Arias Alfresco

Catholic Community of St. Francis Xavier

August 8, 2020

Taylor Boykins

mezzo-soprano

Tim Mix

baritone

James Harp

piano

"ain't it a pretty night?"

from Susannah by Carlisle Floyd

Susannah is a beautiful and spirited girl living in New Hope Valley in Tennessee. She longs for a more exciting life and imagines what life is like faraway in the bright lights of the city. Even so, she loves her country home, the smell of pine straw,  and the beauty of the starry night.

"Cruda sorte"

from l'italiana in algeri by Gioacchino Rossini

The feisty Italian Isabella has been marooned on the Algerian coast while looking for her shipwrecked lover. She has some trepidations but is sure that her charms will carry her through.

Cruda sorte! Amor tiranno! Questo e il premio di mia fé?     

Cruel fate! Tyrannical Cupid! Is this the reward for my constancy?

Non v'è orror, terror, né affanno pari a quel ch'io provo in me.          

No horror, terror or anguish exists compared to that which I now suffer.

Per te solo, o mio Lindoro, Io mi trovo in tal periglio.           

For you alone, my Lindoro, I find myself in such peril.

Da chi spero, oh Dio, consiglio? Chi conforto mi dara?                     

From whom, oh God, can I hope for counsel? Who will give me comfort?

Qua ci vuol disinvoltura, non più smanie, né paura;               

Keeping cool is what's wanted here, no more rages or terror:

Di coraggio è tempo adesso, or chi sono si vedrà.       

now is the time for courage; now they'll see who I am.

Già so per pratica qual sia l'effetto d'un sguardo languido,              

From experience I already know the effect of a languishing look,

D'un sospiretto... So a domar gli uomini come si fa.                           

of a slight sigh... I know what to do to tame men.

Sien dolci o ruvidi sien flemma o foco, Son tutti simili a presso a poco...   

Be they gentle or rough, cool or ardent, they're all alike more or less...

Tutti la chiedono, tutti la bramano, da vada femmina felicità.                     

They all seek, they all long for, happiness from a pretty woman.

"casta diva"

from norma by Vincenzo Bellini

The Druid High Priestess Norma has begun the sacred rite of cutting the mistletoe and invokes the chaste goddess of the moon to bring peace to her trouble land.  She also looks forward to her reunion with her Roman lover, Pollione.

Casta Diva, che inargenti queste sacre antiche piante,             

O pure Goddess, who silvers these sacred ancient plants,

a noi volgi il bel sembiante senza nube e senza vel...               

turn thy beautiful semblance on us unclouded and unveiled... 

Tempra, o Diva, tempra tu dei cori ardenti, tempra ancora lo zelo audace,  

Temper, o Goddess, the ardent hearts, and the brave zeal,

spargi in terra quella pace che regnar tu fai nel ciel...              

Scatter on the earth the peace that you make reign in the sky...  

Ah! bello a me ritorna del fido amor primiero;

Ah! Return to me beautiful in your first true love;

e contro il mondo intiero...   difesa a te sarò.                        

I’ll protect you against the entire world.

Ah! bello a me ritorna del raggio tuo sereno;  

Ah! Return to me beautiful with your serene ray;

e vita nel tuo seno e patria e cielo avrò.                                   

I’ll have life, sky and homeland in your heart.

Ah, riedi ancora qual eri allora, quando il cor ti diedi allora,  

Ah, return again as you were then, when I gave you my heart then,

Ah, riedi a me. 

Ah, come back to me. 

"Cortigiani"

from Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi

The court jester Rigoletto has been duped into enabling his beloved daughter Gilda to be abducted into the clutches of the lascivious Duke of Mantua. He looks for her in the palace and begs the courtiers to have pity on him and tell him where she been taken.

Cortigiani, vil razza dannata, per qual prezzo vendeste il mio bene?             

Courtiers, vile cursed race, at what price did you sell my love?

A voi nulla per l' oro sconviene, ma mia figlia è impagabil tesor.        

