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Condotta ell'era in ceppi - Narrative Aria
from Act II - The Gypsy, Scene 1 of the Italian opera Il Trovatore by Giuseppe Verdi
Libretto: Salvatore Cammarano

Role: Azucena, an old gypsy woman, the supposed mother of Manrico
Voice Part: contralto       Fach: contralto
Setting: A broken down shack in the Biscay Mountains, 1409.
Synopsis: Azucena tells Manrico the complete sequence of events that occurred at her mother's execution. She recounts that, as her mother was being burned at the stake, she cried out to Azucena to avenge her. Seeking this revenge, Azucena took the son of the Count of Luna at that time, planning to throw him into the same fire in which her mother died. In her madness, though, Azucena threw her own baby into the fire instead and kept the Count's son to herself. This mistake would make Manrico the brother of the current Count of Luna, but Azucena insists that Manrico is her son since she raised him and brought his health back when he was wounded.
Range: Tessitura:
A3 - A#/Bb5E4 - F5
Translations/Aria Texts:
Translation into English by Guia Monti (added 1997-07-09)
Condotta ell' era in ceppi, Azucena's aria from Il Trovatore

Condotta ell' era in ceppi al suo destin tremendo!
	She was led to her destiny in chains!
Col figlio sulle braccia, io la seguía piangendo.
	With the child in my arm, I followed her weeping.
Infino ad essa un varco tentai, ma invano, aprirmi...
	I tried, in vain, to reach her...
Inven tentò la misera fremarsi e benedirmi!
	In vain the wretch tried to stop and bless me!
Chè, fra bestemmie oscene, pungendola coi ferri,
	For, among terrible curses,prodding her with their weapons
al rogo la cacciavano gli scellerati sgherri!
	they pushed her towards the stake, those cruel men!
Allor, con tronco accento: Mi vendica! esclamò.
	Then, with broken accents she exclaimed: "Revenge!"
Quel detto un' eco eterna in questo cor lasciò.
	That word eternally reverberates in this heart.
Il figlio giunsi a rapir del Conte:
	I managed to kidnap the Count's child:
lo trascinai qui meco...
	I dragged him hither...
Le fiamme ardea già pronte.
	the flames were ready.
Ei distruggeasi in pianto...
	He was crying his heart out,
Io mi sentiva il core dilaniato, infranto!...
	my heart was torn, in shreds!...
Quand' ecco agli egri spiriti, come in sogno, apparve
	Then all of a sudden, to the sick soul,like in a dream,
la vision ferale di spaventose larve!
	a vision of frightening phantoms rose!
Gli sgerri ed il supplizio!...La madre smorta in volto...
	The guards and the torture!...My mother, deathly pale...
Scalza, discinta! grido, il noto grido ascolto...
	barefoot, half naked!...the cry, the well-known cry echoes....
Mi vendica!...La mano convulsa tendo...stringo
	"Revenge!"...I stretch my trembling hand...I hold
la vittima...nel foco la traggo, la sospingo...
	the victim...I reac for it, push it into the fire...
Cessa il fatal delirio... L' orrida scena fugge...
	the delirium is over...the dreadful scene vanishes...
La fiamma sol divampa, e la sua preda strugge!
	only the flame burning, and its victim is no more!
Pur volgo intorno il guardo e innanzi a me vegg' io
	I then turn my eyes and I see just in front of me
Dell' empio Conte il figlio...
	the son of the wicked Count...
Il figlio mio,
	My son,
mio figlio avea bruciato!
	my own son I had killed!
Sul capo mio le chiome
	I still feel
sento rizzarsi ancor!
	my hair raising at the thought of it!

Translated by Guia K. Monti
Sheet Music/Scores:
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