Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Best. Aria. Ever.

Wikipedia (all bow) tells us:

"An aria (Italian for air; plural: arie or arias in common usage) in music was originally any expressive melody, usually, but not always, performed by a singer. It is now used almost exclusively to describe a self-contained piece for one voice usually with orchestral accompaniment. Perhaps the most common context for arias is opera..."

"Pagliacci (Clowns) is an opera in two acts written and composed by Ruggero Leoncavallo. It is the tragedy of a jealous husband in a commedia dell'Arte troupe...."

So anyway, this fella, Pagliaccio , finds out his mot is playing away with another clown. (Where have we heard this scenario before, or so perfectly described???). The show must go on. But the heart must also break. The words of the aria are shown in Italian and in English in Wikipedia in this article.

The best rendition, I think, of this is by Placido Domingo in this 1978 version:

UPDATE: The site owner has disabled embedding, so the video won't show now on this Blog. However, please Visit This Page to see the video.

Original Italian
Recitar! Mentre preso dal delirio,
non so più quel che dico,
e quel che faccio!
Eppur è d'uopo, sforzati!
Bah! sei tu forse un uom?
Tu se' Pagliaccio!
Vesti la giubba,
e la faccia in farina.
La gente paga, e rider vuole qua.
E se Arlecchin t'invola Colombina,
ridi, Pagliaccio, e ognun applaudirà!
Tramuta in lazzi lo spasmo ed il pianto;
in una smorfia il singhiozzo il dolor, Ah!
Ridi, Pagliaccio,
sul tuo amore infranto!
Ridi del duol, che t'avvelena il cor!

English Translation
Play a part! While I'm still reeling,
Unsure of what I say
or what I'm doing
Yet you've got to, force yourself!
Or aren't you a man?
You're just Pagliaccio!
Get into costume,
and smear on your makeup
The public's paying to have a laugh or two
If Arlecchino runs off with Colombina
laugh all the louder, the croud will cheer you on.
Pretend your anguish is nothing but clowning,
and hide your sobbing behind a silly grin.
Laugh, Pagliaccio
though your love lies in pieces.
Laugh through the pain, the pain that poisons your heart.


Angharod said...

Thanks Willie. Just wonderful to have the lyrics too.

I'll have to look up Un Bel Di now...hopefully someone cared enough to post it.

Willie_W said...

T'would bring a tear to a glass eye.