"E Susanna non vien!...Dove sono i bei momenti" Lyrics and Translation

The Countess's Recitative and Aria in Mozart's Opera, Le Nozze di Figaro

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa performs
Photo by Erich Auerbach/Getty Images

This famous aria is sung near the end of the third act of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's well-known opera, Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro). The Countess believes her husband has been unfaithful or is at least attempting to meet other women in secret. She devises a plan with her maid, Susanna, (the woman to whom the Count once offered money in exchange for sleeping with him - which she refused because she is in love with and engaged to Figaro). As the Countess anxiously awaits Susanna's return, she sings this aria while wondering why the love she first shared with her husband has transformed from happiness into tears.

Italian Lyrics

E Susanna non vien!
Sono ansiosa di saper
come il Conte accolse la proposta.
Alquanto ardito il progetto mi par,
E ad uno sposo si vivace e geloso!
Ma che mal c'è?
Cangiando i miei vestiti con quelli di Susanna,
E suoi co'miei
Al favor della notte.
Oh, cielo! a qual umil stato fatale
Io son ridotta da un consorte crudel!
Che dopo avermi con un misto inaudito
D'infedeltà, di gelosia, di sdegno!
Prima amata, indi offesa, e alfin tradita,
Fammi or cercar da una mia serva aita!
Dove sono i bei momenti
Di dolcezza e di piacer?
Dove andaro i giuramenti
Di quel labbro menzogner?
Perchè mai, se in pianti e in pene
Per me tutto si cangiò,
La memoria di quel bene
Dal mio sen non trapassò?
Ah! se almen la mia costanza,
Nel languire amando ognor,
Mi portasse una speranza
Di cangiar l'ingrato cor!

English Translation

Susanna does not come!
I'm anxious to know
How the Count received the proposal.
The scheme appears to be rather daring,
And behind the back of a husband who is forceful and jealous!
But what's the harm?
To change my clothes into those of Susanna,
And she changes into mine.
Under the cover of darkness.
Oh, dear! What a humble and dangerous state
I am reduced to by a cruel husband
Who imparted me with an unheard mixture of
Infidelity, jealousy, and disdain!
First, he loved me, then he abused me, and finally betrayed me,
Let me seek help from a servant!
Where are the good times
Of sweetness and pleasure?
Where have they gone, the oaths
Of that deceitful tongue?
Why would, despite my tears and pain
And the complete change in my life,
The good memories
Remain within my breast?
Ah! If only my constancy,
Which still loves even while languishing,
Will bring hope
To change his ungrateful heart!

Recommended YouTube Recordings

The role of the Countess in Mozart's opera must be performed by a lyric soprano. Lyric sopranos have a warm, well-balanced and bright tone, and are capable of beautiful legato singing. Here are some great examples for you to listen to as you follow along with the lyrics above.