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Ah! quel giorno ognor rammento

Opera details:

Opera title:



Giaochino Rossini




Semiramide Synopsis


Semiramide Libretto



Aria details:









Previous scene: Eccomi al fine in Babilonia
Next scene: Oh! come da quel di

Zara Dolukhanova- Ah, quel giorno ognor rammento (Rossini)

Singer: Zara Dolukhanova

Zara Dolukhanova (1918-2007)

Just a few days ago I learned belatedly of the passing of Armenian mezzo Zara Dolukhanova, who left us in early December, 2007. I was also surprised that my subsequent Youtube search revealed no examples of her art. Well then, time to change the situation!

Dolukhanova made her stage debut in Erevan in 1939. While she left the operatic stage only a few years later, she subsequently built a very enviable concert and radio career that lasted well into the 1970's. Dolukhanova was much renowned for the breadth of her repertory, from Handel to Haydn to many 20th century composers whose works she championed- including Shostakovich, Gavrilin, Tariverdiev, Weinberg, Shaporin, and Sviridov. After switching from mezzo to soprano in 1963, Dolukhanova also sang the title role in the Russian premiere of Puccini's "Suor Angelica". However, she is perhaps best remembered as a bel canto specialist, responsible for bringing to the Russian stage such Rossini operas as "L'Italiana in Algeri", "Cenerentola", and "Semiramide".

From the latter work, we hear Dolukhanova's beautiful mezzo in Arsace's cavatina 'Ah, quel giorno ognor rammento'. Her graceful, lithe voice is quite captivating, and she's completely unfazed by Rossini's formidable coloratura demands. Dolukhanova gets fine support from the USSR Radio Orchestra and conductor Alexei Kovalev.

Watch videos with other singers performing Ah! quel giorno ognor rammento:


Eccomi alfine in Babilonia. È questo
Di Belo il tempio. - Qual silenzio augusto
Più venerando ancor rende il soggiorno
Della divinità ! - Quale nel seno
A me, guerrier, nudrito
Fra l'Orror delle pugne, ora si desta,
Del Nume formidabile all'aspetto,
Insolito terror, sacro rispetto! -
E da me questo Nume
Che può voler? Morendo il genitore
Qui m'inviò: segreto
Cenno di Semiramide mi chiama
Rapido alla sua reggia... ed anelante
Ad Azema, al suo ben l'ardente core
Qui volava sull'ali dell'amore.
Ah! quel giorno ognor rammento
Di mia gloria e di contento,
Che fra' barbari potei
Vita e onore a lei serbar.
L'involava in queste braccia
Al suo vile rapitore;
Io sentìa contro il mio core
Il suo core palpitar.
Schiuse il ciglio, mi guardò...
Mi sorrise... sospirò...
Oh! come da quel dì
Tutto per me cangiò!
Quel guardo mi rapì,
Quest'anima avvampò:
Il Ciel per me s'aprì,
Amore m'animò...
D'Azema e di quel dì
Scordarmi io mai saprò.
Ministri, al gran Pontefice annunziate
Il figlio di Fradate.

English Libretto or Translation:

Here I am at last in Babylon. And this
Of Belo the temple. - What an august silence
More venerating still makes the living room
Of the deity! - Which in the breast
To me, guerrier, nudrito
Between the Orror of the fists, now he wakes up,
Del Nume formidable to the appearance,
Unusual terror, sacred respect! -
And this Nume from me
What can he want? Dying the parent
Here he sent me: secret
A note from Semiramus calls me
Quick to his palace ... and yearning
To Azema, to his well-burning core
Here he flew on the wings of love.
Ah! that day every day
Of my glory and of contentment,
That among the barbarians I could
Life and honor to her serbar.
He wrapped it in these arms
To his vile kidnapper;
I felt against my core
His palpitar core.
He opened his eyelash, looked at me ...
He smiled at me ... he sighed ...
Oh! as from that day
Everything for me changed!
That guard kidnapped me,
This soul flared up:
The Ciel opened for me,
Love moved me ...
D'Azema and that day
Forget me I'll never know.
Ministers, to the great Pope announced
The son of Fradate.

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