Adieu, mon doux rivage!

From: L'Africaine, 1865
By: Giacomo Meyerbeer (1791-1864)


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Arrangement: soprano solo with piano accompaniment

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I sometimes wonder why this aria isn't in any of the soprano anthologies; to me it seems like such a good choice for many singers. To the best of my knowledge, however, it isn't published in any collection nor even separately as a solo piece. The piece received a small boost of recognition after Ruth Ann Swenson included it on her CD Positively Golden. I know a couple of singers here in the Bay Area who use it as an audition and recital piece.

The aria, the first number in the opera, introduces the protagonist Vasco da Gama in the style of a traditional introductory cavatina -- traditional except that in this case Vasco is away at sea, so his introduction is sung instead by his lover, Inès. The aria is preceded by a brief scene (about two minutes) in which Inès and her maid discuss Vasco (thus providing the audience with background information for the plot).

In this edition, I've included the final section of the scene as an introduction to the aria. The singers I know who perform this piece, following Swensen's example, start at what is bar 15 in this edition. I recommend the introduction, however, unless one is pressed to cut the aria due to time constraints. It sets up the aria better musically, and I believe it's important to establish that it is Vasco who is saying "adieu" and not Inès.

Released: Dec. 11, 1998
Latest update: June 22, 2009
Update history:
06/22/09: New address; no other changes.
10/20/06: New address; no other changes.
03/05/06: New address; no other changes.
10/16/05: New address; no other changes.
06/10/05: New address; no other changes.
10/05/03: New address; no other changes.
06/17/00: New address; added missing accidental in bar 19.

Editorial notes: Moderate typographical editing; some modulations implemented as key signature changes; minor reductions in piano part, last two bars altered to resolve; some markings translated, some markings added (in brackets); in bar 27, "jour" moved to D, following standard performance practice. (See also general editorial notes.)

Source material: Vocal score, G. Brandus & S. Dufour (186-). Oakland Public Library, main branch, 782 M575a v. Translation by Patricia Kealy and Mark D. Lew.

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June 22, 2009