Another recording… this time an aria from la Boheme (Donde lieta)
To the place she left so happily to respond to your call of love
Mimi returns alone to her solitary nest.
She goes back to embroidering pretend flowers
Goodbye without resentment.
Gather together all the little things I left lying around
In my drawer is the gold band and the prayerbook.
Wrap it all in a cloth and I’ll send the porter.
But look now! Under that pair of gloves
Is the pink bonnet you bought me on the day we fell in love
If you want…. if you want…
If you want then keep it as a reminder of our love
Goodbye. Goodbye… without resentment.
Strangely this was a song that I never found too emotionally powerful to sing, even though it has a very personal resonance for me. I too tried to let my ex go free by suggesting that we should exchange keys and the other possessions we had left at each other’s flat – he reacted with a very bizarre self-protective anger! I don’t think he understood at all what I was trying to say…. as in the last line of the aria: addio, senza rancor! I was too hurt and sad to say it as clearly as I would have liked to, but that only partly accounts for his misinterpretation.
Perhaps the message of letting someone go in peace is such a strong idea that, unlike other songs I was trying to sing at the time, it strengthened rather than upset me. It’s a lovely aria, anyway – I’ve only just started really working on it so I don’t quite do it justice yet, but it’s so satisfying to sing.