Project Description

Songs of Italy

Venue: Wang Gungwu Theatre, Graduate House, HKU
Date: 27 March, 2017 (Friday) 6:30PM

Free Admission

Programme of 23 delightful songs from Venice, Rome, Florence, Naples and other regions of Italy including some very popular ballads, romances and attractive classics by such famous composers as Rossini, Tosti and Puccini.

Programme

1. G. Rossini: La Promessa (The Promise)

I will never stop loving you. You are the flame of my heart for as long as I live.

Colette Lam, soprano

2. P. Tosti: Ideale (Ideal)

You are the rainbow that brightens my days. Your perfume makes my life sweet. When I dream of you, all my pains are forgotten. Come back, my ideal, and smile to me again.

Carol Lin, mezzo-soprano

3. A. Bixio: Parlami d’Amore, Mariu (Speak to me of love)

How beautiful you are tonight, Mariu. A bright star is smiling in your blue eyes. Even if tomorrow I will lose my destiny. Tonight I am staying close to you. That is all I want. Speak to me of love, Mariu. Say that you are mine always. Tell me this is not an illusion. Speak to me of love, Mariu.

Sammy Chien, baritone

4. G. Rossini: La Regate Veneziana (The Venetian Boat Race)

This lively duet describes a scene at the famous traditional boat race in Venice. Two girls cheer their boyfriends, Tonio and Beppe, to keep rowing hard to win the race.

Colette Lam, soprano
Carol Lin, mezzo-soprano

5. V. de Crescenzo: Rondine al Nido (Swallows returning)

Now the moon is over the sea. The hour is beautiful for dancing. Anyone in love will leap up to join. Soon we will be dancing round and round. As long as the stars are in heaven, beautiful couples will dance all night. Mamma mia! Leaping, jumping, turning, spinning, faster, faster, round and round. Dancing is the world’s greatest pleasure, the most wonderful delight. Mamma mia ! Faster, faster, dance all night !

Henry Ngan, tenor

6. S. Cardillo: Core ‘ngrato (Ungrateful heart)

Catari, why say to me those bitter words? Why torment me so? Do not forget. I have given you all my heart. You no longer care about my sufferings. You don’t think about me anymore. Ungrateful heart! All is over. You have torn my life apart.

Samuel Huang, tenor

7. G. Rossini: La Pastorella (The Shepherdess of the Alps)

I am the fair shepherdess who descend from the mountain every morning to offer fruits and flowers to young lovers. I am the shepherdess who sing for you my happy songs.

Colette Lam, soprano

8. E. Curtis: Non Ti Scordar di Me (Do not forget me)

This aria is sung by Cinderella at the end of Rossini’s famous comic opera La Cenerentola, in which the protagonist describes how, upon being chosen by Prince Ramiro to be his bride, a magic spell suddenly changed her destiny. She promises to treat well all those who had maltreated her in the past. No longer sad and weeping, she will live happily ever after.

Sammy Chien, baritone

9. P. Tosti: Aprile (April)

Do you not feel the scent of the blossoms of Spring? Do you not hear the sounds echoing in your soul? It’s April! It’s April! The robins are singing, the butterflies dancing among the flowers. It’s April! It’s April!

Carol Lin, mezzo-soprano

10. S. Gastaldon: Musica Proibita (Forbidden Music)

Every night underneath my balcony, I hear a love song sung by a charming young man whose voice sends my heart throbbing. What a beautiful melody! But my mother forbids me to hear it; so I try to sing it when she is not around. “I want to kiss your black hair, your red lips and bright blue eyes. Hold me tight, dear angel, hold me to your heart. Let me be intoxicated with your love.”

Henry Ngan, tenor

11. R. Falvo: Dicitancello Vuie (Kindly tell your friend)

Kindly tell your friend how I have lost my sleep and fantasy, always thinking of her. She is all my life. I love her deeply, with a passion stronger than a chain. Please tell her how much I suffer, that I shall die loving her.

Samuel Huang, tenor

12. P. Tosti: La Serenata (Serenade)

Fly, my serenade, fly to my beloved. She is alone. The moon shines with a pure light. Spread out your wings and fly to her. She is waiting behind her window. Fly to her!

Carol Lin, mezzo-soprano

13. P. Tosti: L’Ultima Canzone (The Last Song)

Tomorrow is your wedding day, Nina, and tonight I still sing to you this serenade. How many times have I sung it to you before, in the woods and down the valley? Peppermint leaf of the deep red flower, Nina, I shall always be close to you. Remember the kisses I have given you.

Henry Ngan, tenor

14. C. Cesarini: Firenze Sogna (Florence Dreaming)

Under a star-lit sky, Florence is beautiful tonight. Lovers in the shadows speak softly of love. There is so much poetry in my heart that I want to pour out to you. The river Arno mirrors the sky. Florence is dreaming under the silvery moonlight.

Sammy Chien, baritone

15. G.Puccini: O Mio Babbino Caro (O my beloved Daddy)

A Florentine girl begs her father to help her young lover’s family to regain their share of inheritance which their deceased uncle has bequeathed entirely to the monks. She threatens to drown herself in the Arno if Daddy refuses to help.

Colette Lam, soprano

16. R. Leoncavallo: Mattinata (Morning Song)

A Florentine girl begs her father to help her young lover’s family to regain their share of inheritance which their deceased uncle has bequeathed entirely to the monks. She threatens to drown herself in the Arno if Daddy refuses to help.

Samuel Huang, tenor

17. G. Rossini: Duetto Buffo di Due Gatti (Comic duet for Two Cats)

The meaning of this item is so clear that it needs no explanation.

Colette Lam, soprano
Carol Lin, mezzo-soprano

18. Traditional: Santa Lucia

On the sea glitters the silver star. The waves are gentle, the winds favourable. Come into my little boat. How beautiful it is to be at sea in Santa Lucia.

Ensemble

19. R. Rascel: Arrivederci Roma (Goodbye to Rome)

Farewell, Rome. Goodbye…au revoir! I want to return to via Margutta. I want to see those rooftops once again, where you held me close to you. Farewell, Rome. I will not forget you, your beautiful twilight, and the vows in my heart: “I love you!”

Ensemble

20. C. Bixio: Mamma

Mother, I am so happy because I have come home to you. Today is the happiest day for me. I will never be far away again. Mamma, you will be with me and never be alone. You are my life and my song. To love you, I shall never leave you again.

Ensemble

21. E. de Curtis: Torna a Surriento (Come Back to Sorrento)

See how beautiful the sea is. It inspires so much emotion. Like you, you make me daydream at your beauty. Now you say goodbye; you are leaving! You are walking away from my heart and from this land of love. Do not leave. Come back to Sorrento. Bring back my life.

Ensemble

22. E. de Capua: O Sole Mio (O My Sun)

How beautiful is this day of sunshine. The storm has subsided. The air is fresh. The sea is calm. The sky is bright as a festival day. But there is another sunshine. My own sunshine is more beautiful. O sunshine, my own sunshine, appear and show your face. Appear!

Ensemble

The collaborative pianist is for the entire programme: Alexander Wong
Programme notes by Professor Lo Kingman.

Artists

Programme Note

Please refer to the notes embedded in “Programme”.