Dramatic Transformation: Verdi's 'Ernani'


THE HIT SINGLE:  "Cease, cruelty"

In Act Four it seems, for a moment, that the story will end happily, as Elvira and Ernani (soprano Elaine Alvarez and tenor Gustavo Porta) are about to be married.  But things are interrupted by the arrival of Silva (bass Orlin Anastassov), who demands that Ernani fulfill his pledge to take his own life.  Elvira begins their emotional trio with the words "Ferma, crudele" -- "Cease, cruelty." 

THE B SIDE:  "Ernani, save me"

In the second scene of Act One, Elvira (soprano Elaine Alvarez) is alone in her rooms. Dreaming of Ernani, and dreading her impending marriage to Silva, she sings "Ernani, involami," begging her absent lover to save her from Silva's "loathsome embrace."