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Berta offers an analysis of this aria that Anthony has sung, giving a little background, the plot and the translation. Hope you'll enjoy it!
LA DONNA E MOBILE
from "Rigoletto"
All information copyrighted ......... Berta Calechman
ANTHONY'S ARIAS
The second of "Anthony's Arias" is one that he has sung many times, both
here and in Ireland. "La Donna e Mobile", from Verdi's Rigoletto, is one
of the most famous tenor arias in the world. The role of the Duke of
Mantua suits Anthony's voice, with its bright tone, effortless high notes,
and insouciant manner. The Duke is a devil-may-care womanizer, with no
thought except his own pleasure. In the first act of the opera, he has
bribed the nursemaid to let him slip into the courtyard of Rigoletto's
house, thinking he will seduce Rigoletto's mistress. But no one knows that
the beautiful girl in the house (Gilda-soprano), is not the hunchbacked
jester's lover-she is his daughter. The Duke has been following her from
church for several days, and she is in love with him. She has lied to her
father, and told him no one followed her when she left the house. The
Duke, fine, upstanding man that he is, has told Gilda he is a poor student
named Gualtier Malde, and that of course, he loves her, too. In the first
act, Gilda sings the equally famous soprano aria "Caro Nome" (Dear Name),
in which she muses on her new love, how handsome he is, and how poor, how
fast her heart beat when she first met him, and how her last breath will
be his. The Duke's most famous aria takes place in the third act. (He
actually has several arias in this opera. It's a Tenor's Dream.)
Rigoletto has found out that the Duke seduced Gilda, and sets out to kill
him. Gilda follows her father to an inn, pleading that she and the Duke
love each other. Rigoletto tells her to look through a crack in the wall,
and when she does, she sees the Duke, dressed as a cavalry officer, come
into the inn, throw down some money, and ask for a room, where later he
will have some company.......Maddalena (mezzo-soprano), the sister of the
innkeeper, and not such a fine, upstanding woman! The Duke orders a bottle
of wine, and sings about the capriciousness of women: La Donna e Mobile.
Woman is Fickle.
The well-known writer and opera critic William Weaver has said that at its
opening on March 11, 1851, in Venice, Rigoletto was immediately popular,
but not immediately understood, and thought to have some satanic
properties, because the title character is deformed. But, as Mr. Weaver
says, "Rigoletto has survived the censor's scissors; it is impervious to
even the lowest level of performance. Its variety, its brave originality
have kept it alive; we need only listen, admire, and be moved."

La Donna e Mobile.

La donna e mobile
qual piuma al vento
muta d'accento
e di pensiero
Sempre un amabile
leggiadro viso
In pianto o in riso,
e menzognero
La donna e mobil


E sempre misero
chi a lei s'affida
chi le confida
mal cauto al core
Pur mai non sentesi
felice appieno
chi su quel seno
non liba amore
La donna e mobil


Woman is Fickle.

Woman is fickle
like a feather in the wind
She changes her tune and her thoughts
Always a lovable, pretty face
Whether crying or laughing,
she's deceitful.
Woman is fickle




She's always mean
to whoever trusts her
Whoever confides in her,
Be wary of his heart
Yet he never feels
such happiness,
Who hasn't tasted love,
enfolded in her bosom.
Woman is fickle.