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Claudia, The Opera Critic
age: 12 years


O Mio Babbino Caro  Oh My Dear Daddy
Sung by the soprano, Maria Callas



This aria is from the short opera  called Gianni Schicchi.  It was composed by Giacomo Puccini and was first performed in New York on 14 December 1918.   That's over one hundred years ago!!!
The story is based on an episode in Dante's Inferno.

Gianni Schicchi takes place in Firenze - Florence.

This aria is sung by a girl called Lauretta.  She is in love with Rinuccio.  They want to get married but their relatives are not happy.  Her father is Gianni Schicchi and the opera is named after him.  

In this aria, she is pleading with her father to give his permission for them to get married.   She sings that she wants to go to the street in Florence called Porta Rossa in order to buy the wedding ring.   She also sings to her father that if he does not give his permission then she will jump off the bridge called Il Ponte Vecchio and into the river that runs through the city of Florence - the River Arno.

Words to sing along:

O mio babbino caro,  Oh my dear daddy,
mi piace. È bello, bello.  I like him.  He is handsome.
Vo'andare in Porta Rossa  I want to go to Porta Rossa
a comperar' l'anello  to buy the ring.

Sì, sì, ci voglio andare.  Yes, yes, I want to go.
E se l'amassi indarno  And if I should love him in vain
andrei sul Ponte Vecchio  I would go to the bridge Ponte Vecchio
ma per buttarmi in Arno. but to throw myself into the river Arno.
Mi struggo e mi tormento.  I pine and I am tormented.
O Dio, vorrei morir'.  Oh God, I could die.

Babbo, pietà, pietà.  Daddy, have pity.
Babbo, pietà, pietà.  Daddy, have pity.

The Opinion of Claudia:

I think this soprano sings the aria with a lot of expression.  She really does sound as if she loves Rinuccio and I think that it must be making her dad - babbo - feel guilty, especially at the end when she sings the words Babbo pietà! (Daddy, have pity!) 

Sometimes she sounds hopeful and sometimes she sounds sad and desperate.  

 I wonder if she is serious about jumping off the bridge or is she just pretending?  

I would definitely call out Brava! after this performance.  In fact, I think I would also call out Bis! because I would want to hear it again.




Watch a video of this aria (go to Video 1)

Back to the Italian Opera Page

Related links:  Il Ponte Vecchio

                       Dante Alighieri

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