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ACT II

No. 12: RECIT. & SONG (Captain Fitzbattleaxe)
"Oh, Zara, my beloved one...
A tenor all singers above"

Midi Symbol MIDI File [16KB, 2' 51"]

Scene -— Throne Room in the Palace. Night. Fitzbattleaxe discovered, singing to Zara.

Captain Fitzbattleaxe.
Oh, Zara, my beloved one, bear with me!
Ah, do not laugh at my attempted C!
Repent not, mocking maid, thy girlhood's choice —
The fervour of my love affects my voice!

A tenor, all singers above
(This doesn't admit of a question),
Should keep himself quiet,
Attend to his diet
And carefully nurse his digestion;
But when he is madly in love
It's certain to tell on his singing —
You can't do chromatics
With proper emphatics
When anguish your bosom is wringing!
When distracted with worries in plenty,
And his pulse is a hundred and twenty,
And his fluttering bosom the slave of mistrust is,
A tenor can't do himself justice,
(spoken) Now observe — (sings a high note),
You see, I can't do myself justice!
Nancy McIntosh & Charles Kenningham in the Original Production, 1893
click on picture to enlarge

I could sing if my fervour were mock,
It's easy enough if you're acting —
But when one's emotion
Is born of devotion
You mustn't be over-exacting.
One ought to be firm as a rock
To venture a shake in vibrato,
When fervour's expected
Keep cool and collected
Or never attempt agitato.
But, of course, when his tongue is of leather,
And his lips appear pasted together,
And his sensitive palate as dry as a crust is,
A tenor can't do himself justice.
(spoken) Now observe — (sings a high note),
It's no use — I can't do myself justice!

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