|Le Nozze di Figaro|
|Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|
|Le Nozze di Figaro Synopsis|
|Le Nozze di Figaro Libretto|
|Previous scene:||Andiam andiam bel paggio|
|Next scene:||Dove sono i bei momenti|
Italian American Soprano Florence Quartararo (1922-1994) in the Countess' scene "E Susanna non vien...Dove sono" from Act 3 of Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro. The recording was made 1946.
Quartararo's stellar talent and qualities were discovered in the postwar period. She was admired by both Bruno Walter and Toscanini. The latter had wanted her to sing Desdemona in his 1947 broadcast performance of Otello. Unfortunately her contractual obligations with the Met prevented her from attending Toscanini's rehearsals and Toscanini had to turn to Herva Nelli instead. Her career at the Met lasted only three years as it was curtailed by her marriage to Italian bass Italo Tajo and the birth of a daughter.
The following brief biographical notes by Dave Lewis comes from answers.com:
"Soprano Florence Quartararo had about the shortest career of any major historical singer. Born to Italian parents in America, Quartararo was discovered through a quirk of fate at the age of 23, and never studied singing formally. Quartararo's first public appearance was singing on the Bing Crosby radio show under the assumed name of "Florence Alba," but had reverted to her true name by the time she made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 1947. In 1951, Quartararo retired from singing forever when she married Italian bass Italo Tajo and never returned. At the Met, she had given only 37 performances in nine roles.
Quartararo made four 78 sides for RCA Victor in 1947 -- Handel's Care selve, "La mamma morta" from Giordano's Andrea Chénier, and two duets with tenor Ramón Vinay. This is likely all we might have of her artistry if she had not been sought out by researcher Richard Caniell, who had seen her perform at the Met in the 1940s and interviewed Quartararo in 1982. At this time, Quartararo turned over her personal collection of recordings to Caniell, who initially issued them on three cassettes. Since then these recordings have emerged on CD reissues, helping re-establish a reputation for Quartararo as one of the great voices of the twentieth century. About her singing, Robert Farr of Music Web International called Quartararo "a voice to set alongside the giants of the twentieth century.""
E Susanna non vien! Sono ansiosa
di saper come il Conte
accolse la proposta. Alquanto ardito
il progetto mi par, e ad uno sposo
sì vivace, e geloso!
Ma che mal c'è? Cangiando i miei vestiti
con quelli di Susanna, e i suoi co' miei...
al favor della notte... oh cielo, a quale
umil stato fatale io son ridotta
da un consorte crudel, che dopo avermi
con un misto inaudito
d'infedeltà, di gelosia, di sdegni,
prima amata, indi offesa, e alfin tradita,
fammi or cercar da una mia serva aita!
Dove sono i bei momenti
di dolcezza e di piacer,
dove andaro i giuramenti
di quel labbro menzogner?
Perché mai se in pianti e in pene
per me tutto si cangiò,
la memoria di quel bene
dal mio sen non trapassò?
Ah! Se almen la mia costanza
nel languire amando ognor,
mi portasse una speranza
di cangiar l'ingrato cor.
Susanna's not come! I'm impatient
To know what the Count said
To her proposal; the plan seems to me
Somewhat rash, and with a husband
So impetuous and jealous ...
But where's the harm?
To change my clothes
With those of Susanna, and hers with mine,
Under cover of darkness ... Oh heavens!
To what humiliation am I reduced
By a cruel husband, who after having
First loved me, then neglected and finally
Deceived me, in a strange mixture
Of infidelity, jealousy and disdain,
Now forces me to seek help from my servant!
Where are those happy moments
Of sweetness and pleasure?
Where have they gone,
Those vows of a deceiving tongue?
Then why, if everything for me
Is changed to tears and grief,
Has the memory oft hat happiness
Not faded from my breast?
Ah! if only my constancy
In yearning lovingly for him always
Could bring the hope
Of changing his ungrateful heart!