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PROGRAM NOTES

“O mio babbino caro”

from Gianni Schicchi (1918)

 

Giacomo Puccini (1858–1924)

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ABOUT THIS PIECE
The famous aria “O mio babbino caro” (“Oh my dear papa”) hails from a the third of a trio of operas composed late in Puccini’s career. The three works—Il tabarro, Suor Angelica, and Gianni Schicchi—formed Il trittico, a set of one-act operas meant to be presented as a unified performance in contrasting styles: the dramatic, the sentimental, and the comedic. Gianni Schicchi is a comedy about a greedy family; the cunning character Gianni Schicchi helps the family re-write their dead father’s will. Ultimately, it is revealed that he does this to smooth the way for his daughter Lauretta’s marriage to the family’s son, Rinuccio…and to double-cross the family and take the late father’s wealth himself. Drawn from Dante’s Divine Comedy, and with a libretto by Giovacchino Forzano, Gianni Schicchi was the most famous of the three operas in Il trittico, and “O mio babbino caro”—a plea from Lauretta to Schicchi to allow her to marry Rinuccio—is the most famous aria from the work. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Program notes by:
Dr. Jessica Getman

Assistant Professor of Musicology/Ethnomusicology
California State University, San Bernardino

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!

Oh my dear papa,
I love him, he is handsome, handsome;
I want to go to Porta Rossa
to buy the ring!

Yes, yes, I want to go there!
And if I loved him in vain,
I would go to the Ponte Vecchio,
but to throw myself in the Arno!

I am anguished and tormented!
Oh God, I'd want to die!
Papa, have pity, have pity!
Papa, have pity, have pity!