After some remodelling in the previously published reduced operas and the introduction of Open7, the reduced ensemble for 7 players and one pianist-conductor, Open12 Editions are back with one of the most beloved operas by Mozart: The Magic Flute!
How many singers?
Zauberflöte, The Magic Flute, is a crowded opera, with a lot of characters and choral groups. Even though some scenes are really effective with a large crowd on the stage, we tried, as usual, to allow also smaller companies to perform the full opera with not so many singers, even without the Choir.
Still, this reduced opera requires a good number of Sopranos and Tenors to cover Ladies, Boys, Papagena, Priests and full choral vocals. Let’s have a look at the Second Finale, with the Queen of the Night, Monostato and the Three Ladies.
The Magic Flute, reduced opera for 12, the only Extra part of the opera is the magic Glockenspiel. The Timpani have an important role and would be missed, if omitted. As usual, the Open12 ensemble can be expanded with more strings, or balanced by softening the loudness of Timpani and Trumpet.
All the details of The Magic Flute in the Open12 Editions reduced opera for 12 instruments can be found in the Full Opera menu with all other titles, or in the Magic Flute page itself.
What’s better than going away from the crowd, and living your love in a cozy and quiet place? This is Violetta and Alfredo’s dream, but the time runs out so fast.
La Traviata 5/5 – Leave Paris, or…
After all the pain and sacrifice, Violetta is in her bed, ill. Alfredo is finally there for her, and promises to never let her alone again. Let’s just go away, only you and me, away from the crowded and unfortunate Paris. A dream, the dream of a quiet life full of love and only that.
Parigi, o cara, noi lasceremo, la vita uniti trascorreremo; de’ corsi affanni compenso avrai, la tua salute rifiorirà. Sospiro e luce tu mi sarai, tutto il futuro ne arriderà.
From Paris dear, we shall go away, to live our lives together. We shall make up for all our heartache, your health will come back again. You will be the light of my life, the future will smile upon us.
It is too late to reheal. After a moment of hope and relief, Violetta feels a last moment of joy, which brings the opera to its tearful end.
È strano! Cessarono gli spasimi del dolore. In me rinasce – m’agita insolito vigor! Ah! ma io ritorno a viver! Oh gioia!
How strange! The spasms of pain have ceased: A strange vigour has brought me to life! Ah! I shall live – Oh, joy!
The Choir embodies various groups and moods. The Zingarelle, joyful and misterious fortunetellers. The Baccanale, with the bravest Carnival toreros. But the drama is about to come back.
La Traviata 4/5 – Zingarelle & Matadores
The Choir represents sometimes one, sometimes more groups, each with own personality. In the time of a few scenes, the stage can be full of lights and brightness, only to suddenly change into a darker space of shame and disapproval. This is the drama of Opera made bigger and stronger by contrast of light and hard moments, sounds, lights.
The Zingarelle (literally, the gipsy ladies) are a blend of mistery, fortuntelling, unknown, and folk culture. In Traviata, they barely say anything valuable. For a wider idea of Verdi’s concept, see The Masked Ball.
Noi siamo zingarelle venute da lontano; d’ognuno sulla mano leggiamo l’avvenir. Se consultiam le stelle null’avvi a noi d’oscuro, e i casi del futuro possiamo altrui predir.
We are gypsies come from afar; the fortunes of all we can read in their hands. When we call upon the stars, nothing is hidden from us, and we can tell you all what the future holds in store
The Mattatori or toreros have always been a symbol of masculine value, strength, power. The tauromachia (corrida), seen as the power of human subjecting the wild animals and nature, represents the good death, honour, respect. This is a cultural and historical representation only, however.
Di Madride noi siam mattadori, siamo i prodi del circo dei tori, testé giunti a godere del chiasso che a Parigi si fa pel Bue grasso; è una storia se udire vorrete, quali amanti noi siamo saprete.
We’re matadors, from Madrid, the champions of the bullring. We’ve just arrived to join in the fun of carnival time in Paris; if you’ll hear our story to the end, you’ll know what great lovers we are.
Quite different is the situation at the end of Act II, where the Choir is made of all the guests at the party. After Alfredo throws his anger to Violetta, he’s judged and blamed by all as a coward.
Oh, infamia orribile tu commettesti! Un cor sensibile così uccidesti! Di donne ignobile insultatore, di qui allontanati, ne desti orror! Va’, va’, ne desti orror! Di donne ignobile insultator.
Oh, what a terrible thing you have done! You have killed a sensitive heart! Ignoble man, to insult a woman so, leave this house at once, you fill us with orror! Go, go, you fill us with horror! Ignoble man, to insult a woman.
Alfredo’s father persuades Violetta to leave Alfredo. She accepts to sacrifice her love for the Germont family. How will love burst in one of the most passionate melodies ever?
La Traviata 3/5 – Amami, Alfredo!
Alfredo’s father, Giorgio Germont, demands that Violetta break off her relationship with Alfredo for the sake of the family and of his other daughter’s engagement, which is in danger because of Violetta’s reputation. She responds that she cannot end the relationship because she loves him so much, but Giorgio pleads with her for the sake of his family. With growing remorse, she finally agrees.
