anon / GIACOMO PUCCINI
Notes on the Libretto
The text is transcribed from the original published libretto (G. Ricordi & C,
Milan, 1893); the first Italian/English libretto (G. Ricordi & Co.,
New York, 1893); and the German translation from an early
edition (G. Ricordi & C., Milan, n.d., but with a blind stamp of 10/1893).
The exact text and general layout has
been preserved to the extent possible, with corrections of a few obviously
typographical errors. The English translation by Mowbray Marras and the
German translation by Ludwig Hartmann do not always correspond to the
Italian text. Apart from the exigencies required of singing translations,
they represent translations of the text actually set to music, and revised
versions at that.
There are numerous differences between the text of the published libretto
and the "definitive" version of the work as set to music and performed.
In many cases there are simply words, phrases, or passages that were not
included in the score. These are highlighted in the libretto text in
thus. Some text included in all editions
of the score but not in the libretto is included, appearing in lighter font
Other significant variations are referenced to the following notes by
the line numbers which have been supplied.
- Personaggi: Although listed as Geronte de Ravoir,
the name is given in both the text and the prefatory material, as well as
the various published scores, as Geronte di Ravoir.
- I, line 30: In the score, these lines are set as
Ecco Des Grieux!
A noi t'unisci,
- I, lines 93-94: changed to
Cortese damigella il priego mio accettate:
Dican le dolci labbra come vi chiamate?..
- I, line 123: in the score,
a nuova vita l'alma mia si desta.
- I, line 125: in the score,
Come queste parole profumate
- I, line 133: pellegrina changed to cherubina
- I: in the libretto, lines 136-139 are displayed as
overlapping lines 140-147. Since they are set sequentially in the score, they
are so displayed here, for greater clarity.
- I, lines 148-149: These first two lines for the
Studenti do not appear in the 3rd and subsequent editions of the
- I, line 146: che sembre changed to
che non sembre
- I, line 163: there is an additional line for the
di tenebre cinto
- I, lines 193-194: in the score, these lines occur
after line 207. There is an additional line:
Chiedete il bacio, il sospir!
- I, line 247: gioconda changed to sovente
- I, lines 273-274: in the score,
Non Ŕ ver, non Ŕ vero, ah! sogno gentil
mio sospiro infinito!
- I, line 277: libertino changed to
- I, line 295: vedetela changed to guardatela
- II, line 35: in the score,
che tu abbia abbandonato
- II, line 46: there is an additional line in the score
un gelido mortal... v'Ŕ un silenzio,
- II, line 59: in the score,
(qual giÓ Geronte), Ŕ un grande amico mio.
- II, line 77: there is an additional line in the score
che tanto duol ti costai!
- II, lines 83-85: in the score, these lines are:
quell'ebrezza che un dý me be˛!
Vieni!.. Son bella? Vieni!
Ah! ah! Vien, resister pi¨ non so!
- II, line 175: ora sui changed to pei
- II, line 207: che changed to tu
- II, line 218: there are two additional lines in the
score here (cf. lines 200-201):
T'ho tradito Ŕ ver!
- II, lines 245-246: these lines are sung by Des Grieux
rather than Manon, along with the following additional line:
in te m'inebrio ancor!
- II, line 256: this line is sung by both Des Grieux
- II, line 314: both parts of this line are sung by
both Des Grieux and Manon.
- II, line 315: there is an additional line in the score
ci fai tremar!
- II, line 319: OhimŔ changed to o ciel;
Dý!.. added at the end of the line.
- II, line 330: In the score,
Maledetto il vecchio astuto!..
- II, line 335-336: In the score,
Manon (con spavento)
OhimŔ! la morte!
- II, line 339: In the score,
Maledetto il vecchio astuto!..
- II, line 345: In the score Des Grieux's half of the
line is: vecchio vil!
- II, line 379-380: changed to
- Intermezzo: In the Italian libretto the ends of the
acts are not noted. In the Italian-English libretto, the end of the 2nd act
notation follows the program text for the intermezzo, while it precedes it
in the German libretto and in the score.
- Intermezzo program: Quelle che non ho io tentato
changed to Quello che io ho tentato
- III, lines 6-7: In the score,
e a noi verrÓ.-- Io intanto cogli amici
lÓ il colpo tenter˛!
- III, line 15: cupa changed to fiera
- III, line 17: Eccoli changed to Vengono
- III, line 18: In the published libretto this line is
attributed to Des Grieux. That might be a typographical error, but the
attribution of line 19 to Lescaut in the stage instruction may suggest
otherwise. Both lines are sung by Lescaut in the score, and in the English
translation they are so attributed.
- III, lines 23: In the score, this line is set as:
Manon non partirÓ!
- III, lines 87-117: These lines overlap with lines
- IV, line 7: In the score, Des Grieux here repeats
the line Su me ti posa!
- IV, stage instruction before line 15: in the score,
[Des Grieux si mostra profondamente addolorato. Manon si sforza di
- IV, line 28: in the score, Ah! Manon! Manon,
rispondi a me!..
- IV, line 33: In the score, Des Grieux here repeats
Rispondimi amor mio!..
Tace! [con sconforto] Manon!
[piangendo] non mi rispondi?..
- IV, lines 56-97: this whole section was the
subject of extensive and repeated revisions in the numerous editions of
the score that appeared during the composer's lifetime. Indeed, the
entire passage of lines 56-75 was omitted from some. The lines
Io sono affranta, abbandonata [perduta]
were evidently added in the earliest revision; the lines
In landa desolata!.. Orror!..
Intorno a me s'oscura il ciel...
AhimŔ, son sola!
were added (by Giuseppe Adami) for the last. Lines 66-67 do not appear
in any editions after the first.
- IV, After line 86: these two lines, though not in
the libretto, appear in all editions of the vocal score.
Richard S. Bogart 2005
4 Dec 2005