Ombra Compagna


Ombra Compagna

Lisette Oropesa, Ombra Compagna

Mozart has always been my favorite composer. I think I started to feel this strong connection to his music when I studied his concertos as a young flautist. I had to learn the language of the virtuosic writing he is so famous for, and be able to color and create musical phrases without the use of text. Many of Mozart’s concert arias are written in a similar way as his instrumental music, requiring a huge skill set of virtues and demanding extremes of range, breath control, dynamics, and stamina. As a former instrumentalist, I approach this special repertoire the same way with my voice as I did with my flute. The difference now is, as a grown woman, I feel that I have a deeper connection to his musical language. Because the human voice is an organic instrument, it responds (sometimes involuntarily!) to even the subtlest of emotional triggers. And there is text, often a very emotionally driven one, sometimes descriptive of the most heartbreaking of situations, that points to the direction of the ideal execution of this music.

Even though Mozart’s music is, with my humble abilities, impossible to truly master, I still enjoy every moment I spend letting it live in me and bringing it to the world in all its complexity. The emotional center of the album for me is the aria "Ah, lo previdi" which is a journey within itself, and the most sublime music accompanies the journey between life and death, as the spirit of a loved one slips away. Though we may wish to follow them into the next life, we must stay behind. So to be an "Ombra compagna," to be with someone in spirit, when we say that, it is a comforting yet heartbreaking testament of love.

– Lisette Oropesa

Ombra Compagna

Track List

1. A Berenice – Sol nascente, KV 70
Recitative and Aria (Licenza)
(Composed to celebrate the birthday of Archbishop Sigismund von Schrattenbach, probably performed directly after the opera Vologeso by Giuseppe Sarti)

2. Alcandro, lo confesso – Non so d’onde viene, KV 294
Recitative and Aria
(Text from Pietro Metastasio’s L’olimpiade)

3. Bella mia fiamma – Resta, oh cara, KV 528
Recitative and Aria
(Text from Cerere placata, festa teatrale by Niccolò Jommelli, libretto by Michele Sarcone)

4. Vorrei spiegarvi, oh Dio!, KV 418
(Insertion aria for the opera Il curioso indiscreto by Pasquale Anfossi)

5. Chi sà, chi sà, qual sia, KV 582
(Insertion aria for the opera Il curioso indiscreto by Pasquale Anfossi)

6. Misera, dove son!, KV 369
(Text from Pietro Metastasio’s Ezio)

7. Voi avete un cor fedele, KV 217
(Possibly an insertion aria for the opera Le nozze di Dorina by Baldassare Galuppi, libretto after Carlo Goldoni)

8. Ah, lo previdi, KV 272
(Scene from Andromeda, a libretto by Vittorio Amadeo Cigna-Santi, previously set to music by several composers including Giovanni Paisiello)

9. Vado ma dove? oh Dei!, KV 583
(Insertion aria for the opera Il burbero di buon cuore by Vicente Martín y Soler, text by Lorenzo Da Ponte)

10. Ah se in ciel, benigne stelle, KV 538
(Text from Pietro Metastasio’s L’eroe cinese)

Di Lete all’altra sponda, ombra compagna
anch’io voglio venir con te.

Lisette Oropesa would like to thank some very special people who made this all happen.

A special thank you to San Francisco Classical Recording Company and Polyhymnia for recording
Thank you to everyone at Pentatone for releasing and marketing this CD
Thank you to Antonello Manacorda for conducting these works
and to Giulio D’Alessio and il Pomo d’Oro for your beautiful playing.
Photos by Steven Harris of Mordent Media

Copyright © 2021 All Rights Reserved

Ombra Compagna

A Berenice – Sol nascente, KV 70

A Berenice e Vologeso sposi
apparve al fin aurora
di contentezza e pace.
Luce assai più festiva e più vivace,
ch’oggi nacque di nuovo,
a me si rappresenta
in Sigismondo prence
e mi rammenta iI mio dover
di raccontar le lodi
di questo dì solenne.

