The Portrait of Puccini’s aria UN BEL DI VEDREMO
Read Interesting facts and hear great YouTube Videos about the famous Aria “UN BEL DI VEDREMO”.
The aria – synopsis and background
Synopsis: Since three years Butterfly has been living with her servant Suzuki and her child in extreme poverty without having heard of Pinkerton. She prays to God for Pinkerton’s return, who knows nothing about the child. Pinkerton has promised her to return when the roses bloom. She dispels Suzuki’s doubts, she is sure that one day the ship with Pinkerton will appear.
The aria “un bel di vedremo” is one of the most famous and beautiful of the opera literature for sopranos. Butterfly’s dream inspired Puccini to create a great aria, perhaps even his most popular.
The aria begins with a high g in the pianissimo. Puccini’s instruction says “di lontano” (as if from afar). A solo violin plays around the voice of Butterfly and after a few bars the listener is already enchanted by the world of Cio-Cio-San. A melancholic minor mood in very slow tempo determines the first part.
In the first part of the aria the singer should not overact. She has to show the modesty and patience of Butterfly, who is ready to wait for her beloved. With “me ne starò nascosta un po’ per celia” a great crescendo begins from piano to the ecstatic “e un po’ per non morire”. It is an eruption of emotions held beneath the surface:
With calm but moving words she tells the dream how he runs up the hill to her house and how his return becomes reality. Once again Puccini composes an ecstatic climax, which ends after a great crescendo with the highest note, a high B flat in fortissimo:
This aria calls for a singer who can produce all the shades of the voice. Her fears and dreams are expressed from the pianissimo to the fortissimo and allow the whole range of human emotions to shine through. The driving force is love, which must be experienced by the singer with passion and authenticity.
The Aria – the text of UN BEL DI VEDREMO
Un bel dì, vedremo
levarsi un fil di fumo sull’estremo
confin del mare.
E poi la nave appare.
Poi la nave bianca
entra nel porto, romba il suo saluto.
Vedi? È venuto!
Io non gli scendo incontro. Io no. Mi metto
là sul ciglio del colle e aspetto, e aspetto
gran tempo e non mi pesa
la lunga attesa.
E … uscito dalla folla cittadina
un uomo, un picciol punto
s’avvia per la collina.
Chi sarà? Chi sarà?
E come sarà giunto
che dirà? Che dirà?
Chiamerà “Butterfly” dalla lontana.
Io senza dar risposta
me ne starò nascosta
un po’ per celia … e un po’ per non morire
al primo incontro, ed egli alquanto in pena
olezzo di verbena”,
i nomi che mi dava al suo venire.
Tutto questo avverrà,
te lo prometto
Tienti la tua paura –
io con sicura fede l’aspetto.
One good day, we will see
Arising a strand of smoke
Over the far horizon on the sea
And then the ship appears
And then the ship is white
It enters into the port, it rumbles its salute.
Do you see it? He is coming!
I don’t go down to meet him, not I.
I stay upon the edge of the hill
And I wait a long time
but I do not grow weary of the long wait.
And leaving from the crowded city,
A man, a little speck
Climbing the hill.
Who is it? Who is it?
And as he arrives
What will he say? What will he say?
He will call Butterfly from the distance
I without answering
A little to tease him,
A little as to not die.
At the first meeting,
And then a little troubled
He will call, he will call
“Little one, dear wife
Blossom of orange”
The names he called me at his last coming.
All this will happen,
I promise you this
Hold back your fears –
I with secure faith wait for him.
Written for a «dramatic soprano»
The role of Butterfly is written for a dramatic soprano. The dramatic soprano must have a strong, voluminous voice. The demand for vocal creativity is high, which is why these roles are usually entrusted to vocally mature and experienced singers. The role requires a high resilience and endurance of the singer.
Famous interpretations of UN BEL DI VEDREMO
Victoria de los Angeles’ Butterfly is always mentioned high in the critics’ rankings. Her voice was not one of dramatic opulence, but of lyrical mood.
Un bel di vedremo – de los Angeles
Renata Tebaldi’s high flowing tones made her famous. The beauty and richness of her voice even in the high registers was legend and the Butterfly was one of her most famous roles. You can hear her in a 1959 recording at the vocal zenith of her career.
Un bel di vedremo – Tebaldi
Callas shows her unique ability to capture the moods and feelings of the role and to reproduce them in various colours. A gripping and touching recording.
Un bel di vedremo – Callas
An intimate interpretation by Angela Gheorghiu, which touches the listener with tenderness, while the forte passages have less power compared to Tebaldi, for example.
Un bel di vedremo – Gheorghiu
An excerpt from the excellent film adaptation with Mirella Freni and Placido Domingo under the direction of Karajan. Freni sings and plays the role of Butterfly with vulnerability and warmth and a rich voice in the ecstatic passages.
Un bel di vedremo – Freni
Peter Lutz, opera-inside, the online opera guide to the Aria “UN BEL DI VEDREMO” from the opera Madama Butterfly.