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Gia mi dicon venal

Opera details:

Opera title:



Giacomo Antonio Puccini




Tosca Synopsis


Tosca Libretto


English Deutsch

Aria details:




Baron Scarpia





Previous scene: Quanto quanto prezzo
Next scene: Se la giurata fede

Titta Ruffo sings 'Gia, mi dicon venal' from Giacomo Puccini's 'Tosca'

Singer: Titta Ruffo

Titta Ruffo sings 'Gia, mi dicon venal' from Giacomo Puccini's 'Tosca'.

This recording is from 1915.

In the Hogart et al original issue (see Source), this recording is part of Volume 4: Complete Victors 1912-1915. The identification number is 87220 mx B 15891-1.

Titta Ruffo (9 June 1877 - 5 July 1953) was an Italian opera singer, generally regarded as the greatest baritone of his generation. He made his debut in 1898 at the Teatro Constanzi in Rome as the Herald in Wagner's Lohengrin. After a slow start, his career took off in the early 1900s and he quickly achieved international renown. His major debuts were in Buenos Aires (1902), London (1903), Milan (1904), Lisbon (1907), and the Paris Opéra (1911). Ruffo made his American debut in Philadelphia in 1912 and sang extensively in Chicago. He reached the Metropolitan Opera relatively late in his career, in 1922 as Figaro in Rossini's The Barber of Seville. He sang 46 performances there from 1922 to 1929. He retired to Rome in 1935 and died in 1953 at the age of 76.

Ruffo's repertoire included most of the major baritone roles in French and Italian opera, including Rigoletto, di Luna, Amonasro, Germont, Tonio, Rossini's Figaro, Hamlet, Iago, Carlo in Ernani, Don Giovanni, Barnaba, and Renato in Un ballo in maschera. He was also renowned for several baritone roles in operas largely forgotten today: the title roles in Ambroise Thomas's Hamlet and Franchetti's Cristoforo Colombo, Cascart in Leoncavallo's Zazà and Neri in Giordano's La cena delle beffe. Ruffo's signature roles were Rigoletto and Hamlet.

Source. All of the Ruffo recordings in my channel were originally collected by William Hogarth, with the assistance of other collectors, notably Thomas Hood. They were issued informally on eight compact discs and subsequently reissued as one of Michael Richter's Audio Encyclopedias: Titta Ruffo: The Complete Recordings, AE 104. This reissue can be purchased from, AE1040D.

Hogart, Richter, et al assert no rights to the compilation and encourage others to copy and to distribute in whole or in part. I do so here for your enjoyment.

Watch videos with other singers performing Gia mi dicon venal:


siede in faccia a Scarpia, guardandolo fissamente. Appoggiando i gomiti sul tavolo, colle mani si sorregge il viso, e coll'accento del più profondo disprezzo chiede a Scarpia:

imperturbabile, versandosi da bere

Il prezzo!...

Già - Mi dicon venal, ma a donna bella
insinuante e con intenzione
non mi vendo a prezzo di moneta.
Se la giurata fede
devo tradir... ne voglio altra mercede.
Quest'ora io l'attendeva!
Già mi struggea
l'amor della diva!
Ma poc'anzi ti mirai
qual non ti vidi mai!
eccitatissimo, si alza
Quel tuo pianto era lava
ai sensi miei e il tuo sguardo
che odio in me dardeggiava,
mie brame inferociva!...
Agil qual leopardo
ti avvinghiasti all'amante;
Ah! In quell'istante
t'ho giurata mia!...
si avvicina, stendendo le braccia verso Tosca: questa, che aveva ascoltato immobile, impietrita, le lascive parole di Scarpia, s'alza di scatto e si rifugia dietro il canapè


quasi inseguendola
Sì, t'avrò!...

English Libretto or Translation:

still staring at Scarpia, she advances towards the table. She sits resolutely facing him, then asks in a tone of the deepest contempt:
How much?

imperturbable, as she pours his drink
How much?

What is your price?

Yes, they say that I am venal, but it is not
For money that I will sell myself
To beautitul women. I want other recompense
If I am to betray my oath of office.
I have waited for this hour.
Already in the past I burned
With passion for the Diva.
But tonight I have beheld you
In a new role I had not seen before.
Those tears of yours were lava
To my senses and that fierce hatred
Which your eyes shot at me, only fanned
The fire in my blood.
Supple as a leopard
You enrapped your lover. In that instant
I vowed you would be mine!
Mine! Yes, I will have you …

Rises and stretches out his arms towards Tosca. She has listened motionless to his wanton tirade. Now she leaps up and takes refuge behind the sofa.