From The YouTube Music Video Archives: Che Faro senza Euridice

The current production at Seattle Opera right now is Iphigenia in Tauris by Christoph Willibald (von) Gluck (once you start pronouncing his name, it’s tough to stop – try it yourself and you’ll see what I mean). It’s a solid production, with quite a bit of the dough for the sets and the costumes actually fronted by the Met. And it shows. The stage is something else. I’m not quite sure how they rationalized putting the statue of Diana up with her back to both the audience and the action on stage, but then I’m not the set designer. Bill Burden is as good here as he was in The Italian Girl last year, and I’m looking forward to seeing Marie Plette in the peformance tomorrow. M. Plette has played Freia, Ortlinde, and Gutrune in the Ring cycle, the title role in Dvorak’s Rusalka, and a host of other roles.

I couldn’t find anything from Iphigenia on YouTube, but I did manage to find an old recording of the great Italian mezzo-soprano Giulietta Simionato singing an aria from Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice. I like the way the camera scans the score. The story of Orpheus and Eurydice is nicely rendered here. Orfeo has been allowed to bring back his wife from Hades as long as he does not look upon her face until they are back on earth. However, urged by Euridice, he turns around and looks at her and she immediately dies. Grief-stricken, he wonders what he will ever do without his love.

Che farò senza Euridice?
Dove andrò senza il mio ben?
Euridice, o Dio, rispondi!
Io son pure il tuo fedele.

Euridice! Ah, non m´avanza
più soccorso, più speranza
ne dal mondo, ne dal ciel.

What will I do without Euridice?
Where will I go without my beloved?
Euridice, oh God, answer me!
Yet I still belong to you faithfully.

Euridice! Ah, no help comes to me anymore,
No hope anymore,
Neither from this world, nor from heaven.

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