Greetings and salutations!
We are opera lovers around here at Hattingdon & Co, and Mrs Farrell, the creator and designer of Hattingdon Horses, has promised to make a series of opera inspired hats. She did Trill a couple of years ago but nothing since. Until now.
This is a hat inspired by and named after Giuseppe Verdi’s perhaps grandest Opera, Aida, which takes place in Egypt.
One the opera’s most recognizable arias is Celeste Aida. Here’s celeste Aida — heavenly Aida, Hattingdon style.
A I D A
Hattingdon’s cousin Marcus came over and twisted her mane for her. Doesn’t she look wonderful? Later gators!
Notes & Video
Here is my favourite tenor, the great Franco Corelli, singing “Celeste Aida”. Verdi wrote a morendo for the final note, but tenors rarely attempt it, especially now. Many seem to prefer singing it with their own embellishment or simply extend it lustily and long. That of course takes away the wistful, longing quality intended.
I have until recently mistakenly referred to the morendo as simply a diminuendo. But there’s more to it.
The Italian musical term morendo (lit. “dying”) indicates a decrease in volume or tempo, but often affects both; to make the sound slowly die away. Morendo creates the effect of a slow ritardando and a diminuendo with an extreme fade.
Here is the magnificent Corelli who performs it beautifully according to Verdi’s instructions. —Mrs Farrell.
Context within the Opera
The Egyptian army officer Radames sings “Celeste Aida” in the first act of Verdi’s famous opera, Aida, after the Egyptian High Priest, Ramfis, warns him that warriors from Ethiopia have been spotted marching towards the Nile valley. Radames expresses in this aria his hopes to be appointed the head of the Egyptian army in order to accomplish two things: lead his country to victory against Ethiopia and to rescue his lover, Aida, an Ethiopian princess captured by Egyptian soldiers. (Her royal lineage remains unknown by Radames and her captors at this point.)
Celeste Aida English Translation
If only I were that warrior!
If only my dream might come true!
An army of brave men with me as their leader
And victory and the applause of all Memphis!
And to you, my sweet Aida,
To return crowned with laurels,
To tell you: for you, I have fought,
For you, I have conquered!
Heavenly Aida, divine form,
Mystical garland of light and flowers,
You are queen of my thoughts,
You are the splendor of my life.
I want to give you back your beautiful sky,
The sweet breezes of your native land,
To place a royal garland on your hair,
To raise you a throne next to the sun.
Celeste Aida Italian Lyrics
Se quel guerrier
Io fossi! se il mio sogno
S’avverasse!… Un esercito di prodi
Da me guidato… e la vittoria… e il plauso
Di Menfi tutta! E a te, mia dolce Aida,
Tornar di lauri cinto…
Dirti: per te ho pugnato, per to ho vinto!
Celeste Aida, forma divina.
Mistico serto di luce e fior,
Del mio pensiero tu sei regina,
Tu di mia vita sei lo splendor.
Il tuo bel cielo vorrei redarti,
Le dolci brezze del patrio suol;
Un regal serta sul crin posarti,
Ergerti un trono vicino al sol.
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Ah. So romantic! So beautiful!
Thank you for stopping by and see you again soon.