Aprite un po’ quegli occhi

February 24th, 2008  |  Published in media queue

Chiara took Florence and Oona to the opera last night and I went along.  We saw The Marriage of Figaro, a comedy with the score by Mozart and the libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte.  It was first preformed in 1786 and it’s sad that media representations of gender have changed very little since then.  From a scene in the last act of the opera where Figaro suspects his new wife of meeting another man for an illicit nightime rendevous:

Just open your eyes,
You rash and foolish men,
And look at these women;
See them as they are,
These goddesses, so called
By the intoxicated senses,
To whom feeble reason
Offers tribute.
They are witches who cast spells
For our torment,
Sirens who sing
For our confusion,
Night owls who fascinate
To pluck us,
Comets who dazzle
To deprive us of light.
They are thorned roses,
Alluring vixens,
Smiling she-bears,
Malign doves,
Masters of deceit,
Friends of distress
Who cheat and lie,
Who feel no love
And have no pity.
The rest I need not say,
For eveyone knows it already.

You can also listen to an mp3 of the aria.