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Che gelida manina (G. Puccini)

Difficulty level: Advanced | Three pages

Che gelida manina, an aria from the opera La bohème by the Italian opera composer Giacomo Puccini, has always been one of my favourite pieces of music. Many of Puccini's arias are great, of course, but what's so special about this one for me is its optimism and tenderness. Che gelida manina means "that frozen little hand." Upon their first meeting Rodolfo, the hero, takes Mimi's freezing hand into his own and to warm it up. Such a lovely image!

Rodolfo is a starving artist, but he goes on to tell Mimi about himself, saying that

"Per sogni e per chimere
e per castelli in aria
l’anima ho milionaria."

"In dreams and visions and castles-in-the-air, in my soul I'm a millionaire" - a sentiment and a description that I can easily identify with!

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A preview the first page of the arrangement. Click to view larger! preview - Che gelida manina (Puccini)