An operatic song in simple popular style characterized by a uniform rhythm

"Cabaletta" is a musical term that refers to the second part of a two-part aria in opera. It follows the more lyrical and expressive "cavatina" section and is characterized by its faster tempo, lively rhythm, and often virtuosic vocal passages. The cabaletta serves as a contrast to the cavatina, providing a dramatic and energetic conclusion to the aria.

Key characteristics of a cabaletta include:

  • Fast Tempo: Cabalettas are known for their brisk and lively tempo, creating a sense of excitement and energy.
  • Rhythmic Drive: The rhythm of a cabaletta is typically spirited and dynamic, propelling the music forward.
  • Virtuosic Singing: Cabalettas often feature passages that showcase the singer's vocal agility, allowing them to display technical prowess and ornamentation.
  • Dramatic Conclusion: After the introspective and emotional cavatina, the cabaletta provides a dramatic and emphatic resolution to the aria.
  • Text Setting: The music of the cabaletta is closely aligned with the dramatic context and emotions of the scene, enhancing the character's expression.
  • Operatic Context: Cabalettas are commonly found in operatic arias, where they contribute to the narrative and character development.
  • Structural Pairing: The cabaletta follows the cavatina as a paired musical structure within an aria, offering a balance between introspection and action.
  • Audience Engagement: The lively and energetic nature of the cabaletta captures the audience's attention and provides a satisfying conclusion to the aria.

Cabalettas are an essential part of the operatic repertoire, offering singers the opportunity to demonstrate their vocal prowess and express intense emotions within the context of a character's storyline. Composers like Giuseppe Verdi and Gaetano Donizetti frequently used the cabaletta-cavatina pairing to create dynamic and engaging arias.

Example of Cabaletta

La Cenerentola: Ramiro's Cabaletta – Encore (Juan Diego Flórez)