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50th Anniversary Concert Program
Recorded in November 2020

Part I

1) O sole mio - di Capua - Paolo Buffagni
What a wonderful thing is a sunny day, the serene air after a thunderstorm! In the fresh air, it feels like a celebration. But another sun, lovelier still – my own sun shines from your face! When night comes and the sun has set, I feel almost melancholy; I’d stay beneath your window.

2) Core ’ngrato - Cardillo - Paolo Buffagni
A young man sings of the suffering inflicted by the ungrateful heart of his onetime love, Catarì.

3) Dew Fairy’s aria - Hansel and Gretel - Humperdinck - Taerra Pence Chiba
In the forest at dawn, the Dew Fairy sprinkles dew on Hansel and Gretel to gently wake them.

4) Deh vieni, non tardar - The Marriage of Figaro - Mozart - Taerra Pence Chiba
Susanna knows that her jealous husband, Figaro, is hiding in the garden, hoping to catch her with another man. To get back at him, she sings of the joy of her love – which is really for Figaro – knowing he will misinterpret it.

5) Voi lo sapete, o mamma - Cavalleria Rusticana - Mascagni - Lara Michole Tillotson
Santuzza reminds Mamma Lucia of how Lucia’s son Turiddu had been in love with Lola, but took up with Santuzza on the rebound after Lola married someone else. Lola then became jealous and seduced Turiddu away from her, leaving Santuzza without love or honor. She begs Mamma Lucia to pray for her as she tries to get Turiddu back.

6) Condotta ell’era in ceppi - Il Trovatore - Verdi - Lara Michole Tillotson
The gypsy Azucena tells her son Manrico the gruesome story of how her mother was burned alive at the hands of the previous Count di Luna. To avenge her, Azucena kidnapped the previous Count’s infant son and meant to throw him into the flames, but by mistake she threw her own baby into the flames.

7) Tacea la notte placida - Il Trovatore - Verdi - Dilara Unsal
Leonora reveals to her servant Ines that she was serenaded by a mysterious knight in black armor whom she had once crowned as the champion of a tournament. She quickly fell in love with him.

8) D’amor sull’ali rosee - Il Trovatore - Verdi - Dilara Unsal
Leonora voices her undying love for the imprisoned Manrico and prays for his release.

9) Senza mamma - Suor Angelica - Puccini - Kimberly Lloyd
Sister Angelica, who was forced into a convent after she had an illegitimate child, has learned that her son died several years ago. She grieves that he never knew his mother’s love.

10) La donna è mobile - Rigoletto - Verdi - Paolo Buffagni
The womanizing Duke of Mantua sings a ditty about how women are fickle and not to be trusted.

Part II

1) Sola, perduta, abbandonata - Manon Lescaut - Puccini - Kimberly Lloyd
Exiled to America with her lover Des Grieux, Manon Lescaut finds herself alone on a desolate plain, regretting the past and terrified of dying.

2) Vesti la giubba - I Pagliacci - Leoncavallo - Paolo Buffagni
Canio the clown, who has just discovered his wife’s infidelity, prepares for a performance, bitterly reflecting on how the audience will laugh at his character’s pain, and exhorting himself to laugh at his own heartbreak.

3) Ch’ella mi creda - La Fanciulla del West - Puccini - Paolo Buffagni
The bandit Dick Johnson, facing a lynch mob, begs that his beloved Minnie, the flower of his life, not be told about his execution. He wants her to believe instead that he has gone far away on a new path of redemption and will never return.

4) Sempre libera - La Traviata - Verdi - Taerra Pence Chiba
The courtesan Violetta, though intrigued by the prospect of Alfredo’s ardent love, pledges herself to the pursuit of freedom and pleasure instead.

5) Mon cœur s’ouvre à ta voix - Samson et Dalila - Saint-Saëns - Lara Michole Tillotson
Dalila, having seduced Samson into admitting that he loves her, completes her conquest by telling him that her heart is opening to his voice like a flower. She urges him to respond to her caresses and fill her with ecstasy.

6) Veil Song - Don Carlos - Verdi - Lara Michole Tillotson
Princess Eboli entertains the ladies of Queen Elisabetta’s court with a song about a lascivious king and his quick-witted wife, who plots to catch him by disguising herself as a mysterious lady.

7) Vissi d’arte - Tosca - Puccini - Kimberly Lloyd
Scarpia, the Chief of Police, has arrested Tosca’s lover and will kill him unless she yields to Scarpia’s advances. As he awaits her answer, she asks God why this is how she is being repaid for her life of art and love and sincere faith.

8) Ritorna vincitor - Aida - Verdi - Dilara Unsal
Aida, an Ethiopian princess who has been enslaved by the Egyptians, reflects on the dreadful irony of wanting Radames, an Egyptian warrior and her secret lover, to return victorious from battle when he would be fighting against her own father, the Ethiopian king, who is leading this attack to rescue Aida. She prays to the gods to release her.

9) O patria mia - Aida - Verdi - Dilara Unsal
Aida, in despair, awaits Radames, who is about to be married to Amneris, and plans to drown herself if he leaves her. She mourns her lost homeland and the beauties of its mountains and valleys.

10) Torna a Surriento - De Curtis - Paolo Buffagni
A heartbroken lover, invoking the beautiful sea and gardens, begs his beloved to come back to Sorrento so that he might live.

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