Io lo previdi,
e volendo formar il mio concetto,
deboli troppo i sensi miei trovai.
Confuso dunque e in fretta io mi portai
del Pegaso su le ale
sin alla etrusca sponda
da quella Musa celebre e faconda,
a domandar soccorso.

Ma non bastante anche essa
a soddisfar le mie richieste ansiose,
in questi pochi accenti a me rispose:
virtù, che di lodare il ciel istesso
la cura ed il potere a sé ritiene,
solo ammirar tacendo a noi conviene.

Sol nascente in questo giorno,
deh! perdona al tenue ingegno,
e ammirarti io vo’ tacendo,
e ammirando io tacerò.

Del tuo lustro chiaro e degno,
di virtù sì rare adorno,
la grandezza io non comprendo,
e a dover spiegar non so.
For the bridal pair Berenice and Vologeso
the dawn of happiness and peace
has broken at last.
A more festive and brighter light,
which today was born anew,
is shown to me
in Prince Sigismund
and reminds me of my duty
to praise
this festive day.

I foresaw it,
and though I wanted to shape my
I found my senses too weak.
confused thus and in a hurry, I betook
myself on the wings of Pegasus
to the Etruscan shore
to ask that famous and fecund Muse for help.

But she, as well, was unable to answer
my anxious requests sufficiently
and replied to me in these few words:
heavens retain to themselves the right
to praise the care and power of virtue,
whereas for us it is only appropriate to admire it in silence.

Sun rising on this day,
o, forgive my feeble spirit,
and I will admire you in silence
and admiring you I will remain silent.

I can’t conceive the greatness of your
bright and worthy splendor,
decorated with rare virtue,
and I don’t know how to explain.

Alcandro, lo confesso – Non so d’onde viene, KV 294

Alcandro, lo confesso,
stupisca di me stesso. II volto, il ciglio,
la voce di costui nel cor mi desta

un palpito improvviso,
che lo risente in ogni fibra il sangue.
Fra tutti i miei pensieri
la cagion ne ricerco, e non la trovo.
Che sarà, giusti Dei, questo ch’io provo?

Non so d’onde viene
quel tenero affetto,
quel moto che ignoto
mi nasce nel petto,
quel gel, che le vene
scorrendo mi va.

Nel seno a destarmi
sì fieri contrasti
non parmi che basti
la sola pietà.
Alcandro, I confess it,
astonished by myself. His face,
his expression, his voice—they awaken

a sudden tremble in my heart
which the blood repulses through my veins.
I try to find the reason in all my thoughts,
but I can’t find it.
Good Gods, what is it that I feel?

I don’t know where this tender
feeling comes from,
this unknown emotion
that is born in my breast,
this chill that runs
through my veins.

Pity alone
is not sufficient to cause
those strongly opposed feelings
in my breast.

Bella mia fiamma – Resta, oh cara, KV 528

Bella mia fiamma, addio!
Non piacque al cielo di renderci felici.
Ecco reciso, prima d’esser compito,

quel purissimo nodo,
che strinsero fra lor gli animi nostri
con il solo voler.
Vivi! Cedi al destin, cedi al dovere.

Della giurata fede
la mia morte t’assolve.
A più degno consorte... oh pene! unita
vivi più lieta e più felice vita.
Ricordati di me, ma non mai turbi
d’un infelice sposo
la rara rimembranza il tuo riposo.

Regina, io vado ad ubbidirti.
Ah, tutto finisca il mio furor col morir mio.
Cerere, Alfeo, diletta sposa, addio!

a Proserpina
Resta, oh cara, acerba morte
mi separa, oh Dio, da te!

a Cerere
Prendi cura di sua sorte,
consolarla almen procura.

ad Alfeo
Vado... ahi lasso!
Addio per sempre...
Quest’affanno, questo passo
è terribile per me.
Ah! Dov’è il tempio, dov’è l’ara?

a Cerere
Vieni, affretta la vendetta!
Questa vita così amara
Più soffribile non è!

a Proserpina
Oh cara, addio per sempre!
My dearest love, farewell!
It did not please heaven to make us happy.
Lo, severed before yet completed

is that holy knot
which bound our spirits together
in a single will.
Live! Yield to fate, yield to duty!

