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Languir per una bella

Opera details:

Opera title:

L' Italiana in Algeri


Giaochino Rossini




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L' Italiana in Algeri Libretto



Aria details:









Previous scene: Il mio schiavo italian farai
Next scene: Ah! quando fia chio possa

Gioachino Rossini - L'italiana in Algeri - "Languir per una bella" (Raul Gimenez)

Singer: Raúl Giménez

It is sometimes said that Lindoro is one of the less interesting characters in the perfect Arabic romp that is "L'italiana in Algeri". In essence, he is less colorful than the people who dominate his life: Isabella and Mustafa. Lindoro is a perfect Pierrot character: a nice, gentle fellow that is just unable of fully taking charge of his life. He must primarily be believable as Isabella's lover. And some would put a line here. But, considering the opera's close ties to rescue operas, we must note another important moment: Lindoro's comic stature lies in the fact that he is the one captured, rather than Isabella who comes fully armed to rescue her lover. Considering the history of rescue operas, shouldn't in be the other way around? Lindoro is perhaps one of the only male characters' in rescue operas who have the distinction of being the ones needing saving. A most interesting moment and worth looking into.

Lindoro also has the distinction of being given some of Rossini's most beautiful music for the tenor voice. That is especially obvious in the case of his beautiful opening cavatina. Again, though the music is breathtakingly beautiful, we must remember that in the usual circumstances it would have been sung by the heroine, lamenting her poor fortune. But here it is the other way around, bringing an unusual comic dimension to Lindoro's lament. Still, despite this side to the aria, it is one of Rossini's best invocations of love. Starting with a full rendition of the cantabile, the prelude features a most remarkable prelude for English horn, playing the line that Lindoro will then take over. The main part of the cantabile is then repeated; it also has become something of a tradition to sing the repeat sotto voce to further highlight Lindoro's anguish. A tempo di mezzo leads into an unusual but beautiful quasi-cabaletta. The interest lies in the fact that the allegro section is built on four main ideas: first, the "cabaletta-proper"; then, a section of most difficult roulandes; a crescendo section; and, finally, the coda. What's unusual is the fact that all these sections are repeated once, all of the repetitions to be further ornamented, forming something that could be considered a cabaletta with a long coda; or a multi-sectioned allegro. Still, a most fitting end to a brilliant piece.

Raul Gimenez makes a very strong Lindoro, both underlining the comic and the dramatic aspects of the part. Enjoy :)!

P.S. As I love the piece immensely, I will provide another rendition a bit later :).

Watch videos with other singers performing Languir per una bella:


Lindoro solo, indi Mustafà.


Languir per una bella
E star lontano da quella,
E' il più crudel tormento,
Che provar possa un cor.
Forse verrà il momento;
Ma non lo spero ancor.
Contenta quest'alma
In mezzo alle pene
Sol trova la calma
Pensando al suo bene,
Che sempre costante
Si serba in amor.

English Libretto or Translation:

Lindoro alone, then Mustafa.


Languir for a beautiful one
And stay away from that,
It is the most cruel torment,
That proving can be a cor.
Perhaps the time will come;
But I still do not hope so.
Content this alma
In the midst of the pains
Sol finds calm
Thinking about his good,
Which is always constant
You keep in love.

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