La Bohème / Act 1 – “O Soave Fanciulla”- Giacomo Puccini

This is the second musical piece to feature here from Italian composer Giacomo Puccini. I first heard this in the movie Moonstruck which I reviewed here. O soave fanciulla (O gentle maiden) is a romantic duet from the first act of Giacomo Puccini’s 1896 opera La Bohème It is sung as the closing number in act 1 by Rodolfo (tenor) and Mimì (soprano) where they realise, they have fallen for each other. It is one of the most beautiful pieces of Opera I have heard.

(English translation) At the window, Mimì is illuminated by the moon’s rays. Turning, Rodolfo sees Mimì wrapped in a halo of moonlight. He contemplates her, in ecstasy.
Rodolfo:
Oh lovely girl, oh sweet face
bathed in the soft moonlight,
I see you in a dream
I’d dream forever!

Both
M: Ah! Love, you rule alone!
R: Already the soul trembles
extreme kindness

La Bohème is an opera in four acts composed between 1893 and 1895 to an Italian libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa, based on Scènes de la vie de bohème (1851) by Henri Murger. The story is set in Paris around 1830 and shows the Bohemian lifestyle (known in French as “la bohème“) of a poor seamstress and her artist friends.

The world premiere of La Bohème was in Turin on 1 February 1896 at the Teatro Regio, conducted by the 28-year-old Arturo Toscanini. Since then, La Bohème has become part of the standard Italian opera repertory and is one of the most frequently performed operas worldwide.

Reference:
1. La Bohéme – Wikipedia
2. O soave fanciulla – wikipedia

“The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know.”- Michel Legrand

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