person: la divina


La Sonnambula (1831), by Vincenzo Bellini.

Opera in 2 acts considered as the first succes of the composer. Bellini composed 11 operas.

The most famous are : La Sonnambula, Norma, Il Pirata, I Puritani.

Callas was called back on stage not less of 20 times with the maestro and with the others singers.

- Notable aria (Amina) :

• “Sovra il sen la man mi posa” (from Act I).

• “Ah non credea mirarti” ( Famous sleepwalking scene, from Act II).

Ah, non credea mirarti si presto estinto, o fiore;

Passasti al par d’amore, che un giorno sol(o) duro.

Potria novel vigore il pianto mio recarti

Ma ravvivar l’amore il pianto mio, ah no, non puo.

Translation :

Ah, je ne croyais pas te voir si tôt morte, ô fleur chérie,

Tu as vécu comme l'amour qui ne dura qu'un seul jour.

Peut-être que mes larmes pourront t’apporter une nouvelle vigueur,

Mais raviver l'amour, mes larmes ne le pourront pas, ah non !

• “Ah non giunge uman pensiero” (final aria, from Act II).

A beautiful voice, what does that mean? When you have to interpret a role you have to have thousands of colours during the performance to portray the words you do. Happiness, joy, unhappiness, sorrow, fear- how can you just have a beautiful voice period? You must put that to the service of expression. So therefore even if you have to sing harshly sometimes, (which I frequently have done), shrill, it is a necessity of expression. It is written there, you have to respect the words and you have to do it even if people will not understand- but on the long road they will!
—  Maria Callas