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Una donna a quindici anni

Opera details:

Opera title:

Cosi Fan Tutte

Composer:

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Language:

Italian

Synopsis:

Cosi Fan Tutte Synopsis

Libretto:

Cosi Fan Tutte Libretto

Translation(s):

English Deutsch

Aria details:

Type:

aria

Role(s):

Despina

Voice(s):

Soprano

Act:

2.02

Previous scene: Andate la che siete due
Next scene: Sorella cosa dici?

Lucia Popp - W.A. Mozart "Cosi Fan Tutte" "Una donna a quindici anni"

Singer: Lucia Popp

W.A. Mozart
"Cosi Fan Tutte"
"Una donna a quindici anni"
Lucia Popp - Despina
Otto Klemperer - Conductor
New Philharmonia Orchestra
Recording : 1971
Image: Der Vogelhändler (1968)

- Special thanks to 77Opera for her continuous help.

Synopsis

ACT I.
Naples, late 1700s. Early morning. Don Alfonso, a cynical old bachelor, debates women's constancy with Ferrando and Guglielmo, young officers who insist their sweethearts -- the sisters Dorabella and Fiordiligi -- are faithful. Alfonso bets that if they give him one day and do everything he asks, he will prove the sisters are like all other women -- fickle.
Fiordiligi and Dorabella are comparing pictures of their boyfriends when Alfonso pays a visit, bringing news that Guglielmo and Ferrando have been ordered away with their regiment. The two men appear, and the sisters, overwhelmed with grief, bid them farewell. Alfonso is delighted with his plot and feels certain of winning his wager.
The chambermaid, Despina, consoles her mistresses and advises them to forget their old lovers with the help of new ones. The girls, scandalized by Despina's depiction of men as swaggering liars, depart. Alfonso convinces Despina to help him introduce new suitors into the sisters' favor, then brings in exotically attired "Albanians" -- Ferrando and Guglielmo in disguise. Fiordiligi and Dorabella don't warm to the newcomers at all, Fiordiligi likening her constancy to a rock in a storm, and they take their leave again. The men, confident of winning their bet, are thrilled, and Ferrando sings amorously of his steadfast sweetheart, but Alfonso reminds him the day is not yet over.
The sisters have retreated to a garden. Alfonso brings in the "Albanians," who claim to have taken poison. The women call Despina, who urges them to care for the men while she fetches a doctor. She returns disguised as the doctor, pretends to draw off the poison with a magnet, then watches with Alfonso as Fiordiligi and Dorabella waver under renewed protestations of love.

ACT II.
In the afternoon, Despina urges Fiordiligi and Dorabella to choose their favorite, and each picks the other's suitor, according to Alfonso's plan. After the "Albanians" serenade the sisters, Despina and Alfonso give lessons in courting and leave the young people together. Guglielmo, courting Dorabella, succeeds in replacing her portrait of Ferrando with a new charm. Ferrando has no such luck with Fiordiligi, who still thinks guiltily of Guglielmo. Comparing notes later, Ferrando is furious over Dorabella's betrayal, Guglielmo smug about Fiordiligi's steadfastness. But Alfonso is not finished yet. Under Despina's supervision, Dorabella tries to persuade Fiordiligi to give in, but Fiordiligi decides that she and Dorabella must join their lovers at the front. Ferrando appears, however, and wins her over. Now Guglielmo is furious, but the officers still owe Alfonso time: as night falls he plans a double wedding.
The couples are married by a "notary" -- again Despina in disguise. As they sign the contracts, the women hear a military march that heralds the return of their original suitors. They force the "Albanians" into hiding and try to compose themselves for Ferrando and Guglielmo, who shed their disguises and enter, dressed as soldiers. Confessions are made by the sisters, and forgiveness is begged. Alfonso bids the lovers learn their lesson, and with a hymn to reason and enlightenment, the day comes to a close.

Watch videos with other singers performing Una donna a quindici anni:

Libretto/Lyrics/Text/Testo:

N. 19 - Aria

DESPINA
Una donna a quindici anni
Dèe saper ogni gran moda,
Dove il diavolo ha la coda,
Cosa è bene e mal cos'è.

Dèe saper le maliziette
Che innamorano gli amanti,
Finger riso, finger pianti,
Inventar i bei perché.

Dèe in un momento
Dar retta a cento;
Colle pupille
Parlar con mille;
Dar speme a tutti,
Sien belli o brutti;
Saper nascondersi
Senza confondersi;
Senza arrossire
Saper mentire;
E, qual regina
Dall'alto soglio,
Col «posso e voglio»
Farsi ubbidir.
fra sé
Par ch'abbian gusto
Di tal dottrina.
Viva Despina
Che sa servir!
parte

English Libretto or Translation:

No. 19 - Aria

DESPINA
At fifteen a woman
Should know the ways of the world,
Where the devil keeps his tail,
What's right and what is wrong.
She should know the wiles
That ensnare lovers,
How to feign laughter or tears
And to make up good excuses.
At one and the same moment
She must listen to a hundred
But speak with her eyes
To a thousand,
Hold out hope to all,
Be they handsome or plain,
Know how to hide things
Without getting flustered,
Know how to tell lies
Without ever blushing.
And, like a queen
On her lofty throne,
Get her own way
With „I can“ and „I will“
aside
It seems they're taking
To this doctrine;
Hooray for Despina,
She knows how to do it.

exit

Sheetmusic in our database with this aria

G. Schirmer Opera Anthology: Arias for Soprano Volume 2G. Schirmer Opera Anthology: Diction Coach Arias for Soprano Volume 2Prima Donna's AlbumCantolopera: Arias for Coloratura SopranoMozart Opera Arias: Soprano

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