For gold you do everything, but my daughter is a priceless treasure.

La rendete...o se pur disarmata                  

Give her back to me...or, even if unarmed

questa man per voi fora cruenta;

this hand will be merciless with you;

nulla in terra più l'uomo paventa, se dei figli difende l'onor.

A man doesn't fear more than when he has to defend his children's honor.

Quella porta, assassini, m' aprite. Ah! voi tutti a me contro venite!     

Open that door, you murderers, open up. Ah! you are all against me!

Ebben, piango...Marullo... signore, tu ch' hai l' alma gentil come il core,      

See, I weep... Marullo... my lord, you have a kind soul and heart,

dimmi or tu dove l' hanno nascosta ?

speak up, tell me, where have they hidden her?

... È là?...È vero?...tu taci!...perchè?...   

... Is she there?...Is it true?...you are silent!...why?...

Miei signori...perdono, pietate... Al vegliardo la figlia ridate...

My lords...forgive, have mercy... give back the daughter to this old man...

Ridonarla a voi nulla or costa, 

It doesn't cost you a thing to return her,

tutto il mondo è tal figlia per me.        

while such a daughter is all the world to me.

"habanera"

from carmen by Georges Bizet

On a hot day in Seville the enigmatic gypsy Carmen takes a break from her work at the cigarette factory – and explains her carefree - and dangerous - philosophy of love and life.

L'amour est un oiseau rebelle que nul ne peut apprivoiser,    

Love is a rebellious bird that nothing can tame,

Et c'est bien en vain qu'on l'appelle, s'il lui convient de refuser.          

and it is simply in vain to call it if it is convenient for it to refuse.

Rien n'y fait, menace ou prière, l'un parle bien, l'autre se tait;             

Nothing will work, threat or pleading, one speaks, the other stays quiet;

Et c'est l'autre que je préfère il n'a rien dit; mais il me plaît. L'amour!           

And it's the other that I prefer that said nothing; but he pleases me. Love!

L'amour est enfant de Bohême, il n'a jamais, jamais connu de loi,     

Love is the child of the gypsy, it has never, never known any law,

Si tu ne m'aime pas, je t'aime, si je t'aime, prend garde à toi!                        

If you don't love me, I love you, if I love you, beware!

 

L'oiseau que tu croyais surprendre battit de l’aile et s'envola;              

The bird you thought to surprise bat its wing and flew away;

L'amour est loin, tu peux l'attendre; tu ne l'attend plus, il est là!                   

Love is far away, you can wait for it; if you wait for it no more, it is there!

Tout autour de toi vite, vite, il vient, s'en va, puis il revient!                

All around you, quickly, quickly, it comes, goes, then it comes back!

Tu crois le tenir, il t'évite; tu crois l'éviter, il te tient! L'amour!

You think to hold it, it avoids you; you think to avoid it, it holds you!  Love!

 

L'amour est enfant de Bohême, il n'a jamais, jamais connu de loi,     

Love is the child of the gypsy, it has never, never known any law,

Si tu ne m'aime pas, je t'aime, si je t'aime, prend garde à toi!                        

If you don't love me, I love you, if I love you, beware!

"toreador Song"

from carmen by Georges Bizet

The dashing bullfighter Escamillo has come to Lillas Pastia’s tavern and tells the admiring crowd about his escapades on and off the bull ring!

Votre toast, je peux vous le rendre, Senor, senors car avec les soldats          

Your toast, I can give it to you sirs, for along with the soldiers

Oui, les Toreros, peuvent s'entendre; 

Yes, the Toreros, can understand;

Pour plaisirs, pour plaisirs, Ils ont les combats!          

For pleasures they have combat!

Le cirque est plein, c'est jour de fête! Le cirque est plein du haut en bas;    

The arena is full, it is the festival day! The arena is full, from top to bottom;

Les spectateurs, perdant la tête,

The spectators, losing their heads,

les spectateurs s'interpellent à grand fracas! 

the spectators begin a big fracas!

