Felicie Hüni-Mihacsek, dramatic-lyric soprano

Felicie Hüni-Mihacsek was a Hungarian soprano. She was born in Pecs, the fifth largest city in Hungary, in 1891, and she died in Munich in 1976. She studied in Vienna with Rosa Papier-Parmenter, a respected former contralto of the Vienna Court Opera. She made her operatic debut as the first lady in Die Zauberflöte with the Vienna State Opera in 1919, remaining there until 1926. She was then a member of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, and she retired from the stage in 1953.

I have done it again. I didn’t like the sound that I was getting in Marten Aller Arten, so I remastered it. It sounds much better now, to my ears.

Pace

This text is sung in German. I am not up to searching through German websites to give the German version. From what I can tell, it is close to the Italian, so I am giving the Italian and the English.

SCENA VI

Presso la grotta di Leonora. Valle tra rupi inaccessibili, attraversata da un ruscello. Nel fondo a sinistra dello spettatore è una grotta con porta praticabile, e sopra una campana che si potrà suonare dall’interno. La scena si oscura lentamente; la luna apparisce splendidissima. Donna Leonora, pallida, sfigurata, esce dalla grotta, agitatissima.

LEONORA
Pace, pace, mio Dio!
Cruda sventura
M’astringe, ahimé, a languir;
Come il dì primo
Da tant’anni dura
Profondo il mio soffrir.
L’amai, gli è ver!
Ma di beltà e valore
Cotanto Iddio l’ornò.
Che l’amo ancor.
Né togliermi dal core
L’immagin sua saprò.
Fatalità! Fatalità! Fatalità!
Un delitto disgiunti n’ha quaggiù!
Alvaro, io t’amo.
E su nel cielo è scritto:
Non ti vedrò mai più!
Oh Dio, Dio, fa ch’io muoia;
Che la calma può darmi morte sol.
Invan la pace qui sperò quest’alma
In preda a tanto duol.
Va ad un sasso ove sono alcune provvigioni deposte dal Padre Guardiano
Misero pane, a prolungarmi vieni
La sconsolata vita … Ma chi giunge?
Chi profanare ardisce il sacro loco?
Maledizione! Maledizione! Maledizione!

SCENE TWO

A valley amid precipitous rocks, traversed by a stream. In the background, to the spectator’s left, is a cave with a practicable door, above which is a bell that can be rung from within. The sun is going down. The scene darkens slowly; the moon appears, extremely bright.
Donna Leonora, pale and worn, emerges from the cave in a state of great agitation.

LEONORA
Peace, peace, O God!
She comes down.
Cruel misfortune
compels me, alas, to languish;
my suffering has lasted for so many years,
as profound as on the first day.
Peace, peace, O God!
I loved him, it is true! But God had blessed him
with such beauty and courage
that I love him still, and cannot efface his image
from my heart.
Fatal destiny! A crime
has divided us down here!
Alvaro, I love you and in heaven above it is written
that I shall never see you again!
O God, God, let me die, for only death
can bring me peace.
In vain this soul of mine here sought peace,
a prey to so much woe.
She goes to a rock on which the Father Superior has left food for her.
Wretched bread, you come to prolong
my inconsolable life. – But who comes here,
daring to profane this sacred retreat?
A curse! A curse!

This is a duet from Aida, called “pur ti riveggo” in Italian. It is, of course, sung in German. However, the Radamès is Helge Rosvaenge, a renowed Danish, Helden tenor for many decades. I will once again give the Italian and the English.

Radamès — Aida.

RAD. Pur ti riveggo, mia dolce Aida…

AIDA Ti arresta, vanne… che speri ancor?

RAD. A te dappresso l’amor mi guida.

AIDA Te i riti attendono d’un altro amor.
D’Amneris sposo…

RAD. Che parli mai?…
Te sola, Aida, te deggio amar.
Gli Dei m’ascoltano… tu mia sarai…

AIDA D’uno spergiuro non ti macchiar!
Prode t’amai, non t’amerei spergiuro.

RAD. Dell’amor mio dubiti, Aida?

AIDA E come
Speri sottrarti d’Amneris ai vezzi,
Del Re al voler, del tuo popolo ai voti,
Dei sacerdoti all’ira?

RAD. Odimi, Aida.
Nel fiero anelito di nuova guerra
Il suolo Etiope si ridestò…
I tuoi già invadono la nostra terra,
Io degli Egizii duce sarò.
Fra il suon, fra i plausi della vittoria,
Al Re mi prostro, gli svelo il cor…
Sarai tu il serto della mia gloria,
Vivrem beati d’eterno amor.

AIDA Nè d’Amneris paventi
Il vindice furor? la sua vendetta,
Come folgor tremenda,
Cadrà su me, sul padre mio, su tutti.

RAD. Io vi difendo.

AIDA Invan! tu nol potresti…
Pur… se tu m’ami… ancor s’apre una via
Di scampo a noi…

RAD. Quale?

AIDA Fuggir…

RAD. Fuggire!

AIDA [colla più viva espansione]
Fuggiam gli ardori inospiti
Di queste lande ignude;
Una novella patria
Al nostro amor si schiude…
Là… tra foreste vergini,
Di fiori profumate,
In estasi ignorate
La terra scorderem.

