Sarah Brightman -- O mio babbino caro (Gianni Schicchi)
O mio babbino caro,
mi piace è bello, bello;
vo'andare in Porta Rossa
a comperar l'anello!
Sì, sì, ci voglio andare!
e se l'amassi indarno,
andrei sul Ponte Vecchio,
ma per buttarmi in Arno!
Mi struggo e mi tormento!
O Dio, vorrei morir!
Babbo, pietà, pietà!
Babbo, pietà, pietà!
Music: Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924)
Lyrics: Giovacchino Forzano
From: Timeless (1997).
A later recored studio version appears on:
Classics (2001) and
Classics - European release
and on Amalfi: Sarah Brightman love songs
This version has the same lyrics
[thanks to Bruno Deschênes and Gábor Tocsik for info].
A previous recording appeared on the B-side of the 1987 single
Source of the lyrics:
thanks to Carlos Edmar de Almeida Souza and Giovanni Molinari.
The sixth line has "e se l'amassi indarno".
The word "indarno" is not used in modern day Italy, and at first sight it
may seem incorrect. But "indarno" did exist in Puccini's time, so it is
in place here. [Thanks to Jack Divita for pointing this out; thanks to
Giovanni Battisti for the original comment.]
Carlos also sent me the following English translation
(with thanks to Felicia M. Plunkett for a correction):
Oh dear daddy
Oh dear daddy
I love him, he is so handsome
I want to go to Porta Rossa
to buy the ring
Yes, yes, I want to go there
And if my love were in vain
I would go to Ponte Vecchio
and throw myself in the Arno
I fret and suffer torments
Oh God, I would rather die
Daddy, have pity, have pity
Background of the aria
The aria is from Puccini's Gianni Schicchi, which my encyclopedia
describes as brilliant humoristic.
The soprano B.J. Ward sings this aria on her CD Queen of the Night
and the CD booklet says about the aria:
In this aria, Lauretta begs her 'Babbo' (her Daddy) to please let her marry
her boyfriend. If not, she says, 'I'll go to the Ponte Vecchio and throw
myself in the river.' What's a father to do?
Thanks to Mike King for this info.
Ying sent me later the following description of the story:
Buoso Donati has died and Rinuccio asks his aunt Zita, now head of the
family, for permission to marry Lauretta, the daughter of Gianni Schcchi,
providing the terms of Buoso's will are favourable. Lauretta pleads with
her father to allow the marriage to take place, saying if she cannot marry
Rinuccio she will go to the Ponte Vecchio and throw herself into the river
Arno. After much subterfuge, all is resolved and the lovers are free to
declare their love for each other and marry.
Jack Divita wrote that "Gianni Schicchi was not the
primary cause of denial of the marriage of Rinuccio and Lauretta. It
was the Donati family", and supplied a more accure description:
Buoso Donati, who was the head of the aristocratic Donati family, has
died. When the family finds out his will leaves everything to the
monastery, Rinuccio's aunt Zita, now head of the family, denies him
permission to marry Lauretta, the daughter of Gianni Schicchi, without a
dowry. Rinuccio then asks the clever Gianni Schicchi to come up with a
solution. However, the Donati family gets nasty with Gianni Schicchi
because he is not an aristocrat and does not offer a dowry (he may not
have it). Gianni Schicchi angrily takes Lauretta and starts to leave.
Lauretta pleads with her father to facilitate the marriage by
examining the will and finding a way around it, singing if she cannot
marry Rinuccio she will go to the Ponte Vecchio and throw herself into
the river Arno. Gianni Schicchi then pretends to be Buoso on his death
bed and dictates a new will to a notary. Although he dictates a will
that benefits the Donati, he makes himself a major heir also, negating
the need for Donati approval of the marriage. Rinuccio and Lauretta can
By the way, the words "ponte vecchio" mean "old bridge" [thanks to Tacincala
Hidaka]. The bridge the story refers to is of course the famous bridge in
Florence (Firenze), Italy.
Charlotte Church's version
The aria is also sung by
Charlotte Church on her second album
Charlotte Church (1999).
The booklet of that CD gives
the lyrics as shown above, except for some of the interpuction.
Originally I had "comparar" in the fourth line, as that is what Sarah
seems to sing, while Charlotte's CD-booklet gives "comperar", and that is
also what Charlotte sings, but the sound of it.
Brian Johnston pointed out that
"a comparar l'anello" means "to compare the ring", whereas "a comperar
l'anello" means "to buy the ring". In view of what the song is about,
as given by the translation, it is clear that it should be "comperar".
By the way:
The CD-booklet of Sarah's Timeless only mentions "Puccini", whereas
the booklet of Charlotte's CD gives Puccini a first name and gives also a
name for the lyricist.
Also, the CD-booklet of Sarah's Timeless spells the name of the
opera the aria comes from wrongly as "Schicci"; it is spelled correctly
in Charlotte's CD-booklet.
[Thanks to Helen Goshulak for info.]
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last modified: 30 September 2010