But never mind the context because, once rescued from the knowing winks and leers of Mozart's comedy, this aria deserves to be considered a thing apart.
Così is another opera that I have seen a lot. I spent the Summer and Autumn of 1998 hanging around a woman who worked at Glyndebourne and this was the piece that I always seemed to catch. No wonder that this aria increasingly drew focus from the rest of the show.
The words too are beautiful, even in English.
Soave sia il vento,I can't think of a better benediction with which to begin a long and challenging journey. What I can't have been sure of then was that I was setting out on just such a journey myself. I kept hanging around that woman and eventually managed to persuade her to marry me. Soave sia il vento was sung at the ceremony, but then you probably remember that yourself.
Tranquilla sia l'onda,
Ed ogni elemento
Ai nostri desir.
May the wind be gentle,
may the waves be calm,
and may every one of the elements
kindly fulfil our wishes.
If you have Spotify (and if not, why not?) you can listen to a rather good version of it here.