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from Act III, Scene 2 of the Italian opera Falstaff by Giuseppe Verdi
Libretto: Arrigo Boito

Role: Nannetta, the Fords daughter
Voice Part: soprano       Fach: soubrette
Setting: Windsor Park, Windsor, England, early 15th century
Synopsis: Nannetta, disguised as the Fairy Queen, calls the fairies out of their hiding places and commands them to dance.
Range: Tessitura:
D#/Eb4 - A5E4 - F5
Translations/Aria Texts:
Translation into English by Jennifer Silberberg (added 1998-09-07)
Sul fil d'un soffio etesio, Nannetta's aria from Falstaff

Sul fil d'un soffio etesio		On the breath of an etesian breeze
scorrete, agili larve;			scurry, agile shadows
fra i rami un baglior cesio		among the branches a bluish-grey glow
d'alba lunare apparve.			of the rising moon has appeared.
Danzate!  E il passo blando      	Dance!  And may the gentle steps
misuri un blando suon,     		measure a gentle sound,
la magiche accoppiando carole       	combining the magical dances 
alla canzon.                         	with the song.

Erriam sotto la luna           		Let us wander beneath the moon,
scegliendo fior da fiore;          	choosing flower by flower;
ogni corolla in core            	each crown of petals, in its heart,
porta la sua fortuna.             	brings its good fortune.
Coi gigli e le viole      		With the lilies and the violets,
scriviam de' nomi arcani;   		let us write secret names;
dalle fatate mani          		from our enchanted hands
germoglino parole...           		may words blossom...
parole alluminate di puro argento  	words illuminated by pure silver
e d'or...                        	and gold...
carmi e mal├Če.                        	Magic incantations and charms.
Le fate hanno, per cifre,          	The Faeries have, for alphabet letters,
i fior.                           	flowers.

Translated by Jennifer Silberberg (
Sheet Music/Scores:
Larsen, Robert. Arias for Soprano. Published by G. Schirmer. Available at and
Verdi, Giuseppe. Favorite Soprano Arias. Published by Ricordi. Available at and
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