Picnic Table

La Sonnambula Super Titles

Translation by Leo Balkovetz.

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Act I Scene I (Picnic Table)

La la la la!


Long live Amina!

And again, long may she live!


All around me is joy, all around me is celebration…

Only for me is there no happiness

And worst of all, I’m being forced to pretend

Oh, this beautiful girl is the death of me.

 She’s snatched away my prize 

While I suffer, while I die.

While I have to play nice!


Lisa! Lisa! (Long live Amina!)


Ugh, so annoying!


Why are you leaving me?


I’m leaving all of this.


It won’t always be like that, you rascal

you won’t always run away like this

Maybe one day, my lovely Lisa

we’ll have our own wedding day.


Yes, long live Amina! (And I have to deal with him too! Oh, he’s so annoying!)


Now that we’re all here and lined up…


(My rage is eating me alive!)


We’ve been practicing this song and now it’s time to sing it for real.


(I’ve been cut off from all hope. My rival has won.)



In all the land there is no rose as fresh and lovely as Amina.

She’s like a little star in the morning sky, full of light, full of love.

But so modest and so shy.

How radiant, how lovely;

She’s an innocent turtledove, the very symbol of purity.

Long may she live!


(Ugh, how I used to wish I’d get a happy song like this someday)

My Lisa, they could be singing about us


(Cruel love, I can hardly bear hearing them sung for her instead.)

if you’d take pity on me and all my pleading.

She’s an innocent turtledove, the very symbol of purity.

Rejoice, you lucky man,

Luckier than any prince or king,

you handsome lad who is worthy of her hand!

Love has granted you a treasure of beauty and virtue

so priceless that not even a king with all the money in the world could buy it.

She is an innocent turtledove, the very symbol of purity.

Long may she live!


Dearest companions, and you, my gentle friends,

Who take part in my joy,

Your sweetness has touched my heart

with these songs inspired by your love!


 May you live a happy life!

That’s our wish for you, Amina!


And for you, my loving, gentle mother.

Who are here for this happy day after saving me as an orphan so long ago.

I can only speak my gratitude with this: 

from my heart, more than even my eyes can express

from these sweet tears of joy and this embrace.


Companions… Dear friends…

Oh mother! Oh, such joy!

How serenely the day has risen for me!

How the earth has blossomed fairer and more beautiful!

Nature has never shone so brightly.

Love has painted it- my love for my darling!

Put your hand on my heart

you can feel it beating, pounding 

it’s my heart overflowing with happiness.


The greatest celebration of your fortune

is in your mother’s heart.

No one has ever known such happiness!


I, more than anyone else, Amina, am so happy for you.

I prepared this whole celebration, composed this song,

And assembled musicians from the nearby towns.


And I’m so grateful to you, my dear Alessio for all you’ve done.

Very soon, I hope to return the favor

When you become Lisa’s husband

if, as I’ve heard, she has her heart set on making you a happy man.


You hear that, Lisa?


Don’t count on it!


You’re too cruel!


Why ever not?


Don’t you know? I’m wary of love. I value my freedom.


Oh, you don’t know how much happiness abides in the tenderness of love!


Often times love starts off sweet and has a bitter end.


(I spy a hypocrite!)


The Notary is coming.


The Notary? And Elvino still isn’t here yet?


I came a little ahead of him.


Last time I saw him he was out in the woods.


Here he is.


Darling Elvino, at last you’re here!


Forgive me, my beloved, a brief indulgence.

On this solemn day I went to seek a blessing over our union from an angel.

Kneeling at a grave- the grave of my mother.

“Oh, bless my wife” I said.

“She is possessing of every virtue;”

“She will make your son as happy as you made father.”

Oh I hope my mother heard me, my dearest!


What an omen!


And it shall not be in vain.


You are all present for the signing of the contract.


Elvino, what gifts have you brought for your wife?


My lands, my house, my name, all the goods which I possess.


And Amina?


Only my heart.


Oh! The heart is everything!


Take this ring I give to you.

Which was worn long ago to the altar once before

by a kind and gentle soul which now smiles down on our love

May this gift be as sacred to you as it was to her.

May it forever be a faithful guardian of our vows.


Now we are married.   - It is written in the heavens…


Married! Oh what a tender word!


Darling, on your bosom place this lovely flower.


Pure innocent flower!    -as it is written on your hearts.


May it remind you of me.   -My heart doesn’t need a reminder!


Dearest, from the day God united our hearts

mine has remained with yours, and yours has stayed with mine.


It is already written in the heavens as it is written on your hearts.


