Legendary Italian tenor Franco Corelli sings Recondita Armonia, the first romanza in the opera Tosca (1900) by Giacomo Puccini. From the 1956 Italian movie Tosca. Corelli was 35 years old when he starred in the movie.

Legendary Italian tenor Franco Corelli sings Recondita Armonia, the first romanza in the opera Tosca (1900) by Giacomo Puccini. From the 1956 Italian movie Tosca. Corelli was 35 years old when he starred in the movie.

Recondita Armonia

Recondita Armonia” is a famous tenor aria from Giacomo Puccini’s opera “Tosca,” first performed in 1900. This opera, one of Puccini’s masterpieces, is set in Rome and tells a dramatic story of love, political intrigue, and betrayal. “Recondita Armonia,” which appears in the first act, is sung by the main character, Mario Cavaradossi, a painter and a revolutionary.

The aria occurs early in the opera, as Cavaradossi is working on a portrait in a church. The lyrics of “Recondita Armonia” reveal Cavaradossi’s reflections on the beauty of his lover, the famous singer Floria Tosca, and the model for his painting, a blonde-haired, blue-eyed woman named Attavanti. He sings about the contrasting features of these two women – Tosca’s dark hair and eyes versus Attavanti’s fair appearance – and marvels at how different forms of beauty can coexist and captivate him in different ways.

Musically, “Recondita Armonia” is a prime example of Puccini’s ability to write lush, expressive melodies that capture deep emotions. The aria has a sweeping, romantic quality, characteristic of Puccini’s style, and it requires a tenor with strong lyrical and dramatic abilities. The aria is relatively brief, but it’s crucial in establishing Cavaradossi’s character and his passionate nature, setting the stage for the opera’s ensuing drama.

The melody of “Recondita Armonia” is both passionate and tender, with an underlying sense of longing that is typical of Puccini’s best work. It demonstrates the composer’s skill in creating music that is not only beautiful but also deeply integrated with the characters and the story. This aria, like much of Puccini’s music, has become a staple in the tenor repertoire and is frequently performed in concerts and recitals beyond the context of the full opera.

“Recondita Armonia” is a testament to Puccini’s genius in combining lush orchestration, memorable melodies, and deep emotional expression, making it one of the most beloved pieces in the operatic canon. Its popularity endures not only because of its musical beauty but also because of its ability to convey, in just a few minutes, a profound sense of human longing and the complex interplay of art, love, and beauty.

Recondita Armonia lyrics [text]


Recondita armonia di bellezze diverse!
È bruna Floria, l’ardente amante mia.
E te, beltade ignota, cinta di chiome bionde,
Tu azzurro hai l’occhio,
Tosca ha l’occhio nero!

L’arte nel suo mistero,
le diverse bellezze insiem confonde…
Ma nel ritrar costei,
Il mio solo pensiero,
Ah! Il mio sol pensier sei tu,
Tosca, sei tu!

English translation

Concealed harmony of contrasting beauties!
Floria, my ardent lover, is dark-haired.
And you, unknown beauty, crowned with blond hair,
You have blue eyes,
Tosca has black eyes!

Art, in its mysterious way,
blends the contrasting beauties together…
But while I’m painting her,
My only thought,
My only thought is of you,
Tosca, it is of you!

Tosca [1956 film]

The 1956 Italian film “Tosca” is a musical melodrama directed by Carmine Gallone, featuring Franca Duval, Afro Poli, and Franco Corelli in the leading roles. This cinematic adaptation draws its inspiration from Giacomo Puccini’s 1900 opera “Tosca,” itself an adaptation of Victorien Sardou’s 1887 play. The production of the film took place at the renowned Cinecittà Studios in Rome.


M. Özgür Nevres

Published by M. Özgür Nevres

I am Özgür Nevres, a software engineer, a former road racing cyclist, and also an amateur musician. I opened andantemoderato.com to share my favorite music. I also take care of stray cats & dogs. This website's all income goes directly to our furry friends. Please consider supporting me on Patreon, so I can help more animals!

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