Tuesday, January 15, 2008

MacDuff's "all my pretty ones" in song

The Met's Macbeth simulcast on Saturday, Jan. 12 was a very interesting production directed by Adrian Noble. Standout for me was tenor Dimitri Pittas as MacDuff, especially in his fourth act aria "O figli miei...Ah, la paterna mano" when he responds to being told that his family has been slaughtered.

Macbeth IV, iii
All my pretty ones?
Did you say all? -- O hell-kite! -- All?
What, all my pretty chickens and their dam
At one fell swoop?

English translation of the Italian aria:
Oh my children!
You have all been killed by that tyrant, together with your poor
Ah, did I leave a mother and her children in the clutches of that
Alas, a father's hand was not there to shield you, my dear ones, from the treacherous assassins who put you to death.
And in vain you called on me, a fugitive, in hiding, with your last gasp, with your last breath.
Lord, bring me face to face with this tyrant, and if he escapes me let your merciful arms open to him.

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