Oh! I wish I could find the words to say how much I adore you!

But my voice, oh my treasure, won’t respond to my thoughts.


Everything in this moment speaks to me of the passing burning within you

I can read it in your glances- in your charming manner!

My soul sees itself in the image of your countenance.

It flies to you, enraptured by the pleasures of your sweetness!


Ah thus in each other’s eyes may your hearts always reveal themselves,

May you read as you read now this same thought in each other’s minds


-You adore me?   -More than I can say!


(I can no longer repress this spite inside me.)


Tomorrow at dawn, we will go to the temple and our marriage will be completed.

By a more sacred rite.


What a noise!


Like horses!


An outsider!


What a long and tedious trip that was!

How far to the castle from here?


3 miles, and you won’t be there until nightfall

So hilly is the path.


I suggest you stay here until tomorrow.


I’d like to. Do you have an inn in the village?


Here’s mine.


That one?


That one.


Oh! I recognize it!


You, sir?


(Who could he be?)


The mill… The fountain… The forest… And the farm over there!


I see you again, friendly lands,

where happily, where serenely, so peacefully I spent my childhood!

Dear places, I’ve found you, but I cannot find the old days again.


(He knows the village rather well: Who could he be?)


I see you again, friendly lands,

where happily, where serenely, so peacefully I spent my childhood!

Dear places, I’ve found you, but I cannot find the old days again.


But if I’m not mistaken, you’re all having some sort of party.


A joyous marriage is happening.


And the bride? Is it her?


It’s her. 


She is beautiful, graceful.

You don’t know how sweetly those beautiful eyes have touched my heart.

how my thoughts recall another adorable beauty.

She was as you are, in the springtime of her youth.


(She alone is being flattered!)


(By those words she is being flattered!)


They are courteous, they are gallant

the city dwellers, they are.


You know this place, sir?


I was here as a young boy with the lord of the castle.


Oh, our dear leader! He died four years ago now!


And it fills me with grief! He loved me like a son…


And a son he did have;

But one day he disappeared from the castle

And his ailing father heard no more of him.

To his kin I bring certain news of him.

He is alive. 


And when shall he return to his homeland?


All of us long for this.


You'll see one day. 


But the sun is setting. We must prepare to leave.


To leave!


You know the hour approaches when the terrible phantasm appears.


It’s true!


What phantasm?


It’s a mystery… A thing of horror!


Nonsense!


What are you saying? If you knew, Sir.


Tell me. 


Listen. 


When the heavens turn to dusk. In the dark of night. 

In the dim light of the crescent moon. 

when thunder sounds grimly in the distance from the hills to the plain.

A shadow appears.

Wrapped in a white sheet trailing behind her.

With disheveled hair and glowing eyes

like a dense fog blow by the wind

It advances growing ever bigger.

This is a figment of your imagination,  of your blind superstition.


Ah, it isn’t a tale it isn’t just fear.

Everyone’s seen her. It’s the truth. 


Wherever she comes, passing slowly.

Silence reigns, paralyzing with fear.

not one breeze blows. The grass will not move.

The river becomes like ice. 

Even the dogs cower with fear in their eyes and cannot bark.

Only now and then from the depths of the valle

the unsightly owl screeches.


Sooner or later

I’d like to see her for myself

Heaven help you should you seek her out.

It would be grave foolishness.

Heaven help you!


That’s enough. Everyone should mind their own business. 

There will come a time when such phantoms will be purged from the village.


May Heaven make it so!

This, oh Sir, is everyone’s wish.


But I’d like to rest from my journey,

If I may, my lovely hostess?


Rest well, sir. Goodnight.


Goodbye, lovely maiden, until tomorrow.

May your husband love you as well as I could.


No one can match the love I’ve professed to her.

 

You’re lucky to possess her heart!


Elvino!  Are you leaving without a tender farewell?


You’ve already got enough tenderness from the outsider. 

It’s true: He seemed quite moved as he left. 

He seems to have an excellent heart.


The heart of a lover.


Are you serious or joking? What is this doubt surfacing?


Stop pretending. He grabbed your hand,

Caressed your face…

So?


You didn’t dislike them…

And at his every word your eyes met his.


Ungrateful man! How can you say such things to me?


My heart and my eyes are for you alone. 

I’ve pledged myself to you. Don’t I have your ring?


Yes. 


Don’t I adore you? Aren’t you my beloved?


Yes… But…


Go on. Could you be jealous?


Ah, yes. I am.


Of whom?


Everyone.


That’s unfair!