My death will absolve you
from the faith you pledged;
united to a worthier consort—o grief!—
live a happier and more carefree life.
Remember me, but never let
the occasional memory of an unfortunate
betrothed disturb your peace.

Queen, in obedience to you I go.
Ah, may all your fury end with my death.
Ceres, Alpheo, beloved spouse, farewell!

to Proserpina
Stay, my dearest: bitter death
parts me, o God, from you.

to Ceres
Care for her lot,
try at least to console her.

to Alfeo
I go... alas!
Farewell for ever...
This torment, this step
is terrible to me.
Ah! Where is the temple, where the altar?

to Ceres
Come quickly, hasten vengeance!
So bitter a life as this
I can no longer bear.

to Proserpina
My dearest, farewell for ever!

Vorrei spiegarvi, oh Dio!, KV 418

Vorrei spiegarvi, oh Dio!
qual è l’affanno mio;
ma mi condanna il fato
a piangere e tacer.
Arder non può il mio core
per chi vorrebbe amore
e fa che cruda io sembri,
un barbaro dover.

Ah, Conte, partite,
correte, fuggite
lontano da me.
La vostra diletta
Emilia v’aspetta,
languir non la fate,
è degna d’amor.

Ah, stelle spietate!
Nemiche mi siete.
Mi perdo s’ei resta, oh Dio!

Partite, correte,
d’amor non parlate,
è vostro il suo cor.
O heaven! I would like to tell you
the reason for my anguish,
but fate condemns me
to weep in silence.
My heart cannot burn
for one who would love me,
and a bitter duty
makes me seem cruel.

Ah, go, Count,
leave me, fly
far from me.
Your beloved
Emilia awaits you;
do not cause her to pine.
She is worthy of your love.

O pitiless stars!
You are my foes.
I am lost if he remains, oh heaven!

Go, go in haste;
do not speak of love;
yours is her heart.

Chi sà, chi sà, qual sia, KV 582

Madama Lucilla
Chi sà, chi sà, qual sia
l’affanno del mio bene,
se sdegno, gelosia,
timor, sospetto, amor?

Voi che sapete, oh Dei,
i puri affetti miei,
voi questo dubbio amaro
toglietemi dal cor.
Madama Lucilla
Who knows, who knows what it may be
that torments my beloved?
Is it anger, jealousy,
fear, suspicion or love?

O Gods, Ye who know
the purity of my affection,
dispel this bitter doubt
from my heart.

Misera, dove son!, KV 369

Misera, dove son!
L’aure del Tebro
son queste ch’io respiro?
Per le strade m’aggiro
di Tebe e d’Argo?
O dalle greche sponde,
di tragedie feconde,
le domestiche furie
vennero a questi lidi,
della prole di Cadmo e degli Atridi?
Là, d’un monarca ingiusto
l’ingrata crudeltà m’empie d’orrore,
d’un padre traditore
qua la colpa m’agghiaccia:
e lo sposo innocente
ho sempre in faccia.
Oh immagini funeste!
Oh memorie! Oh martiro!
Ed io parlo, infelice, ed io respiro?

Ah, no!
Ah! non son io che parlo,
è il barbaro dolore
che mi divide il core,
che delirar mi fa.
Non cura il ciel tiranno
l’affanno, in cui mi vedo:
un fulmine gli chiedo,
e un fulmine non ha.
Alas, where am I?
Is this the air of the Tiber
that I breathe?
Do I wander in the streets
of Thebes or Argos?
Or did the native furies come
to these shores
from the shores of Greece,
ridden with the tragedies
of the seed of Cadmus or of the Atrides?
There the heartless cruelty
of an unjust monarch fills me with horror;
here the crime
of a treacherous father chills me;
and my innocent husband
haunts me forever.
O fearful thoughts!
O memories! O torture!
And is it I, unhappy I, who breathe and speak?

Ah, no!
Ah, it is not I who speak,
but the cruel grief
which rends my heart
and causes me to rave.
Tyrannous heaven does not heed
the torment I suffer;
I ask it for a thunderbolt,
but no thunderbolt falls.

