The online opera guide to Mozart’s Aria IL MIO TESORO INTANTO
Read Interesting facts and hear great YouTube Videos about the famous Aria “Il MIO TESORO INTANTO” from Mozart’s Don Giovanni.
The aria – Synopsis & Background
After the successful premiere of Don Giovanni in Prague, Mozart began to take charge of the first performance in Vienna. Mozart had to make some adjustments for Vienna, for example the replacement of this aria “il mio tesoro” by another (“dalla sua pace”) because the tenor could not cope with the difficulties of this aria.
Synopsis: Don Giovanni was in Donna Anna’s bedroom. When Don Giovanni tried to leave the room, Donna Anna tries to stop him. She wants to know his name. The noise awakens the commandatore, Donna Anna’s father. He recognizes the situation and goes after the seducer with his sword. In a duel, Don Giovanni stabs the commander. Donna Anna and her fiancée Don Ottavio set off to find the murderer. Donna Anna repeatedly asks her fiancé to avenge her father. When the two find Leporello, Don Giovanni’s servant, and force him to talk, everything is for Don Ottavio now clear. He now believes he has enough evidence to take revenge.
Don Ottavio feels two main emotions. On the one hand the duty to revenge and on the other hand the love for Donna Anna. These feelings must be sung with aristocratic dignity. The aria begins with a warm expressive love theme, dolce e espressivo, accompanied by a beautiful motif of strings:
One of the difficulties of the aria is to sing the long F of the “Cercate” and the following sequence in one breath (in perfect legato) without losing the beauty of the F:
The second part of the aria is dedicated to revenge. The music becomes more excited. A virtuoso run shows an agitated and determined Don Ottavio:
The Aria – the text of IL TESORO MIO
Il mio tesoro intanto
andate a consolar,
E del bel ciglio il pianto
cercate di asciugar.
Ditele che i suoi torti
a vendicar io vado;
Che sol di stragi e morti
nunzio vogl’io tornar.
To my beloved, o hasten,
To comfort, to comfort her sad heart.
Sweet are the tears that chasten,
Yet grieve not those who part.
Tell her, to see her righted,
Ne’er will I cease pursuing,
My sword and faith I’ve plighted.
Nought my resolve shall thwart.
Written for a “lyric tenor”
The role of Don Ottavio is written for a lyric tenor. The lyric tenor has a soft, melting voice. The voice must be rich and agile in melodic creation. He can reach the high notes with ease and create a beautiful sound. The lyrical tenor must be able to sing both intimate pieces and more exciting pieces convincingly.
Famous interpretations of IL MIO TESORO
For many Mc Cormack’s interpretation was the gold standard of this aria. Kesting counts these among the greatest recordings in general: “For example, if you want to understand that a securely centered rounded F’ in a tenor voice is more important than a sounding C”, listen to Mc Cormack’s holding notes, struck with the resonance of a bell. Mc Cormack surpasses all other singers in this aria.”
Il mio tesoro – Mc Cormack
Richard Tauber was undisputedly one of the great tenors of the last century. His beautiful middle register and the immensely musical phrasing were incomparable. Another of Tauber’s trademarks were the incredibly long phrases, which Tauber was able to sing and hold phenomenally on his breath. You only hear the “cercar” (1:00) or “tornar” (1:47) on the following recording.
Il mio tesoro – Tauber
We hear a wonderfully lyrical interpretation by Luigi Alva, the Don Ottavio of the famous Giulini recording. Impressive are the infinitely long coloratura passages with beautiful ritardandi.
Il mio tesoro – Alva
The Danish tenor Axel Schioltz sang this aria in a version “that comes close, very close to the ideal version of Mc Cormack” (Kesting).
Il mio tesoro – Schioltz
Of course Fritz Wunderlich with his perfect interpretation should not be missing!
Il mio tesoro – Wunderlich
Domingo’s breath control is impressive, he manages to sing out the long passages beautifully seemingly effortlessly.
Il mio tesoro – Domingo
Peter Lutz, opera-inside, the online opera guide to the Aria “IL MIO TESORO” from the opera Don Giovanni.