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Fair Lady gracious gentlemen

Opera details:

Opera title:

The Rake's Progress


Igor Stravinsky




The Rake's Progress Synopsis


The Rake's Progress Libretto


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Aria details:




Nick Shadow


Baritone or Bass



Previous scene: Tom Rakewell?
Next scene: I wished but once!

Watch videos with other singers performing Fair Lady gracious gentlemen:


A lover's fancy and a lovely thought.
Then call her.
Indeed, let all who will,
make their joy here of your glad tidings.

(Tom enters the house. Nick comes into the garden.
Tom returns with Anne and Truelove)

Fair lady, gracious gentlemen,
a servant begs your pardon for your time,
but there is much to tell.
Tom Rakewell had an uncle,
one long parted from his native land.
Him I served many years,
served him in the many trades
he served in turn, and all to his profit.
Yes, profit was perpetually his.
It was, indeed: his family, his friend,
his hour of amusement, his life.
But all his brilliant progeny of gold
couldn't caress him when he lay dying.
Sick for his home,
sick for a memory of pleasure or of love,
his thoughts were but of England.
There, at least, he felt, his profit
could be pleasure to an eager youth.
For such, by counting years
upon his fumbling fingers,
he knew that you must be good, sir.
Well, he is dead.
And I am here with this commission:
to tell Tom Rakewell that
an unloved and forgotten uncle
loved and remembered.
You are a rich man.

English Libretto or Translation:

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