Puccini's "O Mio Babbino Caro" is surely one of the loveliest opera arias of all time. It is also fairly easy to sing, except for the octave leaps, which give the song such excitement. Take advantage of the free opera sheet music I offer here with four different piano accompaniments and in four different keys, to suit young voices. (Go here if you are looking for the standard arrangement - harder but very beautiful!)
Now when I say "fairly easy to sing," I am of course not suggesting that it is easy to sing it like a professional opera singer! I mean that even a young singer can "cotton on to" the melody.
Go to YouTube and check out the enormous offerings there of this beautiful song. This piece enjoys star status, even with non-classical singers. I guarantee your students will fall in love with it, especially if you show them the aria sung by a beautiful and glamorous opera singer. My favorite video is sung by Anna Netrebko, who puts her whole self into the aria, looking like nothing so much as the most gorgeous Barbie Doll come-to-life. Even a non-operatic singer such as Hayley Westenra can demonstrate some of the beauties of this aria.
Download free opera sheet music O Mio Babbino in Ab
Download melody of O Mio Babbino in G
Download melody of O Mio Babbino in F
Download melody of O Mio Babbino in Eb
Originally written in the key of Ab, I have it here in G, F, and Eb. The song is much more accessible for young girls in the lower keys!
My simple melody-with-chord-symbols lead sheet is all I use, even at performances, and for most singers, it won't be necessary to see the piano part. The standard arrangement, let's not fool ourselves -- the standard arrangement is a handful, with its long harp-like broken chords and filled right hand octaves. But the difficulty of the accompaniment is not my primary objection to using it with young singers. It can be heavy with some pianists, and on some pianos! You don't want accompanists all tangled up in a thicket of ponderous chords and big leaps, when they should have their eyes on the vocalist!
The voice is the thing here, not the piano, so stay out of the way! If you really want to play the regular accompaniment, many books of Italian favorites and opera music include it, or go here to download it from my website. For now, these arrangements are still free, in 3 of the 4 levels of difficulty, and in several keys. Here they are, from simplest to most elaborate:
This easiest arrangement of O Mio Babbino for voice and piano is available as a set in the keys of Ab, G, F, and Eb (8 pages total) for $4.00 for the entire collection. Only four dollars! So much beauty, so much musical joy... only $4, from PayPal. (The pdf document is delivered by E-Junkie.com)
The next version has some right hand chords. These are most beautiful if lightly rolled like a glissando, however, I did not mark them glissando.
Version 2 of piano accompaniment in Ab
In the key of G
And in the key of F, as shown above
The third accompaniment version doubles the speed of the left hand chords. They can be a stretch for some hands, and careful, planned fingering is necessary to make it work, unless playing chords like these are second nature to you.
Free printable accompaniment in Ab
Free opera sheet music n the key of G
And key of F!
My 4th version of O Mio Babbino Caro, shown below, combines the full-sounding right hand with the faster-moving left hand.
My most difficult arrangement , in the original key of Ab
Free vocal sheet music n the Key of G, as pictured above
And printable sheet music in the key of F
O Mio Babbino Caro is a fun way to encounter Italian for the first time...I like to go over the meaning of each word so my students know what they're saying. Look up Gianni Schicchi if you don't know the story -- it's actually a comedy with a happy ending, in spite of poor Lauretta singing to her "dear Daddy" that she wants to die!
If you don't know how to pronounce Italian, for goodness' sake, get yourself some books or an Italian course! Listen to Italians singing Italian. You need to be able to sing Italian well for the sake of your students. (In older times, vocal teachers wanted more than just good pronunciation; they recommended personally translating each word of a foreign language song.)
This aria is a good workout for phrasing and breathing. You will probably need to write all over the music to remind your student or yourself where to breathe. On the long note, "Di-o," work with them to swell or crescendo, to put expression in.
Go here to find the standard (difficult!) piano accompaniment for O mio babbino...
Do you have a funny story about this music, or does it remind you of something you'd like to share with other readers? Do you have a question? We'd love to hear it!
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Some girls sing it easier in high key
I just want to remark that for some very light voices songs are easier sung in a high key. As a young girl I constantly had to fight the perception …
Stomach Pain When Singing
Rose: My question is one of my students is having stomach pains on her right side while she is singing. Please tell me why is that happening, because …
What a lovely, generous site! Many thanks from a fellow singer and music teacher in New York State. Loved the inclusion of the video for "The Ash Grove," a song I just recommended to an adult voice student today. I was pleased to be able to send her the link to not only the sheet music, but a charming performance of the song as well.
I printed "Flower Duet" off at church this morning, and it looks GREAT!!! :) Thank you so much for sending it on again - it's going to be so beautiful for my wedding! Also, thanks for even making this music available! I'm a music teacher, so this website was a great find! :) By the way, the friend singing the Lakme part of the duet is very happy that you arranged it in G! :)
Thank you! THANK YOU!!! For keeping the beautiful art of Opera alive! I stumbled upon this site and I'm so happy I did!
I am so relieved to have found this site!! I have been struggling as a music student, not having any previous instruction in high school. I am starting from scratch and this is a wonderful tool!! Kudos to you!! God Bless you!
Wow! I cannot thank you enough for the free collection of piano sheet music that you created here. My daughter and I are following everything you wrote and we LOVE it. It is super fun!!! She loves to play because of your website. We have a small binder now that is slowly growing! THANK YOU!!!!
Thank you for your wonderful website. I also teach piano, voice and guitar - spooky! My absolute passion is opera, and have opened many a singing student's ear to the beautiful melodies and voices in the repertoire. Thank you for the wonderful warmups which I have downloaded, and will be using at the earliest opportunity - I will let you know how they go! Looking forward to more warmup ideas, too.
Carrie,Voice and Piano Teacher:
This site is FABULOUS. For all the reasons you explain on the site itself--this is exactly what piano teachers need! (I still need to go look at the vocal music). Wow. THANK YOU SO MUCH!
... I watched your video "Wondrous Love" with your eight gals - Magnificent! So refreshing to see good harmonies sung a capella these days; it seems to be rare!
Useful Sites for Vocalists
Cantorian.org, home to free classical sheetmusic
ChoralWiki, Home of the Choral Public Domain Library
International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP) Petrucci Music Library
Musicnotes.com - transpose vocal sheets up or down!
Note-Perfect.com, Resources for Choral Singers and Soloists - hear your part!
Singwise.com - Technical singing advice
Hi, I want to thank you for such a wonderful and educational website. I have found all the information you have posted and your comments immensely helpful, and I am grateful for your posting it. I am sure you are an awesome teacher and person. I am a beginner piano student, so many thanks and Happy New Year.