Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Music: Zeffiretti lusinghieri from Mozart's Idomeneo

During the Lenten season of 1786, while Le Nozze di Figaro was in rehearsal, Nancy sang the role of Ilia in Mozart's "Idomeneo", in a concert performance at Palais Auersperg, in Vienna. The following is an excerpt from Chapter 12 of So Faithful a Heart:

It was a frigged January afternoon as Mozart sat in the music room of his apartment at his fortepiano, rehearsing with Nancy, Ilia's Act Three aria, in which she asks the breezes to carry her confession of love to Idamante, who has gone to battle the sea serpent. The warmth of Nancy's voice seemed to soften the chill in the air which had invaded the room from outside, and he didn't seem to notice the white puffs of steam that poured from her mouth as she exhaled.

Zeffiretti lusinghieri, Deh volate al mio tesoro: E gli dite, ch'io l'adoro, Che mi serbi il cor fedel. (Gently caressing breezes, fly to my beloved. Tell him that I adore him and keep him faithful.)

"That's it, Nancy! Smoooothly...yes...yes," he coached as he raised his hand in the air. "Lovely...hold that let it trail off...yes!" He stopped playing and sighed, "Oh how I wish you could have been my original Ilia! How Munich would have adored you, Nancy!"

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