I’m sorry. I’m jealous of the wandering breeze 

that plays with your hair and your veil.

Even the sun that gazes at you from the sky.

Even the river that reflects your face.

I love the breeze, my darling, because I whisper your name to it. 

I love the sun because I share it with you.

I love the river because it flows for you.


Oh! My love, for give my suspicion!


Oh! You must rid yourself of it forever!


Yes, forever!


You promise?


I promise. 



And like a calm morning.

For us life shall ever be. Farewell, my dear!


-Think of me.      -And you as well!

I’ll see you in my dreams… Farewell! Farewell!


Act I Scene II (Bedroom)

It’s true, I don’t regret stopping here:

The scenery is nice. The air is excellent. 

The men are friendly. The women are lovely in every way.

That young bride is especially charming…


And the innkeeper? 

A bit forward, but I like her as well.

Here she is: Come in, come in, my lovely hostess.


I’ve come to find out if these quarters are to the liking 

of our High Leader.


Of the High Leader!


(Dammit! I’ve been discovered!)


Forgive me, but the Notary has verified it,

and all the village is putting on a feast for your arrival. 

I thank my good luck that before anyone else,

you’ve granted the favor of offering my respects.

From beautiful women I like a little more than that.

And you are beautiful, oh Lisa. Truly beautiful.

Oh! Your Lordship is joking. 

No I’m not joking. And those mischievous eyes.

How many hearts have they taken and bewitched?


I’ve not yet taken a lover. 


You’re lying, my little minx, I know of one…


And he is…


If it were me, what would you say, oh darling?


What would I say? Sir, I wouldn’t believe it. 


My beauty isn’t worth all that…


My greatest feature is this: A sincere heart.


And that is everything. 


But what is that noise?


(Curse the intruder!)


Where is it coming from?


I can’t let anyone see me.


What do I see? Could this perhaps be the nocturnal phantom?


Oh! If I’m not mistaken, it’s the peasant girl

who I thought was so beautiful earlier.


Elvino…


She’s sleeping.


Won’t you answer me?


She’s a sleepwalker.


Could it be you’re still jealous of the outsider?


Oh, say something. Are you jealous?


Should I wake her up?


Come here, you jerk. I only love you. You know that. 


I’m going to wake her. 


Here is my hand. Take it and kiss it as a token of peace. 


Oh! I shouldn’t wake her. Nobody’s going to stop me right now.


Amina! That cheater!


Oh Heavens! What am I doing?


Oh! How happy everyone is

following us to the church!


Even in her dreams, she’s absorbed in her own happy world.


The sacred wedding torches are lit.


She thinks she’s at the altar!


Oh mother, help me. I can hardly walk.


No, I will not betray you, gentle soul.


Before heaven, to my husband I swear eternal faith and love!


Pure innocent lily, keep your virtue!


Elvino! At last you are mine!


I must leave.


I’m already yours. Hold me.

Oh indescribable happiness!


Oh, I can’t stay. I feel my virtue failing me.


Elvino, hold me. At last, you’re mine. 


Look, the door is open. 


Without making a sound, let’s go inside. All is quiet. 

Surely he’s asleep. Should we wake him up or not wake him up?

Why not. Let’s be brave.  

We show ourselves or get out of here. 

He won’t be displeased with the homage of the village. 

Let’s go. Look! Look here! 

He’s fallen asleep over here. 

Let’s look closer. Ah! Stop!

It’s not him. The dress, the figure. It’s a woman!

What a strange turn of events. A woman! How did she get in?

What ever is she doing here?


It’s a lie!


Someone’s coming. 


Then take a look and see with your own eyes!


Heavens! Amina!


Amina! Here!


Where am I? Who are all of you? Oh, my darling!


Get out you backstabber! 


Me?


Get away from me!


Oh! I’m so unhappy! What did I do?


How can you even ask?


You know good and well where you are. 


Here! Why? Who brought me here?


Your treacherous heart.


Oh, mother. 


Ah! Are you convinced?


Oh! I’m so unhappy! What did I do?


Oh! My grief!

I’ve not been guilty of a single thought or word.

Ah! If you don’t believe me, then this is how you’d repay all my love. Ah! Believe me!


Heaven help that you ever feel the kind of grief I feel right now. 


Ah! Let these brokenhearted tears who just how much I loved you.


Your blackhearted treachery  has become quite clear to us….


(Hey! Listen! Listen! You’re all taking this too far!)


(Oh! Please believe me!) (Traitor! Your callousness has gone too far this time!)


(I’ve done nothing wrong!) (Get away from me!)


