‘O mio babbino caro’ (‘Oh My Beloved Father’) is a soprano aria from Giacomo Puccini’s 1918 opera Gianni Schicchi. It is sung by the opera’s heroine Lauretta at a moment when escalating tensions between her father and the family of her beloved Rinuccio threaten to separate the two young lovers.
The opera was first performed on 14 December 1918 at New York’s Metropolitan Opera, with the English soprano Florence Easton as Lauretta. For many, though, the definitive performance of 'O mio babbino caro' belongs to the American-Greek soprano Maria Callas.
In the picture, Susanna (standing) and the Countess (seated) are disguising the Count's page, Cherubino, as a woman to trick the Count into a compromising position.
Listen on Spotify to a duet between Susanna and Countess Rosina.
Born in 1828 into wealthy Russian nobility, Tolstoy’s experience in the army caused him to reject his life of privilege and become a devoted Christian anarchist later in life. He married Sophia Andreevna Bers in 1862 and the couple had 13 children together, five of whom died during childhood.
Considered one of the world’s greatest novelists, Tolstoy died of pneumonia in 1910, aged 82.