A Scorned Wife

A little something to enjoy with your cocktail this evening, in eager anticipation of tomorrow’s live broadcast of Puccini’s La Bohème.

About 16 years ago, the gifted and beautiful Italian mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli recorded this aria, from the Vivaldi opera Bajazet which was first performed around 1735. In this clip, Bartoli performs the aria during a recital. It’s one of my favorite pieces of music, and I hope you enjoy it too.

The lyrics are simple, pained, ageless:

Sposa son disprezzata
fida, son oltraggiata.
Cieli, che feci mai?
E pur egl’e il mio cor,
il mio sposo, il mio amor,
la mia speranza.

I am a scorned wife,
faithful, yet insulted.
Heavens, what did I do?
Yet he is my love,
my husband, my beloved,
my hope.

Sposa son disprezzata