*La Donna È Mobile

*The woman is fickle.

rigoletto

This takes me back a ways.

In 1963, I attended Verdi’s Rigoletto produced by Alfredo Salmaggi. (more about Salmaggi below)

It was not unusual to see women dressed in gowns and furs — and men in tie and tails. Others wore “dungarees” and sneakers. It didn’t matter. All were there for the same reason. OPERA!

Maestro Salmaggi dressed to the nines — hat, tails, watch fob, cape, white gloves, and of course a fashionable walking stick — greeted every single person — with a bow — who entered his domain. Even skeptics who came along for the ride, always left a convert. It was as if La Scala came to Brooklyn.

Mr. Salmaggi died at age 89 in Far Rockaway, Queens, NY. He was a friend of the late great Enrique Caruso.

barflowers

Alfredo Salmaggi from TIME Magazine :
Music: Poor Man’s Impresario Monday, Mar. 01, 1943
“The greatest producer of second-rate opera in the U.S. is Alfredo Salmaggi. He moved from Brooklyn to Manhattan last week, set up his scenery and props in 55th Street’s Turko-Egyptian Mecca Theater, led off with a roof-raising performance of Traviata. Competition from the Metropolitan Opera House bothered Impresario Salmaggi not a whit. “My singers,” he averred with a lordly shake of his shoulder-length hair, “are mucha better than the Metropolitan.”
For 99¢ Impresario Salmaggi gives his public its money’s worth. His 28-piece orchestra drones out Verdi’s melodies like possessed hurdy-gurdies. His tenors and sopranos bellow lustily. His triumphal scenes contain not only…”

barflowers

I attended many Salmaggi operas over time and all were wonderful.

I hope you enjoyed this bit of nostalgia. If you love opera, we share something in common.

Please enjoy a famous Rigoletto aria below — with the late great Pavarotti — words and translation included.

Thank you for visiting blog…

Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi

La donna è mobile, qual piùma al vento,
muta d’accento, e di pensiero.Sempre un amabile, leggiadro viso,
in pianto o in riso, è menzognero.
La donna è mobile, qual piùma al vento,
muta d’accento, e di pensier
e di pensier, e di pensier
È sempre misero, chi a lei s’affida,
chi le confida, mal cauto il core!
Pur mai non sentesi felice appieno
chi su quel seno non liba amore!
La donna è mobil, qual piùma al vento,
muta d’accento e di pensier,
e di pensier, e di pensier!

Woman is fickle (movable), like a feather in the wind,
she changes the tone of her voice (i.e., her accents), and her thoughts
Always a sweet, pretty face,
in tears or in laughter, (she) is (always) lying
Woman is fickle, like a feather in the wind,
she changes her accents, and her thoughts
and her thoughts, and her thoughts
It is always miserable, he that trusts in her
(He is always miserable who trusts in her)
who to her confides, his unwary heart!
Yet nobody feels happy fully
who on that bosom doesn’t drink love,
Woman is fickle, like a feather in the wind,
she changes the tone of her voice and her thoughts
and her thoughts, and her thoughts!

Categories: Life, Music, Nostalgia, People | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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