Thursday, July 14, 2011

Izzy: Una Furtiva Lagrima

This is a beautiful video presentation of a beautiful song. I'm not as familiar with the singer, but the song is from the opera "The Elixir of Love". But in this video, one feels in a dream, dancing ballet on a set designed by MC Escher or Dali.

One would not immediately associate this with something as stiff and formal as an opera!

When I was in college, we did a show called "The Operatic Kiss" with lots of love scenes (ending in kisses) from various operas. It was a lot of fun! The worst part of it (for me) was the kissing. I hadn't had a boy kiss me yet (on the lips) and I had to kiss a young man who was just as reluctant about kissing. (He had just returned home from a mission that semester. Our professor actually had to give us stage directions: "Hold hands facing each other. Both of you tilt your head to the right. Lean forward. Touch lips like you mean it!"

It's so funny now, but both he and I were really uncomfortable!

So in our scene from "The Elixir of Love" opera, he (Nemorino) starts out alone on stage and sings this beautiful song...about Adina (me), the girl he has loved from afar for so long. Her tears and her eyes and her beauty and his love for all of the above. (In this video here, it is sung by a woman...but it's still gorgeous!)

Then, when he finished his introspective love song, I came on stage and told him that I had paid to get him out of the army, so he wouldn't have to go to war. I admit my feelings for the silly boy all along. My part was a pretty good song, too. Poor Nemorino is relieved that Adina loves him in return and that he won't have to go put his life on the line to get her attention. We then sang together and when the music ended, we scrunched up our eyes and tilted our heads and moved towards each other. We must have done a great job, because the audience began whooping as well as clapping.

I don't remember much of the kiss, actually. And all I can remember of the guy was that he was named Dave.

But I remember the music and the powerful emotions that it stirred. I remember standing offstage, wanting, wishing to have someone love me as passionately as Nemorino loved Adina. Some fifteen years and thousands of kisses later, I still love listening to this song. Sometimes, I do wish my husband was an operatic tenor so he could serenade me with this song.

But, I would rather have this emotion be in my husband's heart than just some notes he could sing beautifully followed by an awkward smooch.

So here's to love, the fake kind on-stage or on-screen that helps keep romance alive, the awkward, beginning kind, the passionate, burning kind, the long-lasting, but ever-bright kind that still burns fifteen, twenty-five or fifty years onward.

And for those romantics who want to know what it is that Nemorino sings about his lady love, here's a translation (Okay, its literally translated from Italian, so rearrange the syntax as needed):

A single furtive tear
from her eyes sprang:
As if of those playful youths
envious she appeared to become.
What more need I look for?
What more need I look for?
She loves me! Yes, she loves me, I see it. I see it.
Just for an instant the beating of
her beautiful heart I felt!
And my sighs became as one
fleetingly with her sighs!
Her heart beating, her heart beating to feel,
our sighs confounded as one...
Heavens! Yes I could, I could die!
More I can't ask, I can't ask.
Oh, heavens! Yes I could! Yes I could die!
More I can't ask, I can't ask.
Yes I could die! If I could die of love.

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