Pura siccome un angelo Iddio mi diè una figlia; se Alfredo nega riedere in seno alla famiglia, l’amato e amante giovine cui sposa andar dovea, or si ricusa al vincolo che lieti ne rendeva. Deh, non mutate in triboli le rose dell’amor. A’ prieghi miei resistere no, no non voglia il vostro cor.
God blessed me with a daughter, like an angel in her purity; if Alfredo refuses to return to the bosom of his family, the young man in love and beloved in turn, who was soon to marry my daughter, would reject this bond on which our happiness depends. Ah, do not be the cause of love’s roses changing into thorns. Do not let your heart refuse what I so fervently ask of you. No! No!
“Pura siccome un angelo” – Open7 Editions
Violetta gives a note to Annina to send to Flora accepting the party invitation and, as she is writing a farewell letter to Alfredo, he enters. She can barely control her sadness and tears. From a humble “I will always be with you” with only the strings in a very soft and mild line, to an explosive, loud and passionate burst of love, possibly one of the best known in the world.
Di lagrime aveva d’uopo – or son tranquilla – lo vedi? Ti sorrido – lo vedi? Sarò là tra quei fior presso a te sempre. Amami, Alfredo, quant’io t’amo. Addio!
I needed tears – now I feel better – See? I am smiling at you – see? I shall always be here, near you, among the flowers. Love me, Alfredo, love me as much as I love you. Farewell!
Is Alfredo really in love? Is he wiser, more mature, or is it just an illusion? Find out with Musical Beam!
La Traviata 2/5 – Alfredo, wisdom or fire?
The best known moment of Verdi’s Traviata is probably the Brindisi, the toast Alfredo is asked to give at the party. What starts as a simple toast (Libiamo ne’ lieti calici, let’s drink in happy glasses) soon becomes a duet with Violetta (Tra voi saprò dividere il tempo mio giocondo, with you I will share my happy moments) and the Choir of all the guests.
Alfredo is a young men and he is in love with Violetta. His passion and romance persuade Violetta to change her lifestyle. She throws all her doubts away and accepts to live with her man and to live the dream of a real family. Hence Alfredo’s happiness, and the feeling of not being just a young man in love anymore, but rather a grown up, family man.
De’ miei bollenti spiriti il giovanile ardore ella temprò col placido sorriso dell’amore! Dal dì che disse: vivere io voglio a te fedel, dell’universo immemore io vivo quasi in ciel.
My passionate spirit and the fire of youth she tempers with the gentle smile of love! Since the day when she told me “I want to live, faithful to you alone!” I have forgotten the world and lived like one in heaven.
“De’ miei bollenti spiriti” – Open12 Editions
What Alfredo had not understood, however, is that Violetta is funding their life, not him. In fact, she’s going to Paris to sell some property, in order to mantain herself and the family. The shame for Alfredo, a “man of honour”, is too strong to take, and his flames revive.
Oh mio rimorso! Oh infamia! Io vissi in tale errore! Ma il turpe sogno a frangere il ver mi balenò! Per poco in seno acquetati, o grido o grido dell’onore; m’avrai securo vindice; quest’onta laverò.
Oh my regret! Oh shame! I lived in such a mistake! But the truth came to shatter the awful dream! Keep quiet for a while in my heart, cry of honour; I will vertainly overcaom; this shame I will wash away.
Is Violetta really in love? Will she change her lifestyle for Alfredo? Find out with Musical Beam!
La Traviata 1/5 – Violetta, true love?
La traviata is based on the play La Dame aux camélias (1852), adapted from the novel by Alexandre Dumas fils. The original title of the opera was Violetta. It was first performed on 6 March 1853 in Venice.
Violetta Valéry, a famed courtesan, throws a party to celebrate her recovery from an illness. Alfredo Germont is a young bourgeois who has long adored Violetta from afar. After the guests leave, Violetta wonders if Alfredo could actually be the one in her life.
È strano! È strano! In core scolpiti ho quegli accenti! Saria per me sventura un serio amore? Che risolvi, o turbata anima mia? Null’uomo ancora t’accendeva. O gioia ch’io non conobbi, esser amata amando! E sdegnarla poss’io per l’aride follie del viver mio?
How strange! How strange! His words are burned upon my heart! Would a real love be a tragedy for me? What decision are you taking, oh my soul? No man has ever made me fall in love. What joy, such as I have never known, loving, being loved! And can I scorn it for the arid nonsense of my present life?
“È strano, è strano” – Open12 Editions
Violetta eventually concludes that she needs freedom to live her life. From off stage, Alfredo’s voice is heard singing about love as he walks down the street.
Violetta: Sempre libera degg´io folleggiare di gioia in gioia, vo´che scorra il viver mio pei sentieri del piacer. Nasca il giorno, o il giorno muoia, sempre lieta ne´ ritrovi, a diletti sempre nuovi dee volare il mio pensier.
Free and aimless I frolic from joy to joy, flowing along the surface of life’s path as I please. As the day is born, or as the day dies, happily I turn to the new delights that make my spirit soar.
Alfredo: Amor è palpito dell´universo intero, misterioso, altero, croce e delizia al cor.
Love is a heartbeat throughout the universe, mysterious, altering, the torment and delight of my heart.