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|Cara Mia Addio|
April 19, 2011
~1:30 (in-game) / 2:33 (Portal 2 soundtrack)
"Cara Mia Addio" is an Italian aria, but it is not accompanied by official lyrics. Fans of Portal 2 with an understanding of Italian have both transcribed them in their original tongue and translated them into English. The song was composed by Valve composer Mike Morasky, but the librettist is unknown. Ellen McLain is the vocalist for the song, as she also voiced GLaDOS and the turrets. In an interview, McLain claimed that she "made up the words out of [her] bad Italian [...] on the spot".
The chorus can be seen/heard after Chell awakens in GLaDOS' main control room and is subsequently expelled from the facility via an elevator. The game then cuts to a cinematic ending where Chell first encounters a group of four sentry turrets who, after aiming their lasers at Chell, begin to beep and whir to the the tune of the chorus.
After seeing these turrets, the elevator continues its upward path and eventually ends up in a large amphitheater-like room full of turrets. The vocal part is sung by a fat turret in the center, who is highlighted by a spotlight. The thicker size of the apparent turret could be a play on the American stereotype that Grand Opera sopranos are typically overweight and related colloquialism that "it ain't over 'til the fat lady sings." The official Portal 2 guide gives further credence to such conjecture, as it refers to the "fat" turret as the "Soprano Turret.".
Also of note is an enormous, crowned animal king sentry turret in what seems to be jaguar-print camouflage, which can be seen in the back of the amphitheater during the scene. It emits the deeper bass tones of the opera.
- ↑ The lyrics were partially improvised. "The composer, Mike Morasky was the driving force behind the Turret Opera. He wrote all the music. He requested that I use my legit voice (operatic sound) on some of the takes. He chose the takes to use. He asked me to make up some words. So I did so in my bad Italian." – Reddit Ellen McLain interview
- ↑ The Spanish phrase "Qué lástima" ("What a shame/pity" or, alternatively "lastima" (without accent) due to the emphasis "That it/she/he hurts") sounds similar and is widely misreported on the Internet as the actual lyrics.
- ↑ Note that "ciel" ("sky" or "heaven" in lyrical Italian) is a pun on Chell's name, as it sounds roughly the same.
- ↑ "She" is referred to GLaDOS.
Notable opera membersEdit
The Soprano TurretEdit
The Soprano Turret, also known as the "Turret Wife" in the game files and song title by it is first seen in Test Chamber 11, going up in a lift right before Chell enters her own lift. It is next seen in Test Chamber 16, where the Turret Quartet plays the song "Turret Wife Serenade," as titled by volume 1 of the Portal 2 soundtrack. She is last seen in the Single Player campaign Turret Opera. She is also witnessed in the ending credits of the Cooperative Campaign.
The Turret QuartetEdit
In the first test where Turrets can be destroyed with Thermal Discouragement Beams (Test Chamber 16), there is a Turret behind a metal grating. If this Turret is destroyed, the grating will come off, and one can then enter the vent and discover four singing Turrets below, each in a separate compartment and with the Soprano Turret, idle, opposite them. The vent also features scribblings done by Doug Rattmann.
The Quartet is seen again during the song at the very end of the game, which they open at the first elevator stop, before being picked up by the Turret group in the amphitheater.
The Animal KingEdit
The Animal King turret appears at the back of the Turret Opera's primary room, serving as the source of bass tones.
Other Opera MembersEdit
Besides obviously the immeasurable numbers of Sentry Turrets, you can spot the two varieties of Defective Turrets (sideways and Plateless) also singing on the way up in the elevator to the main opera. Also, a lone Frankenturret is creeping along in the back of the orchestra. One with an astute eye can even spot the Bird in its nest.
- The "animal king" turret seen in the background is first mentioned in one of the Aperture Science demonstrational videos seen during the elevator rides in Chapter 1: The Courtesy Call.
- On the far back third tier, between the "fat" and animal king turrets, right of center and in front of one of the lit, concrete walls, a single Frankenturret can be seen hobbling along.[source?]
- Earlier in the game, there is an easter egg where four sentry turrets can be seen playing the Turret Wife Serenade. The "fat" turret ("Turret Wife") is also present in a crate across from them, but does not sing.
- In Test Chamber 07, where the Preservation of Mass achievement is earned, the song or something similar can be heard in the background ("Love as a Construct"). It hums as an accompaniment to the tune played by the Companion Cube.
- Similarly, the song 'space phase' has part of an 8-bit version of the song in the background.
- After GLaDOS retrieves Chell from space, the melody of the opera can faintly be heard as Chell passes out.
- Ellen McLain, the voice of GlaDOS and the turrets, voiced every turret individually. The recording sessions directly followed McLain's recording of "Want you Gone". After recording many layers of the Opera (Do do, Va va va, etc.), Mike Morasky asked McLain to make up some lyrics, which she did so in her bad Italian she learned in High School. McLain was told that the Opera would serve as the goodbye to Chell and the player.
- The Turret Opera could be based on "O Mio Babbino Caro".
Theories to Meaning of the Ending SongEdit
A theory has appeared since the game's release presenting the following interpretation of the ending scene:
"It is said in Greek/Roman myths that when you die, you arrive at a field and are accompanied by your closest friend. As you are dying, you hear an angelic harmony. When Chell arrives to see the turret quartet in the elevator, they begin singing. Then after arriving at a wheatfield, Chell is accompanied by the Companion Cube, her only friend. Chell is believed (in this theory) to have died in the elevator with the 4 turrets."
There is no official corroboration from Valve, or any evidence of this being the case. In addition, since the protagonist will often die while players go through the game (prior to reattempting the stage they died in), the occurance of Chell's death is very familiar to most, if not all, players, and a similar experience is notably absent from the final elevator scene, casting doubt on any such interpretations. Furthermore, GLaDOS seems to refer to Chell during the Peer Review DLC, fearing that an old prototype of her chassis has been taken over by a "mystery woman" and that "she" has returned (believing that "she" is behind many of the malfunctions that occur throughout the game, unaware that the source of the malfunctions is a bird) where "she" is clearly Chell. This would not make sense if GLaDOS had Chell killed for good in the lift shaft.
- ↑ http://www.jonathancoulton.com/2011/04/29/faqs-about-the-portal-2-song/
- ↑ http://www.podcast17.com/interviews/audio/mike-morasky/
- ↑ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lR2UyCwtj-U
- ↑ It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings
- ↑ Portal 2: The Official Guide
- ↑ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3eQqU7lo_M
- ↑ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbzUT-99w88&t=45
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- ↑ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0VA-wl2XhU&feature=related
- ↑