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Prima Donna


ジョルジュ・バルビエ 「雅(みやび)なる宴」
George Barbier, Petes galantes, 1928.


ANDRE
Your public needs you!

FIRMIN
We need you, too!

CARLOTTA
Would you not rather have your precious little
ingenue?

ANDRE/FIRMIN
Signora, no!
the world wants you!

Prima donna, first lady of the stage!
Your devotees are on their knees to implore you!

ANDRE
Can you bow out when they're shouting your name?

FIRMIN
Think of how they all adore you!

BOTH
Prima donna, enchant us ince again!

ANDRE
Think of your muse

FIRMIN
And of the queues round the theatre!

BOTH
Can you deny us the triumph in store?
Sing, prima donna, once more!

RAOUL
Christine spoke of an angel

CARLOTTA
Prima donna, your song shall live again!

ANDRE/FIRMIN
Think of your public!

CARLOTTA
You took a snub, but there's a public who needs you!

GIRY
She has heard the voice of the angel of music

ANDRE/FIRMIN
Those who hear your voice liken you to an angel!

CARLOTTA
Think of their cry of undying support!

RAOUL
Is this her angel of music?

ANDRE
We get our opera

FIRMIN
She gets her limelight!

CARLOTTA
Follow where the limelight leads you!

MEG
Is this ghost an angel or a madman?

RAOUL
Angel or madman?

ANDRE/FIRMIN
Leading ladies are a trial!

CARLOTTA
Prima donna, your song shall never die!

MEG
Voice of hell, or of heaven ...?

GIRY
Heaven help you, those who doubt ...

CARLOTTA
You'll sing again, and to unending ovation!

RAOUL
Orders! Warnings!
Lunatic demands!

GIRY
This miscasting will invite damnation ...

ANDRE/FIRMIN
Tears ... oaths ...
lunatic demands are regular occurrences!

MEG
Bliss or damnation?
Which has claimed her?

CARLOTTA
Think how you'll shine in that final encore!
Sing, prima donna, once more!

GIRY
Oh fools, to have flouted his warnings!

RAOUL
Surely, for her sake ...

MEG
Surely he'll strike back ...

ANDRE/FIRMIN
Surely there'll be further scenes -
worse than this!

GIRY
Think, before these demands are rejected!

RAOUL
I must see these demands are rejected!

MEG
if his threats and demands are rejected!

ANDRE/FIRMIN
Who'd believe a diva happy to relieve a
chorus girl, who's gone and slept with the patron?
Raoul and the soubrette, entwined in love's duet!
Although he may demur, he must have been with her!

MEG/RAOUL
Christine must be protected!

CARLOTTA
O, foutunata!
Non ancor abbandonata!

ANDRE/FIRMIN
You'd never get away with all this in a play,
but if it's loudly sung and in a foreign tongue,
it's just the sort of story audiences adore, in
fact a perfect opera!

RAOUL
His game is over!

GIRY
This is a game you cannot hope to win!

RAOUL
And in Box Five a new game will begin ...

GIRY
For, if his curse is on this opera ...

MEG
But if his curse is on this opera ...

ANDRE/FIRMIN
Prima donna, the world is at your feet!
A nation waits, and how it hates
to be cheated!

CARLOTTA
The stress that falls upon a famous prima donna!
Terrible diseases,
coughs and colds and sneezes!

Still, the dryest throat will reach the highest note,
in search of perfect opera!

MEG/GIRY
Then I fear the outcome

RAOUL
Christine plays the Pageboy,
Carlotta plays the Countess ...

GIRY
Should you dare to ...

MEG
When you once again ...

ALL
Light up the stage with that age-old rapport!
Sing, prima donna, once more!

PHANTOM
So, it is to be war between us! If these demands are not met,
a disaster beyond your imagination will occur!

ALL
Once more!

background : Giuseppe Arcimboldo, Spring, 1563.