Turret Opera (Cara Mia) – a cappella

More sheet music from Portal 2!

This is the as-of-now untitled operatic song at the end of the game. Due to lack of official word from Valve, it is referred to as The Fat Lady Sings, Turret Opera or O Cara Mia, Addio. It was composed by Valve’s awesome in-house composer Mike Morasky. Lyrics by Ellen McLain. Here is a choral (SATB + soprano solo) version for your local concert choir and/or a cappella group. A piano version is also available.

Now on iTunes!

Music video

Sheet Music


The Italian lyrics were written out by indies4indies. Source: Half-life Wikia.



Cara bella, cara mia bella!
Mia bambina, o ciel! [pun: Chell = It. “Ciel” = Sky”]
Ché la stimo…
Ché la stimo.
O cara mia, addio!
La mia bambina cara,
perché non passi lontana?
Sì, lontana da Scïenza, [personified]
Cara, cara mia bambina?
Ah, mia bella!
Ah, mia cara!
Ah, mia cara!
Ah, mia bambina!
O cara, cara mia…


Dear beautiful, my beautiful darling!
My child, oh Chell! [pun: “oh heavens!”]
For I hold her in esteem…
For I hold her in esteem.
Farewell to my dear!
My dear girl,
why do you not walk away?
Yes, away from Science,
My dear, my dear girl?
Ah, my beautiful!
Ah, my dear!
Ah, my dear!
Ah, my child!
Oh dear, my dear…

44 thoughts on “Turret Opera (Cara Mia) – a cappella

    1. I hate to tell you this, but the fact that the lyrics say “oh ciel” as in “oh sky” is no pun.
      The lyrics actually read “oh Chell,” as pointed out by your pun. This corresponds with a portal theory of how Caroline was actually Chell’s mother, seeing as how GLaDOS decides to release Chell instead of kill her when she finds out that she is actually Caroline.
      This also fits in the puzzle of the lyrics perfectly as GLaDOS is calling Chell her “bambina” (daughter) as well as saying the phrase “cara mia” over and over again, meaning “my dear.” Later on in the song, GLaDOS is saying “perché non passi lontana? Sì, lontana da Scïenza,” which, as you said, directly translates as “Why don’t you walk away, yes, far away from Science,” which is where you note that “Science” is personified to mean Aperture Science. Not to mention the fact that saying “My daughter, oh sky” makes absolutely no sense (although you do make a point by saying “oh heavens.”)
      But theories and speculations aside, nice work, I really liked it!


  1. wow this is the best copy so far thx this song is epic…MANLY TEARS!! (havnt even played the game yet :P)

    valve need to release a proper/full version of this with correct lyrics and everything!!!!


  2. Hello Sebastian.

    I was wondering about the scale the soprano girl (Rachel, I believe) sings close to the end (would be part C, bar 31 in your arr.)… Was this a change to your arrangement done in the studio? Was it improvised? Could you revise the sheet music to include it? It would be very appreciated 🙂 I’m trying to figure it out by ear, but I’m stuck in the G3-F4 interval and then I can’t make out the exact notes and timing she sings.

    also, beautiful arrangement. Can’t stop listening to it. thank you very much.


    1. Thanks!

      Oh wow, seems I still have the first draft of the arrangement on here. Tom Anderson, a masterful arranger of all things a cappella (and probably more), touched it up a bit. Voice-leading and such things. I’ll upload the finished version shortly.

      Thinking of singing this song?


  3. I’d love to suggest this to my choir teacher as a four-part ensemble, though I’m not sure he’d accept…
    Nonetheless, this is beautiful. Many thanks for uploading the sheet music. ^^


  4. This song (turret opera) touched me through the tears. So beatiful, so touching. Wanna say Thanks to them, whom wrote it. Amazing song with a sharpiest moment (with elevator). Incredible ending for the game 🙂


  5. Yeah, I don’t wanna sound depressive, but it’s amazing that in this world still have someone, who cares something more, then just a money. And I mean – making music of the soul and express it. 😉

    p.s. Capella’ singers looks very nice people!!! :)))


  6. I would’ve loved to have sung this for chorus in highschool. I hope that a revised edition for the full song will be published at some point. 🙂


  7. Beautiful job there, thanks for sharing this 🙂
    Unfortunately, I can’t open the Sibelius file. My Sibelius 6 tells about corrupted data, and my Sibelius 4 says the sheet was created by a newer version. Maybe you could have a look there? Thanks!


    1. Heh. It’s a Sibelius 7 file… I can upload a copy for version 6 in a bit. I love everything about Sibelius except their inability to make sheet music at least readable across different versions.


  8. First, I have to stop and laugh because the first comment was from a guy named FishingLuke. Hilarious, isn’t it, Seabass? 🙂

    Second, Wasn’t the song named Harmonie?

    Third, this was great of you to do this for me. I have someone who would love to try this.

    Finally, where are you based, and are you interested in making some music for me?


  9. Its been a hard day. You’ve fought an evil, psycho robot named wheatly, and banished him into outer space. You’ve installed a not quite so evil robot into the control centre of a scientific research centre. You put a portal on the moon, for crying out loud. Now, you’ve struck a deal with the robot GLaDOS. Will she uphold her end of the bargain?

    Your elevator races upwards – but then comes to a stop at a floor. You wonder, whats going on?

    The doors open – to reveal your second worst nightmare. Turrets.
    You’re too tired to fight back. You fall to your knees, preparing for the bullets, the bullets that will slice open your skin, fill your body with lead. You close your eyes.

    They don’t come. You look up at the turrets. And one by one, they turn their targeting lazers off. Then, they begin morning their gun covers. Back and forth. What’s that sound they’re making? Is it – singing?

    The elevator starts again. You can still hear the turrets’ music over the elevator loudspeaker.

    The elevator slows as it enters a huge room, filled with turrets. And one turret in the middle begins the salute:

    “Cara Mia, cara mia bella!, Mia bambina, o ciel, – ”

    All the turrets begin singing, adding their voices to the orchestra. Your second worst enemies have now become your second – best – friends. A lone tear drips from your eye.

    The elevator continues upwards. You can no longer see the turrets, but you can hear their symphony. And it’s enough to provoke a flood of tears, falling now, falling from your eyes like a waterfall, streaming down the elevator glass.


    1. I’m writing college essays right now, and that just made me depressed that I can’t write like that. Thanks.

      But seriously, that was really good.


  10. This song is stuck in my head 24/7 I have an obsession, I keep putting it on repeat for hours ^_^ After the migraines, I start to feel attached, like if I turn it off I might feel depressed :- I love this song though


  11. I can’t thumbs up this enough. The acapella was just brilliant. Cheers for the sheet music, and to the performers for being….just brilliant


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  14. This arrangement is wonderful. Can my college choir use this? our director is allergic to copyright. I was hoping you could give us permission.


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