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Stridono lassù - Ballatella
from Act I of the Italian opera I Pagliacci by Ruggiero Leoncavallo
Libretto: Ruggiero Leoncavallo

Role: Nedda, Canio's wife (Columbine in the play)
Voice Part: soprano       Fach: lyric soprano
Setting: The entrance to a village, Calabria, Italy, 1860s
Synopsis: Nedda watches her jealous and abusive husband go off with Beppe and some of the villagers after announcing the play the troupe will perform that night. She fears his discovery and then wonders about the soaring of songbirds and the meanings of their songs.
Range: Tessitura:
C#/Db4 - A5E4 - G#/Ab5
Translations/Aria Texts:
Translation into English by Manuel A. Gutiérrez (added 1998-10-13)
Stridono lassù, Nedda's aria from I Pagliacci

Stridono lassù,                              	Screeching up in the sky,
liberamente lanciati a vol,                 	freely thrown into flight,
a vol come frecce, gli augel.              	to fly as arrows, to the highest.
Disfidano le nubi e sol cocente,            	They challenge the clouds and the
							scorching sun,
e vanno, e vanno per le vie del ciel.        	And they go the ways of the sky.
Lasciateli vagar per l'atmosfera              	Let it wander in the atmosphere
questi assetati d'azzurro e di splendor;     	this thirsting for azure and for splendor;
seguono anch'essai un sogno, una chimera, 	the way we follow a dream or a chimera,
e vanno, e vanno fra le nubi d'or.            	and they go after the golden clouds.
Che incalzi il vento e latri la tempesta,     	Let the wind chase and the storm bark,
con l'ali aperte san tutto sfidar;           	with open wings it heals all challenges;
la pioggia, I lampi, nulla mai li arresta,   	the rain, the lightning, nothing ever stops it
e vanno, e vanno, sugli abissi e il mar.     	and they go over abysses and the sea.
Vanno laggiù verso un paese strano            	They go down there towards a strange
che sognan forse e che cercano invan.      	Which perhaps dreams and which goes
Ma I boëmi del ciel seguon l'arcano       	But the bohemians of the sky follow the
poter che il sospinge...e van...         	arcane power which it urges...and go...
E van! e van! e van!                      	and they go!

Translation by Manuel A. Gutiérrez (
Sheet Music/Scores:
Larsen, Robert. Arias for Soprano. Published by G. Schirmer. Available at and
The Ultimate Soprano Aria Album (Version 2.0). Published by CD Sheet Music. Available at and
Anthology of Italian Opera - Soprano. Published by Ricordi. Available at and
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