What heart could ever be faithful if even her’s is full of deceit?


The wedding’s cancelled!


The wedding’s cancelled?!


You wretch, I’m leaving you.


Oh! Cruel moment! Please listen to me! I’ve done nothing wrong!


Remove your presence from mine. 


Go away! Your voice brings me only horror!


God, friend of innocence, reveal the truth.


No more marriage: scorn, infamy are her rewards. 


(Even if everyone else turns their back on you)

(Even if no one else will have pity on you)

(You’ll always be in your mother’s heart.)


Don’t let this, ungrateful heart,

 be the reward of so much love that I’d hoped for…

of so much faith that I awaited…

In one moment you’ve taken every hope of happiness from me…

Ah! All that’s left of you are painful memories.


In our eternal hatred and in her shame, this infamy shall live.


Get out, wretch!



Act II Scene I (Bedroom)


“Your Excellency” We’ll say courageously…

“Sir, that poor Amina

was once the pride of our village,

the envy of every neighboring town…

All of a sudden, she is found sleeping

in a room that belonged to you.

Defend her innocence or help her if she has sinned.”

By these words and reasoning

He will be moved and convinced.

We will plead and insist with reverence

He will trust us, he will promise… We will win!

Consoled, to the village we will return.

In two steps, two skips we’ll be there!

To the test, let us go with bravery!

That poor girl shall be defended!


Help me, mother dear!

You remain my only support.


Take heart. The leader will be moved by your tears. Let’s go.


Oh no! I can’t! My heart and my feet desert me!

Do you see? We’re near Elvino’s farm. 

Oh how many times we sat together. 

Under the shade of these beeches, listening as the brook murmured. 

The sighing breeze still echoes with our vows. 

That cruel man has forgotten them! He’s left me!

It can’t be, believe me, that he no longer loves you.

Grief stricken perhaps, like you are. 

Look, here he comes: alone and lost in thought. 

Hide me from him. I don’t dare stay. 

Look mother, he’s so sad and broken. 

Maybe he does still love me…


Everything’s fallen apart. I have no consolation. 

My heart is dead forever to all joy and love. 


Listen to me, Elvino. 


You… How dare you?


Please! Calm down!


Go away you liar!


Believe me.. I’m not to blame.


You’ve taken everything from me. Go away, you wretch!


I’m innocent, I swear to you.

Eat your heart out, revel in my pain. 

I am the saddest of all mortals,

Oh, you cruel thing, and it’s all it’s because of you.


Long live our Leader!


The Leader!


Ah! Stay!


No. I must leave. 


Have pity!


Go! Leave me alone!


Good news! The Leader says she’s telling the truth!


Him! Oh rage!


Ah! Calm your anger…


Well then I must leave. I can’t hold back this anger any longer. 


Ah! My ring! Oh mother!


Look, from such a blow she’s going to die. How cruel!


Ah, why can’t I hate you, unfaithful as you are, as I want to?

Ah! I still can’t chase you out of my heart. 

May another man love you as much as this lost soul does. 

Don’t worry, that’s the only wish I have for you, you traitor. 


Don’t be cruel! He will restore her honor!

Lisa! Lisa! Lisa!

(Sing Along!)

Act II Scene II (Picnic Table)

Leave me alone! 

You should understand by now how obnoxious I find you!


Don’t count on Elvino marrying you.

He’ll be convinced of Amina’s honesty shortly.

And then…


And then I’ll find you even more pathetic than I do now…


Please! Lisa, for pity’s sake… Change your mind,

and don’t treat me so. 

What will you do with a man who only marries you out of spite.

More than I can do with a fool like you. I’ve told you already. 

No. You won’t marry him. I’ll get the village on my side. 

I’ll invoke the Leader’s authority, 

before I take your insults lying down. 


Lisa is the bride!


What?


The new bride is Lisa!


We’ve come to rejoice in your good fortune with you.


In a short time in place of Amina, Elvino will give you his hand in marriage. 


For your good wishes I am grateful. 

With joy I see that I am loved. 

And the memory of your love shall never leave my heart. No.


I am like a man struck by lightning. There are no words. 


How dear to us is this beautiful chosen one. 

Each of us cheers and sings your praise. 

All of us pray for your prosperity, oh yes!


Could it be true, Elvino

That you’ve finally deemed me worthy of your love?


Yes, Lisa. Let’s rekindle our union of old. 

My heart was tricked by false virtue.

Forgive me for ever breaking things off. 


