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Ella mi fu rapita

Opera details:

Opera title:



Giuseppe Verdi




Rigoletto Synopsis


Rigoletto Libretto


English Deutsch

Aria details:




Duke of Mantua





Previous scene: Zitti zitti moviamo a vendetta
Next scene: Parmi veder le lagrima

100 Singers - JAN KIEPURA

Singer: Jan Kiepura

Jan Kiepura, Tenor (1902-1966)
Giuseppe Verdi: RIGOLETTO
"Ella mi fu rapita ... Parmi veder le lagrime"
Conducted by Gennaro Papi
Recorded live Metropolitan Opera House, March 11, 1939

My personal opinion: Honoré de Balzac hated critics: "They're all bugs", he said. For author Erich Segal a critic "is someone who gets angry, if the audience like what he doesn't like." The Irish poet Brendan Behan was convinced that "all critics are like eunuchs. They know how to do it, but they can't do it". And according to soprano Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, a critic is a person who did not manage to become an artist himself. In his memoires, former Met manager Rudolf Bing wrote the same: "It's hardly a profession a young man would choose unless there was some negative reason in the background."
A tenor named John Potter once said that one of the difficulties of writing a criticism about a historic singer is the risk of coloring the review with the ideologies of the present. In his time, the Polish tenor Jan Kiepura was loved by millions. Decades later he was heavily criticized for his unusual way of singing and performing. Irving Kolodin, for instance, wrote in "The Story of the Metropolitan Opera" that Kiepura was a more than commonly vain tenor, "who had first displayed his hard and unsensous voice as Rodolfo on February 10, 1938. He greeted Bidu Sayao's introductory words as Mimi with a self-satisfied smirk and a brisk rubbing of his hands. In CARMEN, Kiepura disturbed Bruna Castagna's card scene with aimless gestures behind her back." Ignored by voice experts Henry Pleasants and John Steane, Kiepura was damned by the German author Jürgen Kesting. He accused the tenor of using a whole catalog of bad vocal habits: "His recordings show too often a garish formed voice with a strained top and without tonal rounding. The phrasing is lousy; the vowels are permanently discolored and smeared."
Remember the John Potter statement, whereupon a singer's manner can be judged only in relation to the time he lived in. Author J. M. Fischer in his book "Grosse Stimmen": "The exhibition of theatrical effective high notes in his recordings was out of place, though Kiepura's audience loved it in the opera house." A singer's complacency on records is worn out quickly ...
The late Marcel Prawy, gentleman connoisseur and once secretary of the Polish tenor, knew both personally: Jan Kiepura and Richard Tauber. Many years later Prawy explained: "Kiepura was able to hold the high C bright and clear, again and again if requested. Tauber produced an ingenious falsetto sound and made everyone believe it was a high C ..."
In fact young Kiepura's top was radiant (Kesting, as so many times, was wrong), and with his good looks it's understandable he made money with it. It was the time when the talkies took the world and Kiepura naturally sang his tenor hits ("Ob blond, ob braun, ich liebe alle Frau'n") also in the movies and as an encore after opera performances. The crowd loved it. And Kiepura's flawed German pronunciation was regarded as an attractive exoticism. Back then, a long time ago ...
How times have changed. Seemingly today there is no place for such old-fashioned singing. And if in spite a modern tenor sings this naive songs, like Piotr Beczala, the result is without the typical wit of the clueless pre-war period. In the 1930's a tenor in tails was not uncommon. Today it is almost an anachronism, a caricature of a lost decadent era.
For this post I've listened again to the Met performance of RIGOLETTO with Kiepura: A strange transformation into a musical revue using the Verdi melodies. Lawrence Tibbett as the jester was, as usual, great. Lily Pons, as usual, was glassy and nerve-racking. Kiepura didn't care about the score. Here and there he interpolated endless stretched high notes, narcissistic pianissimi and lots of diminuendi - and all this with the blessing of conductor Gennaro Papi. In those days, faithfulness to the original was not a part of the Met performance practice.
But in all, the unconventional Jan Kiepura was a likeable appearance; charming and with a good sense of self-mockery - as I said before: Back then, a long time ago.
It's peculiar: Today, when opera is provoking, scandalizing and uncharming, sometimes I wish back the era of tails and top hat ...

