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The Sound of Opera

Follie!... Sempre libera (Aria Violetta - Cabaletta, without fermata on final E♭)

Follie!... Sempre libera (Aria Violetta - Cabaletta, with fermata on final E♭)

Violetta finally decides that these thoughts are foolishness and that she should not succumb to these feelings. To her, love is an illusion and she should remain free, living for pleasure only. But in her head she can still hear Alfredo's words of love.

There is a strong tradition for sopranos to sing a high E flat at the end of the aria, but it's not written in the score. There is nowadays a tendency to stay more true to the score, but the traditional deviations remain popular. I have therefore prepared a version with fermata to allow for this high note to be sung and a version without fermata. In general, the version without fermata stays closer to the score. Other differences are:

  • The version with fermata is executed at an overall faster pace.
  • The version with fermata puts "Povera" earlier in the bar.
  • The version with fermata compresses "ritrovi" into one note followed by "ah!".
  • The version with fermata lets Violetta come back slightly later with "Follie!" at the end of Alfredo's first strophe so as to avoid a dissonance.
  • Both versions have ritardandos on "Sempre" and equivalent passages, but they are slightly more pronounced in the version with fermata.

  • Violetta
  • Alfredo