Di quella pira

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Carlo Baucarde, the first Manrico Carlo Baucarde.jpg
Carlo Baucardé, the first Manrico

"Di quella pira" is a short tenor aria (or more specifically, a cabaletta) sung by Manrico in act 3, scene 2, of Giuseppe Verdi's opera Il trovatore . It is the last number of the act.

Tenor is a male voice type in classical music whose vocal range lies between the countertenor and baritone. The tenor's vocal range extends up to C5. The low extreme for tenors is roughly A2 (two As below middle C). At the highest extreme, some tenors can sing up to the second F above middle C (F5). The tenor voice type is generally divided into the leggero tenor, lyric tenor, spinto tenor, dramatic tenor, heldentenor, and tenor buffo or spieltenor.

Aria musical piece for a single voice as part of a larger work

In music, an aria is a self-contained piece for one voice, with or without instrumental or orchestral accompaniment, normally part of a larger work.

Cabaletta is a two-part musical form particularly favored for arias in 19th century Italian opera in the belcanto era until about the 1850s during which it was one of the era's most important elements. More properly, a cabaletta is a more animated section following the songlike cantabile. It often introduces a complication or intensification of emotion in the plot.



In a chamber adjoining the chapel at Castellor, Leonora and Manrico vow their love for each other. After Manrico's aria "Ah sì, ben mio coll'essere" ("Ah, yes, my love, in being yours"), they are about to take their marriage vows. However, Ruiz, Manrico's comrade, suddenly returns to report that Manrico's mother Azucena is to be burned at the stake. Manrico calls together his soldiers and sings of how they will save Azucena from death: "Di quella pira l'orrendo foco tutte le fibre m'arse, avvampò!..." ("The horrible blaze of that pyre burned, enflamed all of my being!...")


The vocal range is from E3 to G4 with a tessitura from G3 to G4. [1] The key signature is C major and the time signature is a triple metre; it is 39 bars long.

Vocal range is the measure of the breadth of pitches that a human voice can phonate. Its most common application is within the context of singing, where it is used as a defining characteristic for classifying singing voices into groups known as voice types. It is also a topic of study within linguistics, phonetics, and speech and language pathology, particularly in relation to the study of tonal languages and certain types of vocal disorders, although it has little practical application in terms of speech.

Scientific pitch notation

Scientific pitch notation is a method of specifying musical pitch by combining a musical note name and a number identifying the pitch's octave.

In music, tessitura is the most aesthetically acceptable and comfortable vocal range for a given singer or, less frequently, musical instrument; the range in which a given type of voice presents its best-sounding timbre. This broad definition is often interpreted to refer specifically to the pitch range that most frequently occurs within a given part of a musical piece. Hence, in musical notation, tessitura is the ambitus in which that particular vocal part lies—whether high or low, etc.


Di quella pira l'orrendo foco
Tutte le fibre m'arse avvampò!...
Empi spegnetela, o ch'io tra poco
Col sangue vostro la spegnerò...
Era già figlio prima d'amarti
Non può frenarmi il tuo martir.
Madre infelice, corro a salvarti,
O teco almeno corro a morir!

Non reggo a colpi tanto funesti...
Oh quanto meglio sarìa morir!

Ruiz, Chorus of soldiers
All'armi, all'armi! eccone presti
A pugnar teco, teco a morir.

Of that dark scaffold, those flames ascending,
Thrill thro' each fibre with madd'ning glow!
Quench them, ye monsters vile or, still offending,
To stay their fury, your blood shall flow!
I was her offspring, ere love I gave thee,
I vain, to hold me, thy griefs would try.
Mother unhappy! I fly to save thee,
Or, all else failing, with thee to die!

Such heavy sorrows my heart o'erpow'ring.
Oh! better far would it be to die!

Arouse ye to arms now!
The foe we will defy! [2]

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  1. "Di quella pira", The Aria Database
  2. Trovatore. New York: Charles F. Tretbar. pp. 26–29., English words by Theodore T. Barker
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