Thursday, April 28, 2011

TODAY ON TENOR THURSDAY - "La donne e mobile" from Verdi's Rigoletto.

"La donna è mobile"
from Giuseppe Verdi's opera Rigoletto (1851)

Italian Text

La donna è mobile
Qual piuma al vento,
Muta d'accento
e di pensiero.

Sempre un amabile,
Leggiadro viso,
In pianto o in riso,
è menzognero.

È sempre misero
Chi a lei s'affida,
Chi le confida
mal cauto il cuore!

Pur mai non sentesi
Felice appieno
Chi su quel seno
non liba amore!

English Translation of 
"La donna e mobile"

Woman is fickle
Like a feather in the wind,
She changes her voice
and her mind.

Always sweet,
Pretty face,
In tears or in laughter,
she is always lying.

Always miserable
Is he who trusts her,
He who confides in her
his unwary heart!

Yet one never feels
Fully happy
Who on that bosom
does not drink love!

The aria "La donne e mobile" from Verdi's opera Rigoletto is perhaps the most famous tenor aria of all time. I just have to start with Enrico Caruso's 1907 recording. This was perhaps the first superstar recording of the century!
Here is Alessandro Bonci's recording, just a year before Caruso's superhit.

Here is Ferdinando Ciniselli's recording in 1924:
The great Beniamino Gigli in 1934:

Here is Jussi Bjorling's recording in 1937:
Here is Mario Lanza playing Caruso in a 1950s movie about the opera singer's life.

Here is Mario Lanza again singing an English version of the song in a radio program sponsored by Coca-Cola in 1952. Redirect by clicking here on Coca-Cola. For some reason it does not want to post on my blog!

Giuseppe di Stefano sang in many La Scala productions with Maria Callas. A great tenor, here he is singing "La donne e mobile" around the mid-50s.
We move forward in time to 1963 to hear Michael Trimble sing the Verdi Aria:
Here is Carlo Bergonzi in 1964. Listen to that long note he holds! Bravo!
Luciano Pavarotti is widely considered as having been the world's greatest tenor since Caruso. They say his voice is like a golden trumpet. Here he is singing "La donne e mobile". Pavarotti lives on!
Below is a clever video that compiles all the endings from "La donne e mobile" and spans throughout the years of history. Which ending is your favorite?

Placido Domingo is always a favorite of many. Here he is as the Duke of Mantua. There is just something about his voice that is so easily identifiable!
Lovely version by Jose Carreras of the aria and in excellent HD sound!
Now lets put the Three Tenors together and see how they all sound together, Without looking at the voices, can you guess who is singing at the moment?

Here is rising star Rolando Villazon.singing the aria.

We will finish with an HQ recording of the ever popular Andrea Bocelli.
So, which of the above is your favorite?

This concludes Tenor Thursday.



  1. It's too bad that Michael Trimble had
    health problems that precluded his ability to continue performing on stage. However, he is rated by some of the experts as having the #1 vocal training institute in the world. It's located on Bainbridge Island, WA, USA.
    For any of the universities interested in the best of the best, he more than deserves an honorary doctoral degree for his life's work, as I see it.

  2. Yes Michael Trimble is awesome.