             

Apostrophes, cris et tapage poussés jusques a la fureur!                     

Shouts, cries, and uproar grow to a furor!

Car c'est la fete du courage!    

Because it is a celebration of courage!

C'est la fête des gens de coeur. 

It is the celebration of people with heart!

Allons! En garde!    

Let’s go! Be on your guard!

Toréador, en garde! Toréador, Torêador!

Toreador, be on your guard! Toreador, Toreador!

Et songe bien, oui, songe en combattant

And dream away, yes, dream in combat,

Qu'un oeil noir te regarde, et que l'amour t'attend.                 

That a dark eye is watching you, and that love awaits.

 

Tout d'un coup, on fait silence... Ah! que se passe-t-il?           

All of a sudden, it is silent…Ah, what is happening?

Plus de cris, c'est l'instant!  le taureau s'élance en bondissant hors du Toril!

More shouts!  It is the moment! The bull throws himself out.

Il s'élance! Il entre, Il frappe!

He throws himself out! He enters. He strikes!

Un cheval roule, entrainant un Picador.            

A horse rolls, dragging a picador.

Ah! bravo! Toro! Hurle la foule!

Ah, Bravo!  Bull!  The crowd roars!

Le taureau va, il vient il, vient et frappe encore!      

The bull goes, he comes, he comes and strikes again!

En secouant ses banderilles, plein de fureur, il court!

Shaking his banderillos, full of fury, he runs!

Le cirque est plein de sang! On se sauve, on franchit les grilles!

The arena is full of blood! They save themselves, they pass the gates.

C'est ton tour maintenant! allons!    

It is your turn now.  Let’s go!

 

Toréador, en garde! Toréador, Torêador!

Toreador, be on your guard! Toreador, Toreador!

Et songe bien, oui, songe en combattant

And dream away, yes, dream in combat,

Qu'un oeil noir te regarde, et que l'amour t'attend.                 

That a dark eye is watching you, and that love awaits.

"The Jewel song"

from Faust by Charles Gounod

The innocent Marguerite is the pawn in a match between Faust and the Devil. In order to hasten her downfall, the Devil places a box of jewels outside her door to lead her into a romance with Faust that will come at a great cost – his soul and her death.

Ah! je ris de me voir si belle en ce miroir!

Ah, I laugh to see myself so beautiful in this mirror!

Est-ce toi, Marguerite, est-ce toi?

Is it you, Marguerite, it is you?

Réponds, réponds, réponds vite! Non! Non! ce n’est plus toi!                      

Respond, respond, respond quickly! No!  It’s no longer you!

Non...non, ce n’est plus ton visage;

No...no, it’s no longer your face;

C’est la fille d’un roi; qu’on salut au passage!

it is the daughter of a king; one must bow to her as she passes!

Ah s’il était ici! S’il me voyait ainsi!

Ah if only he were here! If he should see me thus

Comme une demoiselle il me trouverait belle.

like a lady he would find me so beautiful.

Achevons la métamorphose, 

Let’s complete the metamorphosis,

il me tarde encor d’essayer le bracelet et le collier!             

I am late yet in trying on the bracelet and the necklace!

Dieu!  C’est comme une main, Qui sur mon bras se pose!  

God!  It is like a hand which is placed on my arm!  

 

Ah! je ris de me voir si belle en ce miroir!

Ah, I laugh to see myself so beautiful in this mirror!

Est-ce toi, Marguerite, est-ce toi?

Is it you, Marguerite, it is you?

Réponds, réponds, réponds vite! Non! Non! ce n’est plus toi!                      

Respond, respond, respond quickly! No!  It’s no longer you!

Non...non, ce n’est plus ton visage;

No...no, it’s no longer your face;

C’est la fille d’un roi; qu’on salut au passage!

it is the daughter of a king; one must bow to her as she passes!

"Mon coeur s'ouvre a ta voix"

from Samson et Dalila by Camille Saint-Saëns

The legendary and beautiful temptress Delilah has lured the Hebrew warrior Samson to her lair in the hope of learning the secret to his great strength.

