Tenor aria from Rigoletto, an opera by Giuseppe Verdi. It is possibly one of the most widely known pieces of opera. It discusses women being fickle and breaking the hearts of men foolish enough to fall in love with them.

La Donna è Mobile - by Verdi.

La donna è mobile
qual piuma al vento,
muta d' accento - e di pensier.
Sempre un' amabile leggiadro viso,
in pianto o in riso,
è menzognero.

La donna è mobile
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 cor!

Pur mai non sentensi
felice appieno
chi su quel seno - non liba amor!

La donna è mobile
qual piuma al vento,
muta d' accento - e di pensier

e di pensier!

English-

Woman is fickle,
a feather to the wind,
no orator or thinker.
She always wears a kind, lovely countenance,
be it weeping or laughing,
it is always lying.

Woman is fickle,
a feather to the wind,
no orator or thinker!
or thinker!
or thinker!

He who trusts her
with his heart, o wretch!
is always miserable.

Yet one never feels
blissful
unless he proves the sweetness of love!

Woman is fickle,
a feather to the wind,
no orator or thinker
or thinker
or thinker!

Rigoletto hears the Duke whistling this aria's melody from offstage as he prepares to dump the Duke's shrouded body into the river -- and discovers that the body the assassin gave him is instead that of his own daughter, Gilda.
The music is so memorable that Verdi reportedly refused to allow the tenor to see the score much in advance of the opening night -- he didn't want the gondoliers singing the melody before the opera's premiere. See for yourself, at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/clipserve/B0000042HZ001012/002-0767511-0401638

The aria is, of course, deeply ironic, because while claiming "woman is fickle" the Duke has already demonstrated his own fickleness (and boasted about it in the first act's Questa o quella -- "This woman or that one, they're all the same to me"). This is not a morality play, though, so the Duke is never called to task for his infidelity.

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