aure, deh, per pieta" from "Giulio Cesare" (HWV 17 A3S4N33) for Horn & Strings

Singer: Francesca Cuzzoni

One of Georg Friedrich Händel's (1685 – 1759) greatest and most successful operas, Giulio Cesare was first performed at the King's Theatre in London on February 20, 1724, when it ran for 13 performances. Handel subsequently revived the work on three occasions, the last in 1732. It was composed for the Italian opera season of the Royal Academy, the organization formed by a group of noblemen under Handel's musical direction in 1719. From its inception, the Academy had sought to present some of the greatest singers of the day to London audiences; the original cast of Giulio Cesare was no exception: the great castrato Senesino (Caesar), and Francesca Cuzzoni (Cleopatra), one of the leading prima donnas of the day, took the stage to premiere Handel's work.

By the conventions of the day, Giulio Cesare is unusual in a number of respects, not least of which is its subject matter. Based as it is on the famous historical love affair between Julius Caesar and Cleopatra, it departs from the more traditional realm (at least for opera seria of the time) of mythology. Around this central argument an excellent libretto, cast in the usual three acts by Nicola Haym, weaves a story of political intrigue and treachery involving Cleopatra's brother and co-ruler of Egypt, Tolomeo (Ptolemy).

Giulio Cesare was the only opera Handel composed for the Royal Academy during 1724, and he lavished extra time and care on a score that frequently breaches the conventions of its genre. To a greater degree than in any other of Handel's operas, there is a flexibility of design that departs from the rigid alternation of recitative and da capo aria. Handel's orchestration is also richer than in any other of his operas. Nowhere is this richness and flexibility better demonstrated than in the extraordinary scene in Act Two in which Cleopatra attempts to seduce Caesar by revealing to him a pageant set on the slopes of Mount Parnassus. Here Handel employs a double orchestra, one on stage including harp, theorbo, and viola da gamba, combined with the main body in a ravishing symphony of sensuality.

Above all, perhaps, the greatness of Giulio Cesare resides in the person of Cleopatra, for whom the composer created one of the most acute and vividly drawn characterizations in operatic history. In the course of her eight arias, Cleopatra's progress from a self-confident ruler and vivacious flirt to mature young woman is charted with unparalleled sympathy and insight. Nowhere is she more affecting than in adversity, particularly after her imprisonment by Tolomeo, when she is given three magnificent arias, culminating in her famous "Piangerò." While it is Cleopatra who dominates the opera, the other major characters are also unusually well-drawn -- Caesar truly heroic yet vulnerably susceptible, and Tolomeo a more rounded and convincing villain than is frequently the case. While Handel may have later equaled the achievement of Giulio Cesare in Orlando and Alcina, it attains an overall level he never surpassed.

Source: AllMusic (
Although originally written for Opera, I created this Arrangement of the Accompagnato & Aria: "Aure, deh, per pieta" from "Giulio Cesare in Egitto" (HWV 17 Act III Scene IV No. 33) for French Horn & Strings (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).

Watch videos with other singers performing Aure deh per pieta:

Libretto/Lyrics/Text/Testo:

Aria Cesare

Aure, deh, per pietà
spirate al petto mio,
per dar conforto, oh dio!
al mio dolor.
Dite, dov'è, che fa
l'idol del mio sen,
l'amato e dolce ben
di questo cor.
Ma d'ogni intorno i' veggio
sparse d'arme e d'estinti
l'infortunate arene,
segno d'infausto annunzio al fin sarà.

English Libretto or Translation:

Aria Cesare

Auras, deh, out of pity
blow my chest,
to give comfort, oh god!
to my pain.
Say, where it is, what it does
the idol of my sen,
the beloved and sweet well
of this cor.
But every round I see them
scattered arms and extinct
the injured arenas,
sign of inauspicious announcement to the end.



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