RAD. Sovra una terra estrania
Teco fuggir dovrei!
Abbandonar la patria,
L’are de’ nostri Dei!
Il suol dov’io raccolsi
Di gloria i primi allori,
Il ciel dei nostri amori
Come scordar potrem?

AIDA Sotto il mio ciel, più libero
L’amor ne fia concesso;
Ivi nel tempio istesso
Gli stessi Numi avrem.

Radames — Aida.

RAD. I see thee again, my sweet Aida!

AIDA Advance not! Hence! What hopes are thine?

RAD. Love led me hither in hope to meet thee.

AIDA Thou to another thy hand must resign.
The Princess weds thee!

RAD. What say’st thou?
Thee only, Aida, e’er can I love.
Be witness, Heaven, thou art not forsaken!

AIDA Invoke not falsely the Gods above;
Brave thou wert loved, let not untruth degrade thee.

RAD. Can I not of my love then persuade thee?

AIDA And how then
Hop’st thou to baffle the love of thy Princess?
The King’s high demand, the desire of thy people,
The certain wrath of the priesthood?

RAD. Hear me, sweet Aida.
Once more of deadly strife with hope unfading
The Ethiopians have lighted the brand;
Already they our borders have invaded.
While Egypt’s armies I shall command,
When shouts of triumph greet me victorious,
To our kind monarch my love disclosing,
Thee will I claim, thee my guerdon glorious.
With thee live ever in peace reposing.

AIDA Nay, but dost thou not fear then
Of Amneris the rage? Her dreadful vengeance
Like the lightning of heaven on me will fall —
Fall on my father, my nation.

RAD. I will defend thee.

AIDA In vain wouldst thou attempt it.
Yet, if thou lovest me, then still offers
A means for our safety.

RAD. Name it!

AIDA To fly!

RAD. Together!

AIDA [with the liveliest effusion]
Ah, fly from where these burning skies,
Are all beneath them blighting;
Towards regions new we’ll turn our eyes,
Our faithful love inviting.
There where the virgin forests rise,
‘Mid fragrance softly stealing,
Our loving bliss concealing,
The world we’ll quite forget, ‘mid loving bliss.

RAD. To distant countries ranging
With thee thou bidst me fly,
For other lands exchanging
All ‘neath my native sky.
The land these arms have guarded,
That first fame’s crown awarded,
When I first thee regarded
How can I e’er forget?

AIDA Beneath our skies more freely
To our hearts will love be yielded,
The gods thy youth that shielded
Will not our love forget.

Marten aller Arten from Mozart’s The Abduction from the Seraglio.

I just couldn’t help myself.  The sound reduction on this youtube post had  been so overdone that you could no longer her the voice and the overtones.  So, I remastered it.  It is now closer to what the singer originally sounded like.

Compare with Dianne Damrau. The singing starts at about 1:50.  Some hints: the coloratura isn’t accurate, there are many parts of the aria where she screams instead of sings, and there is such a tremendous amount of pressure on the voice that there is already a wobble.

KONSTANZE
Martern aller Arten
Mögen meiner warten,
Ich verlache Qual und Pein.
Nichts soll mich erschüttern,
Nur dann würd’ ich zittern,
Wenn ich untreu könnte sein.
Lass dich bewegen,
Verschone mich!
Des Himmels Segen
Belohne dich!
Doch du bist entschlossen.
Willig, unverdrossen
Wähl’ ich jede Pein und Noth.
Ordne nur, gebiethe,
Lärme, tobe, wüthe,
Zuletzt befreit mich doch der Tod.

geht ab

CONSTANZA
Tortures of every kind
May await me,
I scorn agony and pain.
Nothing will shake me,
Only one thing might make me tremble:
If I were to be unfaithful.
I implore you,
Spare me!
The blessings of heaven
Shall be your reward.
But you are determined.
Willingly, unflinchingly
I choose every pain and grief.
Well then, command, coerce me,
Roar, fulminate, rage,
Death will liberate me in the end.

exit

And now for someone who could sing the aria. I knew Rita briefly before she died. She was a lovely person. She taught at Eastmann.

Felicie Hüni-Mihacsek

Hüni-Mihacsek was a Hungarian soprano, largely based in Germany, and she was one of the greatest Mozart singers of the inter-war period. She began her career at the Hamburg State Opera in 1916. She made her debut at the Vienna State Opera in 1919, where she took part in the creation of Richard Strauss’s Die Frau ohne Schatten. She remained in Vienna until 1925, and the joined the Munich State Opera in 1926, where she remained until 1945. She also appeared at the Salzburg Festival in Mozart roles. She made guest appearances in Frankfurt, Dresden, Zurich, London, Prague, and Budapest, and she created Pfizner’s Das Herz in Munich in 1931. Other notable operatic roles included Eva and the Marshallin.

After 1945, she appeared mostly in concert and began teaching. Her farewell performance was in Munich as the Marschallin in 1953. Throughout her career, she was much admired for her vocal beauty and elegance, and her impeccable technique.