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Opera Libretti




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Monteverdi
Orfeo
English
Synopsis
Title Page
Act 1
Act 2
Act 3
Act 4
Act 5
Italian
Title Page
Act 1
Act 2
Act 3
Act 4
Act 5

 
 
Toccata
 
Prologue
Music
From my beloved Permessus to you I come,
famous heroes, gentle issue of kings,
whose excellent merits fame reports,
without nearing the truth since the aim is too high.
 
Ritornello
 
I am Music, who, in sweet accents,
can calm every troubled heart,
now with noble anger, now with love,
can inflame the coldest minds.
 
Ritornello
 
I, with my golden lyre, singing, am used
to charm, sometimes, mortal ears
and in this way with sounding harmony
of the lyre of heaven I inspire their souls.
 
Ritornello
 
Whence desire urges me to tell you of Orpheus,
of Orpheus who drew wild beasts at his song
and made Hades give way to his prayers,
immortal glory of Pindus and of Helicon.
 
Ritornello
 
Now while I vary my songs, now happy, now sad,
let no small bird move among these bushes,
nor on these banks let a sounding wave be heard,
and let each little breeze stop in its course.
 
Ritornello
 
 
Act I
Shepherd
On this happy and fortunate day
that has put an end to the torments in love
of our demi-god, let us sing, Shepherds,
in sweet accents,
that our songs be worthy of Orpheus.
 
Today is now merciful
the soul once so disdainful
of fair Eurydice.
Today is now happy
Orpheus in the bosom of her for whom he once so
sighed and complained through these woods.
 
Then on so happy and fortunate a day
that has put an end to the torments in love
of our demi-god, let us sing, Shepherds,
in sweet accents, that our songs be worthy of Orpheus.
 
Chorus
Come, Hymen, ah, come,
and may your burning torch
be like a rising sun
that brings to these lovers peaceful days
and chase away for ever
the horrors and shadows of torments and sorrow.
 
Nymph
Muses, honour of Parnassus, loved by heaven,
gentle comfort to the disconsolate heart,
let the music of your lyres
tear apart the dark veil of every cloud:
and while today we call on Hymen
to look with favour on our Orpheus,
on well-tempered strings
let your song fit our music.
 
Chorus
Leave the mountains,
leave the fountains,
lovely joyful Nymphs.
And in these meadows
 in traditional dances
let your fair feet rejoice.
 
Here let the sun see
your dancing,
more lovely than those
that to the moon
in the dark night
the stars in heaven dance.
 
Ritornello
 
Leave the mountains,
leave the fountains,
lovely joyful Nymphs.
And in these meadows
in traditional dances
let your fair feet rejoice.
 
Then with fair flowers
honour these lovers’ heads
that after suffering now
they may happily
enjoy their desires.
 
Ritornello
 
Shepherd
But you, gentle singer, at your laments
if once you made these fields to weep,
why now to the sound of your famous lyre
do you not make the valleys and hills rejoice?
Let the feeling of your heart be shown
in some happy song, inspired by Love.
 
Orpheus
Rose of heaven, life of the world, and worthy
issue of him who holds the universe in sway,
Sun, who encircles all and sees all
from your starry course,
tell me, have you ever seen
a happier or more fortunate lover than me?
Right happy was the day,
my love, when first I saw you,
and happier the hour
when I sighed for you,
since at my sighs you sighed:
happiest the moment
when your white hand,
pledge of pure faith, you held out to me.
If I had as many hearts
as eternal heaven has eyes and as these
lovely hills in green May have leaves,
all would be full and brimming over
with that pleasure that today makes me content.
 
Eurydice
I will not say how great,
Orpheus, in your joy is my joy,
for I no longer have in me my heart,
but it is with you in Love’s company;
ask it then, if you want to know,
how happily it rejoices and how much it loves you.
 
Balletto
 
Chorus of Nymphs and Shepherds
Leave the mountains
leave the fountains,
lovely joyful Nymphs.
And in these meadows
in traditional dances l
et your fair feet rejoice.
 
 
Here let the sun see
your dancing,
more lovely than those
that to the moon
in the dark night
the stars in heaven dance.
 
Ritornello
 
Chorus
Come, Hymen, come, ah, come . . .
and may your burning torch
be like a rising sun
that brings to these lovers peaceful days
and chase away for ever
the horrors and shadows of torments and sorrow.
 
Shepherd
But if our joy derives from heaven,
as from heaven comes all we meet here below,
it is right that we should devoutly
offer incense and prayers.
Then to the temple let each turn his steps
to pray to him in whose right hand is the world,
that he may long keep us safe.
 
Ritornello
 
Chorus
Let none give way in despair
to sorrow, although it assail us
in strength and threaten our life.
 
Ritornello
 
Nymph and Shepherds
For, after a dark cloud, heavy
with black storm, has terrified the world,
the sun shows more brightly its shining rays.
 
Ritornello
 
Two Shepherds 
And after the harsh frost of bare winter
Spring clothes the fields with flowers.
 
Chorus of Nymphs and Shepherds
Here is Orpheus, for whom before
sighs were food, and plaints his drink.
Today he is so happy
that here is nothing more for him to want.

 


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11:07:34 PM, 31 July 2014
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