Mon coeur s'ouvre à la voix,

My heart opens to your voice,

comme s'ouvrent les fleurs aux baiser de l'aurore!                                 

like the flowers open to the kisses of the dawn!

Mais, ô mon bienaimé, pour mieux sécher mes pleurs,

But, o my beloved, to dry my tears the best,

que ta voix parle encore!                              

let your voice speak again!

Dis-moi qu'à Dalila tu reviens pour jamais,                 

Tell me that to Dalila you will return forever,

Redis à ma tendresse les serments d'autrefois, ces serments que j'aimais!   

Repeat to my tenderness the oaths of other times, the oaths that I loved!

Ah! réponds à ma tendresse!   Verse-moi, verse-moi l'ivresse!            

Ah! respond to my tenderness! Pour out to me intoxication!

 

Ainsi qu'on voit des blés les épis onduler sous la brise légère,                       

Like one sees the wheat and the blades undulate under the light breeze,

Ainsi frémit mon coeur, prêt à se consoler,            

So trembles my heart, ready to be consoled,

a ta voix qui m'est chère!

by your voice which is dear to me!

La flèche est moins rapide à porter le trépas,  

The arrow is less quick to carry death,

que ne l'est ton amante à voler dans tes bras!              

than is your love to fly into my arms!

Ah! réponds à ma tendresse!  Verse-moi, verse-moi l'ivresse!            

Ah! respond to my tenderness! Pour out to me intoxication!

"UN BEL Dì"

from Madama butterfly by Giacomo puccini

Cio-Cio-San has been married to Lt. Pinkerton in an arranged marriage that to him is temporary and frivolous – but to her it is eternal and serious. After he leaves her she continues to wait for him to return to her and her child.

Un bel dì, vedremo levarsi un fil di fumo                               

One good day, we will see arising a strand of smoke

sull'estremo confin del mare

over the far horizon on the sea

e poi la nave appare e poi la nave è bianca.    

and then the ship appears and then the ship is white.

Entra nel porto, romba il suo saluto.  Vedi? È venuto!

It enters into the port, it rumbles its salute. Do you see it?  He is coming!

Io non gli scendo incontro, io no. Mi metto là sul ciglio del colle       

I don't go down to meet him, not I. I stay upon the edge of the hill

E aspetto gran tempo  e non mi pesa a lunga attesa.               

and I wait a long time but I do not grow weary of the long wait.

E uscito dalla folla cittadina un uomo,

And leaving from the crowded city, a man,

un picciol punto s'avvia per la collina. Chi sarà? Chi sarà?

a little speck climbing the hill. Who is it? Who is it?

E come sarà giunto che dirà? Che dirà?                                  

And as he arrives what will he say? What will he say?

Chiamerà Butterfly dalla lontana. Io senza far risposta                       

He will call Butterfly from the distance. I without answering

me ne starò nascosta un po' per celia, 

stay hidden a little to tease him,

un po' per non morire al primo incontro,                   

a little as to not die at the first meeting,

Ed egli al quanto in pena chiamerà, chiamerà :                       

And then a little troubled he will call, he will call:

"Piccina – mogliettina - Olezzo di verbena"

"Little one, dear wife - Blossom of orange"

- I nomi che mi dava al suo venire.

- the names he called me at his last coming.

Tutto questo avverrà, te lo prometto, tienti la tua paura,

All this will happen, I promise you this, hold back your fears,

Io con sicura fede lo aspetto!                                  

I with secure faith wait for him!

"be my love"

from the toast of New Orleans

by Nicholas Brodsky & sammy cahn

"I feel pretty"

from west side story

by Leonard Bernstein & Steven sondheim

"some enchanted evening"

from south pacific

by Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein

"over the rainbow"

from The wizard of oz 

by Harold Arlen & yip Warburg

he's got the Whole world in his hands

traditional spiritual arr. Margaret bonds

"you'll never walk alone"

from carousel

by Richard rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein

 

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