Una furtiva lagrima

"Una furtiva lagrima" (A furtive tear) is the romanza from act 2, scene 8 of the Italian opera L'elisir d'amore by Gaetano Donizetti. It is sung by Nemorino (tenor) when he finds that the love potion he bought to win the heart of his dream lady, Adina, works. Nemorino is in love with Adina, but she is not interested in a relationship with an innocent, rustic man. To win her heart, Nemorino buys a love potion with all the money he has in his pocket. That love potion is actually a cheap red wine sold by a traveling quack doctor, but when he sees Adina weeping, he knows that she has fallen in love with him, and he is sure that the "elixir" has worked.[1]


The time signature of the aria is the compound metre of 6/8 and it starts in the key of B-flat minor, but changes to B-flat major on the words "Cielo! Si può morir!". The vocal range extends from F3 to A4 with a tessitura of B3 to A4.The last occurrence of the word chiedo is a coloratura melisma of 25 notes covering the range F3 to G4.


The Italian text is taken from score and libretto at Indiana University.[2] This source does not include the last line "Si può morir! Si può morir d'amor", which is however heard in most performances of the romanza.


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