Anyway, one of the great show-off pieces for the voice from Farinelli is Riccardo Broschi’s “Son qual nave.”
Here’s soprano Simone Kermes doing it at the Schwetzinger Festspiele 2010 with the Venice Baroque Orchestra. If this lady ever gets tired of singing, she’ll be a great bronco rider. She’s already got the dress for it.
And here is the Farinelli version, supposedly in counter-tenor, but actually, it’s the voice of coloratura soprano Ewa Malas-Godlewska, digitally blended with counter-tenor Derek Lee Ragin’s voice. No matter. It’s one hell of a presentation.
And did I say show-off? You want to see show-off? Take a look at Cecilia Bartoli having at this piece:
And for those of you who like going off on a tangent, here’s a little video about Malas-Godlewska, sopranistka, and the American Derek Lee Ragin, in the studio having their voices massaged for the film. It’s in Polish, unfortunately, but don’t let that stop you.
And for a tangent on a tangent – here’s Handel’s famous “Lascia qu’io pianga” (Let me weep), the only piece in the film that is exclusively Malas-Godlewska’s voice:
But back to “Son Qual Nave”
Here are the words:
Son qual nave ch’agitataMy Italian is limited at best, but no matter. With a little help from Google Translate, I think this means something like:
da più scogli in mezzo all’onde
si confonde e spaventata
va solcando in alto mar.
Ma in veder l’amato lido
lascia l’onde e il vento infido
e va in porto a riposar.
I am a restless boat.I leave it to you to make the connection between this poetry and bronco busting.
Those rocks in the middle of the waves
Confuse and frighten me.
I plough through the high seas.
But when I see my beloved beach
I leave the treacherous wind and waves
And go into port
Or did I get that wrong and Simone Kermes is simply singing the title song from “Oklahoma” and her voice is being dubbed by some Polish lady?