“O soave fanciulla”: a passionate love duet and the movie “Moonstruck” with Cher.

La Boheme by Puccini. The scene is Paris in the bitter cold of winter. Rodolfo, a young poet, is in a hurry to finish a poem

so that he can join his friends for a drink. There’s a knock on the door. It’s the girl from the room upstairs, Mimi. She says she

has lost her key. Pretty soon they are telling each other about themselves and it’s clear that they have a lot it common: they are

young and poor, but they are extremely sensitive and have great dreams. They both love the beautiful things that life can offer. And they both feel the terrible lack of that one thing they don’t have: love.

It won’t take Rodolfo long to tell her that he is smitten.


O soave fanciulla, o dolce viso
Oh lovely girl, oh sweet face

Di mite circonfuso alba lunar
in the soft moonlight

In te ravviso il sogno ch’io vorrei sempre sognar!
In you I see the dream that I would like to dream forever.

Fremon già nell’anima le dolcezze estreme
Already in my soul I feel the sweetest things stirring.

Fremon nell’anima dolcezze estreme,

nel bacio freme amor!

in a kiss love trembles.


Ah, Tu sol comandi, amore!

You alone command me, my love!

Tu sol comandi, amore!

O, come dolci scendono

Oh, how sweetly they melt my heart

le sue lusinghe al core!

those sweet illusions!

Tu sol comandi, amor! (He kisses her.)

No, per pietà! (She withdraws.)
No, for pity’s sake!


Sei mia!

you are mine!


V’aspettan gli amici

Your friends are waiting for you/


Già mi mandi via?
You’re already getting rid of me?


Vorrei dir, ma non oso
I would like to say it, but I dare not



Say it!


Se venissi con voi?
What if I were to come with you?


Che? Mimì!
What? Mimi!

Sarebbe così dolce restar qui, c’è freddo fuori.

It would be so sweet to stay here, it’s cold out there.


Vi starò vicina.
I will stay close to you.


E al ritorno?

And when we get back?



You’re too curious!


Dammi il braccio, o mia piccina.

Give me your arm, you lovely little thing.


Obbedisco, signor!

I obey, my lord!


Che m’ami, di’
Tell me that you love me!


Io t’amo

I do love you.

Both (off stage)

Amore! Amor! Amor!

If you didn’t see the movie “Moonstruck”, be sure to see it. Much of the music in it is from La Boheme. I confess to having watched it at least three times. The moon in that movie is at its fullest and it makes many of the characters do unusual things.

Here’s a clip from “Moonstruck” with Cher and Nicholas Cage. She is engaged to Cage’s brother, who is a very boring, cautious

fellow. Cher is lonely and lost her husband some time ago. She plans to go ahead with the wedding even though she is not

in love. The character played by Cage is a risk-taker in life. Totally unlike his brother. He is attracted to Cher (and she to him.)

In the following clip they are walking home from the opera (La Boheme). Cage tells Cher his views on life. One must follow

one’s passion and accept the extreme ups and downs.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s