LEO NUCCI sings Renato's aria 'Alzati, là tuo figlio' - 'Eri tu che macchiavi quell'anima', from Act Three of the opera 'Un ballo in maschera' by Giuseppe Verdi (live)
James Allen Gähres, conductor
Leo Nucci, baritone
Ulm Philharmonic (Philharmoniker Ulm)
Live recorded during open public concert.
Verdi - Don Carlo - LEO NUCCI sings 'Per me giunto', 'O Carlo, ascolta' - James Allen Gähres, cond. (live):
Leoncavallo - Pagliacci - LEO NUCCI sings Tonio's Prologue 'Si può, si può?... Signore! Signori! - James Allen Gähres, cond. (live):
Alzati! là tuo figlio
A te concedo riveder. Nell’ombra
E nel silenzio, là,
Il tuo rossore e l’onta mia nascondi.
Non è su lei, nel suo
Fragile petto che colpir degg’io.
Altro, ben altro sangue a terger dèssi
L’offesa! . . .
Il sangue tuo!
E lo trarrà il pugnale
Dallo sleal tuo core,
Delle lagrime mie vendicator!
Eri tu che macchiavi quell'anima,
La delizia dell'anima mia;
Che m'affidi e d'un tratto esecrabile
L'universo avveleni per me, avveleni per me!
Traditor! che compensi in tal guisa
Dell'amico tuo primo, dell'amico tuo primo la fé!
O dolcezze perdute! O memorie
D'un amplesso che l'essere india! . . .
Quando Amelia sì bella, sì candida
Sul mio seno brillava d'amor!
Quando Amelia sul mio seno
Brillava d'amor, si brillava d'amor!
È finito, non siede che l'odio, non siede che l'odio
Che l'odio e la morte nel vedovo cor!
O dolcezze perdute, o speranze d'amor, d'amor, d'amor!
No composer gave the baritone so many great gifts as Giuseppe Verdi did. Such as Renato's aria in Act Three of 'Un ballo in maschera'. It is a masterpiece of conflicted feelings, pain, betrayal, and revenge. Renato’s wife, Amelia, is in love with his best friend Riccardo, the governor of colonial Massachusetts or in some productions King Gustav III of Sweden. This extramarital affair is chaste, but when Renato discovers it he suspects what any wronged husband would, i.e. Amelia and his best friend are getting it on.
After you heard the second act love duet between the two, the most passionate in all Italian opera, you would come to the same conclusion. Verdi’s powers are so great in this aria that the recitative that precedes it is better than just about any baritone aria not written by Verdi. 'Eri tu' requires everything from the singer that offers it to the public. Range, smooth vocal line, and effortless high notes are just the beginning of what’s needed to realize this great work.
Antonio Somma based the libretto of Un ballo in maschera on Eugène Scribe's libretto 'Gustave III, ou Le bal masque', written for Daniel-François-Esprit Auber and first performed in 1833. Although Somma was a skillful poet, Verdi found it necessary to instruct him in the art of developing a libretto. Verdi and Somma first worked together on Re Lear, but this was never completed.
Facing a deadline for the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, Verdi and Somma forged ahead with Un ballo in maschera (at first entitled 'Una Vendetta in Domino'), but the Neapolitan censors demanded so many significant changes, that Verdi withdrew the piece, and offered it to the Teatro Apollo in Rome.
The Roman censors required, among other things, a change of locale, thus the action of Un ballo in maschera takes place in and around Boston, Massachusetts, near the end of the seventeenth century. In protest to this and other changes, Somma asked that his name be omitted from the program. The opera was first performed on February 17, 1859, achieving a great success and within three years playing throughout Europe and in New York.
Some modern settings restore Scribe's eighteenth century Swedish setting and characters, a practice Verdi never approved. Scribe's libretto, based in part on historical fact, concerns the 1792 assassination of King Gustav III of Sweden at a masked ball. Although the real murder was most likely politically motivated, Scribe adds the element of jealousy by creating an affair between the King and the assassin's wife. Much of the opera is a straightforward translation of Scribe's libretto.
Verdi's Un ballo in maschera is often discussed as an example of his 'middle period' and shows the infusing of French elements into Verdi's intense approach to Italian serious opera.