I’ll forgive everything

Now that you’ve come back to me I have no need to remember the past:

All I see is the future that smiles before me.


Come, my darling: You shall be my wife.

They’re already preparing the church for our sacred rites. 

Let’s no longer tarry.


Let’s go.


-Elvino, stop!          -(The Count!)


Right on time. 


Where are you hurrying off to?


The church.


Hear me out first. Amina is still worthy of your love and respect.


I can vouch for her virtue as well as her merits.


You, Sir?


I cannot deny, Sir, what my eyes have seen.


You are deceived, mistaken. I swear on my honor.


Did I not see her asleep in your room?


You did see her. It was Amina. But she was not awake when she came in.


How? In what way?


Everyone listen.


We’ll listen a little bit.


There are certain people who while asleep go around as if they are awake.


Talking, answering when spoken to,


They’re called “Sleepwalkers because they “walk” while they “sleep”.


Could it be true? Could such a thing be possible?


A man like me never lies.


No. It can’t be. This is only a pretense.


I can see right through this excuse.

-Come on, Lisa.       -Let’s go. 


Let’s go.  We won’t fall for such a tale.


One who sleeps and walks!

No it couldn’t be so. 


Quiet, friends. Don’t shout.

Amina, exhausted, has finally fallen asleep. 

And the poor thing needs it after all that weeping.

Ah yes! Let’s be quiet.


Lisa! Elvino… What’s this? Where are you going all dressed up?


To get married.


You?! Good God! The new bride is Lisa?!


It’s Lisa.


Yes, and I deserve it.

I’ve never ever been found behind closed doors in a man’s room. 


Liar! At such an accusation, I can’t hold back any longer!

This handkerchief was found in this man’s room.


Who’s is it? Who lost it?


Her shame will tell you.


Lisa!


Lisa, let the count deny it if he can.


I don’t dare lift my head!


What to think… What to say… I don’t know.


Lisa is also a liar! Guilty of the same sin!

The world is void of love.

There is no more trust or honor. None.


Her guilt is written all over her face.

Let her suffer: She’s unworthy of the pity she once denied.


Heavens! Laid low by such a blow as this.

My voice is gone. I’m shaking.

How much will my rival enjoy seeing this extreme scorn!


Her guilt is written all over her face!


Ah! I don’t know what to think!


Sir, what am I to believe? She also betrayed me!


I’d rather not say what I think of all this.

I only repeat and maintain to you that Amina is innocent.

That this is an offense to her very virtue.


Who could prove this?


Who? Look, there she is. 


Silence! A single step, a single shout could kill her!


Oh my daughter!


Oh Amina!


Come down… Good God… guide her faltering steps.


She trembles… She falters… Alas!

Have courage… She’s safe.


She’s safe!


Oh! If I could see him again just one more time,

before he walks to the altar with another woman!


Hear that?


She’s thinking of you. She’s talking about you.


Vain hope! I hear the church bells ringing!

He’s going to the church… I’ve lost him…

And yet. I’ve done nothing wrong.


Tender heart!


Almighty God, don’t look at my tears. I forgive him.

May he be as happy as I am unhappy.

This is the last prayer of my dying heart…


Oh what words! Oh what love!


My ring… He took it from me…

But he can’t take away my memories of his face from my heart.

Nor you, tender promise of eternal love.

Oh flower, I never lost you.

I kiss you again, but… You’re wilted.

Ah, I never believed you’d wither so quickly, oh flower.

Passed away in a single day like our love. 

I can no longer stand this grief.

Perhaps my tears can revive you.

But my tears cannot revive our lost love. 


No, I can’t stand this.


If only he’d return to me… Oh come back, Elvino!


Do as she asks.


Are you near? Oh joy! Did you bring my ring back?


Give it back to her.


I’m yours again; and you are mine.

Hold me, mother dear… I’m so full of happiness!


Let her wake up in the arms of her loved ones.


Long live Amina! Long may she live!


Oh Heavens! Where am I? What’s this?

Don’t wake me up!


No, don’t sleep. Your husband, your lover is near. 


Oh joy! I’ve found you, Elvino!


Go to the church, innocent and dearest to us.

Made even lovelier by your suffering.

And at the foot of the altar, let your happiness begin.


Oh, human thought cannot conceive of the happiness that fills me.

I hardly believe my senses. 

You believe me, oh my dearest.

Ah! Hold me, and always together,

United in one hope,

We shall make this earth where we live a heaven of our love!



Go to the church, innocent and dearest to us.

Made even lovelier by your suffering.

And at the foot of the altar, let your happiness begin.

End