Voi avete un cor fedele, KV 217

Voi avete un cor fedele
come amante appassionato:
ma mio sposo dichiarato,
che farete? Cangerete?
Dite, allora che sarà?
Manterrete fedeltà?

Ah! non credo. Già prevedo,
mi potreste corbellar.
Non ancora, non per ora,
non mi vuò di voi fidar.
You have a loyal heart
as passionate lover:
but, when you will be my bridegroom,
what will you do? Will you change?
Tell me, what will happen?
Will you remain faithful?

Ah, I don’t think so. I already foresee
that you could cheat on me.
Not yet, not for the moment –
I do not want to trust you yet.

Ah, lo previdi, KV 272

Ah, lo previdi.
Povero Prence, con quel ferro istesso
che me salvò, ti lacerasti il petto.

ad Euristeo
Ma tu sì fiero scempio perchè non impedir?
Come, oh crudele,
d’un misero a pietà non ti movesti?
Qual tigre, ti nodrì?
Dove nascesti?

Ah, t’invola agl’occhi miei,
alma vile, ingrato cor!
La cagione, oh Dio, tu sei
del mio barbaro dolor.
Va, crudele! Va, spietato!
Va, tra le fiere ad abitar.

Misera! Invan m’adiro,
e nel suo sangue intanto
nuota già l’idol mio.
Con quell’acciaro, ah Perseo, che facesti?
Mi salvasti poc’anzi, or m’uccidesti.

Col sangue, ahi, la bell’alma,
ecco, già uscì dallo squarciato seno.
Me infelice!
Si oscura il giorno agli occhi miei,
e nel barbaro affanno il cor vien meno.

Ah, non partir, ombra diletta,
io voglio unirmi a te.
Sul grado estremo,
intanto che m’uccide il dolor,
fermati alquanto!

Deh, non varcar quell’onda,
anima del cor mio.
Di Lete all’altra sponda,
ombra compagna anch’io
voglio venir con te.
Ah, I forsaw it.
Poor Prince, with this same sword
that saved me, you pierced your breast.

to Euristeo
But why did you not prevent such savage
slaughter? How, cruel one,
were you not moved to pity an unfortunate man?
What tiger nurtured you?
Where were you born?

Ah, fly from my sight,
vile being, ungrateful heart!
You are the cause, o God,
of my bitter sorrow.
Go, cruel one! Go, pitiless one!
Go and dwell among the wild beasts.

Woe is me! In vain I rage,
and meanwhile my beloved
welters in his own blood.
With this sword, Perseus, what have you done?
You saved me a while ago, now you kill me.

Alas, see how his dear spirit has gushed
forth with the blood from his wounded
breast! Unhappy that I am!
The day darkens to my eyes,
and in bitter torment my heart falters.

Ah, do not go, beloved shade,
I wish to be united with you.
Until grief kills me,
tarry awhile
at the final step!

Ah, do not cross those waters,
soul of my heart!
To the further shore of Lethe,
I too, a companion spirit,
wish to come with you.

Vado, ma dove? oh Dei!, KV 583

Madama Lucilla
Vado, ma dove? oh Dei!
Se de’ tormenti suoi,
se de’ sospiri miei
non sente il ciel pietà!

Tu che mi parli al core,
guida i miei passi, amore;
tu quel ritegno or togli
che dubitar mi fà.
Madama Lucilla
I go, but whither, Ye Gods?
If heaven feels no pity
for his torments
and for my sighs!

Love, you who speak to my heart,
guide my steps;
dispel the misgivings
that cause me to doubt.

Ah se in ciel, benigne stelle, KV 538

Ah se in ciel, benigne stelle,
la pietà non è smarrita,
o toglietemi la vita,
o lasciatemi il mio ben!

Voi, che ardete ognor si belle
del mio ben nel dolce aspetto,
proteggete il puro affetto
che ispirate a questo sen.
Ah, if pity has not vanished from heaven,
gracious stars,
either take my life
or leave me my lover!

You who always shine in beauty
in my lover’s sweet face,
protect the pure affection
you inspire in my breast.