Maria Callas sings “Voi lo sapete” from Cavalleria rusticana

Maria Callas sings “Voi lo sapete”, a soprano aria from Cavalleria rusticana, an opera in one act by Pietro Mascagni to an Italian libretto by Giovanni Targioni-Tozzetti and Guido Menasci, adapted from a play and short story written by the Italian realist (Verismo) writer Giovanni Verga.

In 1880, Giovanni Verga’s story collection Vita dei campi (Life in the Fields), including “Fantasticheria” (“Daydreaming”), “La Lupa” (“The She-wolf”), and “Pentolaccia” (“The Plaything”), most of which were about rural Sicily, came out. It also included “Cavalleria Rusticana” (“Rustic Chivalry”), which he adapted for the theatre and later formed the basis for several opera librettos including Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana.

Cavalleria rusticana is considered one of the classic verismo operas, it premiered on 17 May 1890, at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome. Since 1893, it has often been performed in a so-called Cav/Pag double-bill with Pagliacci by Ruggero Leoncavallo.

Lyrics

Italian

Santuzza
Voi lo sapete, o mamma,
Prima d’andar soldato,
Turiddu aveva a Lola
Eterna fè giurato.
Tornò, la seppe sposa;
E con un nuovo amore
Volle spegner la fiamma
Che gli bruciava il core:
M’amò, l’amai.
Quell’invidia d’ogni delizia mia,
Del suo sposo dimentica,
Arse di gelosia…
Me l’ha rapito…
Priva dell’onor mio rimango:
Lola e Turiddu s’amano,
Io piango, io piango!

Lucia
Miseri noi,
Che cosa vieni a dirmi
In questo santo giorno?

Santuzza
Io son dannata.
Andate o mamma,
Ad implorare Iddio,
E pregate per me.
Verrà Turiddu,
Vo’ supplicarlo
Un’altra volta ancora!

Lucia
Aiutatela voi,
Santa Maria!

English translation

Santuzza
Mother, you know that
before Turiddu
became a soldier,
he was betrother to Lola.
He returned and discovered she was married;
and he tried to extinguish
the flame in his heart
with a new love:
he loved me, and I loved him.
Lola was envious of my happiness,
forgot her husband,
and burned with jealousy…
She stole him from me…
I’ve lost my honour:
Lola and Turiddu love each other,
I cry, I cry!

Lucia
Oh dear,
what a terrible thing
you ‘have told me on this holy day!

Santuzza
I am accursed.
Go, Mother,
and pray the Lord
for me!
Turiddu will be coming,
I will plead with him
again!

Lucia
Holy Mary,
help her!

Sources