Watch videos with other singers performing Ella mi fu rapita:

Juan Diego Florez sings to Pavarotti 208644
5 - Juan Diego Flórez
Luciano PavarottiElla mi fu rapita Parmi veder le lagrime 11392
5 - Luciano Pavarotti

Enrico Caruso Rigoletto Ella mi fu rapita 1913 11402
5 - Enrico Caruso
Ella mi fu rapitaParmi veder le lagrime Rigoletto 1977 11395
5 - Plácido Domingo

Roberto Alagna Ella mi fu rapita Parmi veder le lagrima Rigoletto 25632
5 - Roberto Alagna
Sergei LemeshevRigoletto Parmi veder le lagrime1940 73795
5 - Sergei Lemeshev

Jonas KaufmannElla mi fu rapitaRigoletto 11409
5 - Jonas Kaufmann

Franco Bonisolli in Rigoletto Giuseppe Verdi Ella mi fu rapita Parmi veder le lagrime  11391
5 - Franco Bonisolli

Jussi Bjorling Ella mi fu rapita live 1945 11419
5 - Jussi Björling
MICHAEL SPYRES Duca Rigoletto Ella mi fu rapita cabaletta 11396
5 - Michael Spyres

Rigoletto part 2 of 3 Callas di Stefano LIVE 1952 recording 89115
1 - Maria Callas
Verdi Rigoletto Ella mi fu Parmi veder le lagrime Javier Camarena 11394
5 - Javier Camarena

Joseph Calleja Ella mi fu rapitaParmi veder le lagrime 73797
5 - Joseph Calleja
5 - Luca Canonici

Giacomo LauriVolpi Ella mi fu rapita Rigoletto 73799
5 - Giacomo Lauri-Volpi
Ferruccio TagliaviniRigoletto Ella mi fu rapita  73802
5 - Ferruccio Tagliavini

GVerdi Rigoletto Alfredo Kraus Gianna D Angelo Che m amiAddioElla mi fuParmi veder  73805
5 - Alfredo Kraus
G Verdi RIGOLETTO Ella mi fu rapitaParmi veder le lagrimePossente amor mi chiama  6494
5 - Enrico Di Giuseppe

Giuseppe di Stefano Live Verdi Rigoletto Ella mi fu rapita 11413
5 - Giuseppe Di Stefano
Jan Peerce Ella mi fu rapita Parmi veder le legrime from Verdi s Rigoletto  11429
5 - Jan Peerce

100 Singers JAN KIEPURA 73817
5 - Jan Kiepura

Ella mi fu rapita Parmi veder le lagrime Giorgio Berrugi Il Duca di Mantova Rigoletto 73819
5 - Giorgio Berrugi

MARIO DEL MONACO as Duca di Mantova in Rigoletto 64785
5 - Mario Del Monaco
Raffaele Cardone Ella mi fu rapita Rigoletto Verdi 11425
5 - Raffaele Cardone

Teodor Ilincai Ella mi fu rapita 73834
5 - Teodor Ilinc?i
Richard Tucker Ella mi fu rapita Rigoletto Giuseppe Verdi  11406
5 - Richard Tucker

GVerdi Rigoletto Ella mi fu rapita Parmi veder le lagrime Arnold Rutkowski 73839
5 - Arnold Rutkowski
5 - Neil Shicoff

Giuseppe Giacomini Ella mi fu rapita Rigoletto G Verdi 11407
5 - Giuseppe Giacomini
Doro Antonioli Ella mi fu rapita Rigoletto di GVerdi 73852
6 - Carlo Tagliabue

Verdi Rigoletto Ella mi fu rapita parmi veder le lagrime Arturo Chacon Cruz 73853
5 - Arturo Chacón Cruz
TITO SCHIPA Ella mi fu rapita from opera Rigoletto by G Verdiwmv 11412
5 - Tito Schipa

