Un Bel Di


Been listening to Madama Butterfly instead of studying. Butterfly’s Aria, One Fine Day (midi!), always gets to me. Certain versions will bring me to tears. The performance I’m currently listening to isn’t one of those versions, and I yearn for the production I saw a few years ago in Toronto. The staging was magnificent, and the actors were equally so. Just thinking about it makes me long for COC tickets. I haven’t seen an opera in two years, at least. I had the chance to see Erwartung when they were putting it on, but something came up and I couldn’t. Shame; I heard the stage design was amazing.

I looked up the words to One Fine Day, which can be found here. They’re very sad, as you can imagine. Lots of foreshadowing, lots of remembering the ending and hating Pinkerton, lots of trying to match the Italian to the English and becoming bored. The English translation follows.

One fine, clear day, we shall see a thin trail of smoke arising, on the distant horizon, far out to sea. And then the ship appears. Then the white ship enters into the harbour, and thunders out it’s greeting. You see? He has come! I’ll not go down to meet him. Not I. I shall stay on the hillside and wait, and wait for a long time, and I’ll not grow weary of the long wait. Emerging from the city crowds, a man is coming, a tiny speck starts to climb the hill. Who is he? Who? And when he arrives. What will he say? What will he say? He will call “Butterfly” from the distance. I, without answering, will remain hidden. A little to tease him and a little so as not to die, at our first meeting; and then rather worried he will call, he will call: “My little one, my tiny wife, Perfumed-Verbena” The names he gave me when he came last. All this will happen, I promise you. Keep your fears to yourself, I, with my faithful trust will wait for him.



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