• Musical Highlights: The Life of a Sailor

The Life of a Sailor: A Close Look at “Dovunque al mondo” as a Character Study

Early in Act I, Puccini, Illica, and Giacosa establish not only Pinkerton’s personality but also Sharpless’s view of Pinkerton with the aria “Dovunque al mondo” (“Everywhere in the world”): Track 23. (The words can be found on the reproducible.) Students should read along as they listen, noting not only the buoyant setting of Pinkerton’s carefree, even callous, attitude, but the use of interruptions. Pinkerton interrupts himself to ask Sharpless if he’d like a drink—an alcoholic drink. Sharpless interrupts Pinkerton to comment skeptically on his “easy-going gospel” (as discussed in Crossed Cultures: A Classroom Activity). The two Americans end in a duet and both toast their native land, but they’re hardly of one mind—and the combination of words and music here establish both their commonality and their differences.