GVerdi Rigoletto Ella mi fu rapita Parmi veder le lagrime Stefano Secco 73858
5 - Stefano Secco
G Verdi RIGOLETTO Ella mi fu rapitaParmi veder le lagrime  11405
5 - Eugenio Fernandi

Giuseppe Verdi Rigoletto Ella mi fu rapita Parmi veder le lagrime  11431
5 - Giuseppe Anselmi

Nicolai Gedda Ella Mi Fu Rapita Rigoletto 11399
5 - Nicolai Gedda

Rigoletto Act II Ella mi fu rapita Parmi veder le lagrime 73870
5 - Giacomo Aragall
Rigoletto Act II Ella mi fu rapita Parmi veder le lacrime 73874
5 - Gianni Raimondi

Verdi Rigoletto Act 2 Ella mi fu rapita  73886
5 - Francisco Araiza
Verdi Rigoletto Act 2 Ella mi fu rapita Parmi veder le lagrime 73887
5 - Carlo Bergonzi

Verdi Rigoletto Act 2 Ella mi fu rapita Parmi veder le lagrime  73892
5 - José Carreras
Verdi Rigoletto Act 2 Ella mi fu rapita Parmi veder le lagrime  73897
5 - Renato Cioni

alesandro bonci 1907 verdi rigoletto LibrettoEnglish ella mi fu rapitaparmi veder le lagrime  73812
5 - Alessandro Bonci
6 - Enrico Delle Sedie
Placido Domingo Sherrill MilnesVINYL Verdi Rigoletto Ella mi fu rapita Parmi veder le lagrime 73821
5 - Plácido Domingo
6 - Sherrill Milnes


Salotto nel palazzo ducale. Vi sono due porte laterali, una maggiore nel fondo che si schiude. Ai suoi lati pendono i ritratti, in tutta figura, a sinistra del Duca, a destra della sua sposa. V’ha un seggiolone presso una tavola coperta di velluto e altri mobili.

No. 8 - Scena ed Aria

entrando, agitato
Ella mi fu rapita!
E quando, o ciel?... ne' brevi
Istanti, prima che il mio presagio interno
Sull'orma corsa ancora mi spingesse!
Schiuso era l'uscio! e la magion deserta!
E dove ora sarà quell'angiol caro?
Colei che prima poté in questo core
Destar la fiamma di costanti affetti?
Colei sì pura, al cui modesto sguardo
Quasi spinto a virtù talor mi credo!
Ella mi fu rapita!
E chi l'ardiva?... ma ne avrò vendetta.
Lo chiede il pianto della mia diletta.

Parmi veder le lagrime
Scorrenti da quel ciglio,
Quando fra il dubbio e l'ansia
Del subito periglio,
Dell'amor nostro memore
Il suo Gualtier chiamò.
Ned ci potea soccorrerti,
Cara fanciulla amata;
Ei che vorria coll'anima
Farti quaggiù beata;
Ei che le sfere agli angeli
Per te non invidiò.

English Libretto or Translation:

A room in the ducal palace. There is a door on each side and a larger one at the far end flanked by full?length portraits of the Duke and his wife. A high?backed chair stands near a velvet covered table and other furniture.

No. 8 - Scena and Aria

entering, agitated
She has been stolen from me!
When, O heaven? In those few moments,
before some inner voice
made me hastily retrace my steps!
The gate was open, the house deserted!
And where is she now, that dear angel?
She who first kindled my heart
with the flame of a constant affection?

So pure that her modest demeanour
almost convinced me to lead a virtuous life!
She has been stolen from me!
And who dared do this? ... But I shall be avenged.
The tears of my beloved demand it.

I seem to see the tears
coursing from her eyes
as, bewildered and afraid
at the surprise attack,
remembering our love,
she called her Walter's name.
But could not defend you,
sweet, beloved maid;
he who would pledge his very soul
to bring you happiness;
he who, in loving you, envied
not even the angels.

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