Se vuol ballare

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Mozart circa 1780, by Johann Nepomuk della Croce
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Signature.svg

The cavatina "Se vuol ballare" is an aria from The Marriage of Figaro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The lyrics are by Lorenzo Da Ponte. It portrays Figaro's intent to foil Count Almaviva's womanizing, but can also be read as a political attack on the power-wielding nobility of the time.

The song is sung in act 1. Figaro discovers Count Almaviva intends to exercise his feudal right to sleep with Figaro's wife Susanna before they consummate their marriage. Figaro sings of how he will unravel the Count's schemes and thwart him.

Lyrics[change | edit source]

Italian
Translation in English

Se vuol ballare, signor contino,
il chitarrino le suonerò, sì,
se vuol venire nella mia scuola,
la capriola le insegnerò, sì.

Saprò, saprò, ma piano,
meglio ogni arcano,
dissimulando scoprir potrò.

L'arte schermendo, l'arte adoprando,
di qua pungendo, di là scherzando,
tutte le macchine rovescerò.

Se vuol ballare, signor contino,
il chitarrino le suonerò.

If you would dance, my pretty Count,
I'll play the little guitar for you, yes.
If you will come to my dancing school
I'll teach you the capriole, yes.

I will, I will learn, slowly;
Sooner every dark secret
by dissembling I shall uncover.

Artfully fencing, artfully working,
stinging here, joking there,
all of your schemes I'll turn inside out.

If you would dance, my pretty Count,
I'll play the little guitar for you.

Variations[change | edit source]

Beethoven wrote a series of 12 variations on the theme of Se vuol ballare. It bears the Number WoO 40 (=Werk ohne Opuszahl, work without opus number)