Handel’s opera Tolomeo from 1728 was premiered at the King’s Theatre in London. Exactly two hundred years later, the celebrated art song composer Arthur Somervell adapted the tune of one of the arias, Non lo dirò col labbro, with English words for the British drawing room. The theme of unrequited love remained intact, but the two composers’ handling of theme was naturally different.
This arrangement has been created for two-part Voice, SA, with Piano accompaniment that respects Handel’s original setting. More modern audiences may have become acquainted with the song from the 1990’s film Emma.