“Una Donna Quindici anni”
May 21, 2008
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Una donna quindici anni A woman of 15 years
De’e saper ogni gran moda Must know all the good methods,
Dove il diavolo ha la coda Where the devil keeps his tail,
Cosa e bene, e mal cos’e. What’s good and what’s bad.
De’e saper le maliziette She must know the little tricks
Che innamorano gli amanti That enamor lovers:
Finger riso, finger pianti To feign laughter, to feign tears,
Inventar i bei perche. And invent good reasons.
De’e in un momento dar retta a cento She must pay attention to a hundred at a time
Colle pupille parlar con mille Speak through her eyes with a thousand
Dar speme a tutti, sien belli o brutti, Give hope to all, be they handsome or ugly,
Saper nascondersi senza confondersi, Know how to obfuscate without getting confused
Senz’arrossire saper mentire. And know how to lie without blushing.
E qual regina dall’alto soglio And this queen from her high throne
Col posso e voglio farsi ubbidir. Can make them obey with, “I can,” and “I want.”
(Par ch’abbian gusto di tal dottrina, (It seems they like this doctrine,
Viva Despina che sa servir!) Long live Despina, who knows how to serve!)
Act II, Scene I
The act opens in the sisters’ bedroom, with Despina urging them to succumb to the Albanians’ overtures. After she leaves, Dorabella confesses to Fiordiligi that she is tempted, and the two agree that a mere flirtation will do no harm and will help them pass the time while they wait for their lovers to return.
Check out a video on youtube of this performance: