Tune of the Day: Libiamo ne' lieti calici
“Libiamo ne'lieti calici” (literally, “Let's drink from the merry chalices”) is the most famous duet from Verdi's La traviata, one of the most well known fragments of opera around the world, and an obligatory performance for any great tenor. The song is categorised as a brindisi, which is Italian for “toast”. Those who have performed it include Luciano Pavarotti, Plácido Domingo, José Carreras, Enrico Caruso, Andrea Bocelli, Anna Netrebko and many others.
The duet is performed by Alfredo and Violetta in the first act of the opera, at a late-night party at Violetta's house. Alfredo is a young man in love with Violetta, and he is convinced by his friend Gastone to show off his voice, so he sings this drinking song.