La Donna e Mobile - Verdi

La Donna E Mobile
(Verdi)

La Donna È Mobile
from opera Rigoletto
by Giuseppe Verdi

Giuseppe VerdiGiuseppe Verdi

The ““La Donna È Mobile” (pronounced [la ˈdɔnna ˌɛ mˈmɔːbile]; “Woman is fickle”) ” is the Duke of Mantua’s canzone from the beginning of act 3 of Giuseppe Verdi’s opera Rigoletto (1851). The canzone is famous as a showcase for tenors. Raffaele Mirate’s performance of the bravura aria at the opera’s 1851 premiere was hailed as the highlight of the evening. Before the opera’s first public performance (in Venice), the song was rehearsed under tight secrecy: a necessary precaution, as “La donna è mobile” proved to be incredibly catchy, and soon after the song’s first public performance it became popular to sing among Venetian gondoliers.As the opera progresses, the reprise of the tune in the following scenes contributes to Rigoletto’s confusion as he realizes from the sound of the Duke’s lively voice coming from the tavern (offstage), that the body in the sack over which he had grimly triumphed, was not that of the Duke after all: Rigoletto had paid Sparafucile, an assassin, to kill the Duke, but Sparafucile had deceived Rigoletto by indiscriminately killing Gilda, Rigoletto’s beloved daughter, instead.

Luciano Pavarotti

Lyrics (Italian)

La donna è mobile

La donna è mobile.
Qual piuma al vento,
muta d’accento e di pensiero.
Sempre un amabile,
leggiadro viso,
in pianto o in riso, è menzognero.

[Ritornello:]
La donna è mobil.
Qual piuma al vento,
muta d’accento e di pensier!
e di pensier!
e di pensier!

È sempre misero
chi a lei s’affida,
chi le confida mal cauto il cuore!
Pur mai non sentesi
felice appieno
chi su quel seno non liba amore!

[Ritornello:]
La donna è mobil
Qual piuma al vento,
muta d’accento e di pensier!
e di pensier!
e di pensier!

Lyrics (English translation)

Women are Changeable

Like a feather in the wind,
Their tone changes, as do their minds.
Always an endearing,
elegant face,
whether in tears or laughter: It’s deceitful

[Refrain:]
Women are changeable
Like a feather in the wind
Their tone changes…as do their minds!
As do their minds!
As do their minds!

He’s always miserable,
the one who puts his trust in them
who confides in them his unwary heart!
Yet he would never feel
completely happy
He who from this breast, does not imbibe love.

[Refrain]