Andromaque: C’est le seul espoir qui me reste (Hermione)

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Composer: Grétry, André
Voice type(s): Soprano, Mezzosoprano
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Description

Air of Hermione from André Grétry’s 1780 tragic opera Andromaque. Comes in written key and baroque pitch transposition (down a half step).

Text (French)

Récitatif
C’est le seul espoir qui me reste ;
Ma rivale l’emporte, et je n’en puis douter.
Mais mon cœur, que l’espoir cherche encor à flatter,
Attend tout des Grecs et d’Oreste.
Oreste ! … ah ! Dieux, quel triomphe pour lui !
Il verra la fière Hermione,
Qui dédaigna ses feux, que Pyrrhus abandonne ;
Il verra mes malheurs égaler son ennui.
Chassons, chassons de ma mémoire
Ce qui me fut si cher, et qui m’a pu trahir.
Détestons ce parjure, il y va de ma gloire…
Ah ! je l’ai trop aimé pour ne le point haïr.
Il faut le fuir, rien ne m’arrête ;
Que sur lui, sa captive étende son pouvoir ;
N’envions plus son indigne conquête…
Mais, si l’ingrat rentrait dans son devoir ?

Air
Si, fidèle au nœud qui l’engage,
L’inconstant calmait mon courroux !
S’il revenait à mes genoux
Jurer de n’être plus volage !
Mais, il ne veut que m’outrager ;
Il déteste un cœur qui l’adore.
L’ingrat… faut-il l’aimer encore
Quand je ne dois que me venger !

Text (English translation)

Recitative
It is the only hope left to me;
My rival wins, and I cannot doubt it.
But my heart, encouraged once more by hope
Counts on the Greeks, and on Orestes.
Orestes… Ah, Gods, what a triumph for him!
He will see proud Hermione,
Who despised his love, abandoned by Pyrrhus;
He will see my woes equal his distress.
Oh, I must drive from my memory
One so dear, who betrayed me.
I must hate that traitor; my honour demands no less.
Ah! I loved him too much not to hate him now.
I must flee from him; nothing keeps me here.
Let his prisoner extend her power over him;
Let us cease to envy victories so ill deserved.
But if, though, he were to have second thoughts?

Air
If, faithful to his commitment,
He appeased my wrath!
If he came to me on his knees,
Swearing he would no longer be fickle!
But he wants only to outrage me;
He detests a heart that adores him.
Must I go on loving such an ingrate,
When I should but be avenged?