Entertainment Music "Quando Men Vo" Lyrics and Text Translation Musetta's aria opens the second act of Puccini's opera "La Boheme" Share PINTEREST Email Print Photo by Bruno Vincent/Getty Images Music Classical Music Lyrics Basics Operas Rock Music Pop Music Alternative Music Country Music Folk Music Rap & Hip Hop Rhythm & Blues World Music Punk Music Heavy Metal Jazz Latin Music Oldies Learn More By Aaron Green Music Expert B.A., Classical Music and Opera, Westminster Choir College of Rider University Aaron M. Green is an expert on classical music and music history, with more than 10 years of both solo and ensemble performance experience. our editorial process Aaron Green Updated June 07, 2018 The classic opera "La Boheme" follows the lives of a group of bohemians in Paris during the 1830s. "La Boheme" premiered in Turin in 1896, and although it was not an immediate success, it soon became one of the most popular and frequently performed operas in the world. It takes its plot (known in opera as a libretto) from Henri Murger's "Scenes de la vie de Boheme." It's also been the subject of numerous interpretations and adaptations, including the award-winning 1996 musical "Rent." Rather than suffering from tuberculosis as one of its "La Boheme" counterparts do, the characters in "Rent" deal with drug addiction and HIV/AIDS. Plot of the Opera 'La Boheme' Rodolfo, a playwright, falls in love with Mimi, his neighbor. She suffers from tuberculosis, which produces a tell-tale cough. Rodolfo's friend Marcello, a painter, is drawn to his ex-girlfriend Musetta, who is in a relationship with wealthy government administrator Alcindoro. The other main characters include Colline, a philosopher and Schaunard, a musician. The group struggles to survive; in the opening scene, Marcello and Rodolfo are burning a copy of Rodolfo's manuscript to keep warm, and are scheming a way to avoid paying their rent. Musetta Sings 'Quando m'en Vo' During the second act, Musetta attempts to make Marcello jealous, as she has grown tired of Alcindoro. She and Alcindoro happen upon Marcello and his friends in a cafe. She sings the song "Quando me'n vo" (also known as "Musetta's Waltz"). During the aria, she complains of her tight shoe, so Alcindoro runs to the shoemaker to fix the problem. In the scene to follow, now that Alcindoro is out of the way, Marcello and Musetta end up in each others' arms. Of course, none of Marcello's group has enough money to pay the bill, so Musetta tells the waiter to charge it to Alcindoro's account. "Quando m'en vo" means "when I go along" in Italian. Here's how it reads in the original Italian, followed by an English translation. This aria is written for a soprano and is in the time signature of a waltz. Italian Lyrics of 'Quando me'n Vo' Quando men vo soletta per la via,La gente sosta e miraE la bellezza mia tutta ricerca in meDa capo a pie'...Ed assaporo allor la bramosiaSottil, che da gli occhi traspiraE dai palesi vezzi intender saAlle occulte beltà.Così l'effluvio del desìo tutta m'aggira,Felice mi fa!E tu che sai, che memori e ti struggiDa me tanto rifuggi?So ben:le angoscie tue non le vuoi dir,Ma ti senti morir! English Translation of 'Quando me'n Vo' When walking alone on the streets,People stop and stareAnd examine my beautyFrom head to toeAnd then I savor the cravingswhich from their eyes transpiresAnd from the obvious charms they perceiveThe hidden beauties.So the scent of desire is all around me,It makes me happy!And you who know, who remembers and yearns,You shrink from me?I know why this is:You do not want to tell me of your anguish,But you feel like dying!