. . .
(Werther) (Why do you wake me now?)
Pourquoi me reveiller, o souffle du printemos?
Sur mon front je sens tes caresses.
Et pourtant bien proche est le temps
Des orages et des tristesses.
Demain, dans le vallon,
Se souvenant de ma gloire premiere,
Et ses yeux vainement chercheront ma splendeur:
Ils ne trouveront plus que deuil et que misere!
Helas! Pourquoi me reveiller, o souffle du printemps?
Werther is madly in love with Charlotte, his friends wife. To forget her, he has
run away. But when he returns, he finds he is more in love than ever. Werther
recites a favorite poem for Charlotte, and at last realizes that fatal truth:
Charlotte can never return his love.
Why do you wake me now, o sweetest breath of spring?
On my brow I sense your most gentle caress,
yet how soon creeps on the time.
filled with tempests and with distress!
Tomorrow through the vale, the traveler will pass,
recalling all of the glory of the past.
And in vain he will search for the bloom of my youth,
and nothing will he find but deep pain and endless sorrow.
Alas! Why do you wake me now, o sweetest breath of spring!
. . .
(Turandot)(No one's sleeping!)
Nessun Dorma! Nessun Dorma!
Tu pure, o Principessa,
nella tua freda stanza
guardi le stelle che tremano d'amore
e di speranza!
Ma il mio mistero e chiusoin me,
No, no, sulla tua bocca lo diro
quando la luce splendera!
Ed il mio bacio sciogliera il silenzio
che ti fa mia!
Dilegua, o notte! Tramontate, stelle!
Tramontate, stelle! All'alba vincero!
Only the man who answers her riddles can marry the icy princess Turandot; those
who fail die. Calaf, a prince from another land, has fallen in love with the
beautiful Turandot and answered the riddles. Though by law she must marry him,
Turandot pleads to be spared: only if she answers his riddles-his name.
No one's sleeping! No one's sleeping!
This evening, icy princess
perhaps in your cold chambers,
watch all the bright stars
that tremble both with loving
and with desire
I keep my secret locked inside.
No one shall ever know my name!
No, no! When our two mouths
touch, she'll learn it,
when the morning light shines forth!
And then my kisses will dissolve
her silence and she will be mine!
May this night end! May all the stars set!
And may all the stars set!
When dawn breaks, I shall win!
. . .
(L'elisir d'amore)(One tear that falls so furtively)
Una furtiva lagrima
Negli occhi suoi spunto:
Quelle festosee giovani
Che piu cercando io vo?
M'ama, lo vedo.
Un solo instante i palpiti
Del suo bel cor sentir!
I miei sospir, confondere
Per poco a' suoi sospir!
Cielo, si puo morir!
Di piu non chiedo.
Nemorino is in love with a wealthy girl, but she says she isn't interested in
poor boys like him. Desperate, he buys a "Love potion" that only turns out to be
cheap red wine. And yet, Nemorino believes the "Elixir" will work. When he sees
her cry, he knows she has fallen for him at last.
One tear that falls so furtively
from her sweet eyes has just sprung,
as if she envied all the youths
who laughingly passed her right by.
What could I want more than this?
She loves me! I see it.
One moment just to hear her heart,
beating so close next to mine,
to hear my sighs like they were hers,
her sighings as if they were mine!
Heavens, please take me now:
All that I wanted is mine now!
. . .
(Martha)(She appeared to me)
M'appari tutt''amor, il mio sguatdo l'incontro:
bella si che il mio cor, ansioso a lei volo:
mi feri, m'invaghi quell'angelica belta,
sculta in cor dall'amor cancellarsi non potra:
il pensier di poter palpitar con lei d'amor,
puo sopir il martir che m'affana e stranzia il cor.
M'appari tutt'amor, il mio sguardo l'incontro;
bella si che il mio cor ansioso a lei volo;
Marta, Marta, tu sparisti e il mio cor col tuo n'ando!
Tu la pace mi rapisti, di dolor io moriro.
Lady Harriet and her maid Nancy, disguised as peasants called Martha and Julia,
have unwittingly bound themselves for a years' service to Lionel and Plunket,
two local farmers. The women soon escape, and though time passes, Lionel cannot
get Martha out of his mind.
She appeared to me, purest of love,
I discovered with my eyes this vision of delight.
Lovely was she, that my hungry heart, in a snap, to her did fly.
I was hurt, I was charmed by that beauty from above.
Love is etched in my heart, and cannot now be erased.
The mere thought that our hearts
with sweet love might beat as one
is enough to forget all the sorrow that fills my heart.
She appeared to me, purest of love.
I discovered with my eyes this vision of delight.
Lovely was she, that my hungry heart, in a snap to her did fly.
Marta, Marta, you have left me,
and my heart with yours has vanished.
Peace and quiet, gone now forever, I will surely die of pain.
. . .
(La Boheme)(How cold your little hand is!)
Che gelida manina! Se la lasci riscaldar.
Cercar che giova? Al buio non si trova.
Ma per fortuna e una notte di luna,
e qui la luna l'abbiiamo vicina.
Aspetti, signorina, le diro con due parole chi son,
chi son, e che faccio, come vivo, Vuole?
Chi son? Chi son? Son un poeta.
Che cosa faccio? Scrivo. E come vivo? Vivo.
In poverta mia lieta scialo da gran signore
rimi ed inni d'amore.
Per sogni e per chimere e per castelli in aria
l'anima ho milionaria.
Talor del mio forziere ruban tutti
i gioielle due ladri: gli occhi belli.
V'entrar con voi pur ora ed i miei sogni usati,
ed i bei sogni miei tosto si dileguar!
Ma il furto non m'accora poiche,
poiche v'ha preso stanza la speranza.
Or che mi conoscete parlate voi.
Deh parlate. Chi siete? Vi piaccia dir?
It is Christmas Eve on Paris' Left Bank. Rodolfo is at home writing when a
stranger knocks at the door. It is Mimi, a neighbor, who needs to borrow a match
to relight her candle. Mimi is barely out the door, when she realizes she has
lost her key. As they search for it, Rodolfos' hand falls upon hers.
How cold your little hand is! Will you let me warm it for you?
Why bother looking? It's dark, and we won't find it.
It's our good luck, though, this night's filled with moonlight,
up here the moonlight could rest on our shoulders.
Please wait, my dear young lady, and I will quickly tell you
who stands before you, and what I do,
how I make my living. May I?
Who am I? What am I? I am a poet.
What keeps me busy? Writing! And what do I live on? Nothing!
In poverty I'm cheerful, I am a prince who squanders
arias and couplets of longing.
And as for hopes and dreams of love and castles-in-the-air,
Miss, I am a millionaire!
My fortress could be broken in, robbed clean of the fine jewels
I store; if the theives were eyes like yours.
And now that I have seen you, all of my lovely dreaming,
all of the sweetest dreams I've dreamt, quickly have slipped away.
This theft does not upset me, because such treasures
mean nothing now that I'm rich with sweet hope!
And now that you have met me, I ask you please,
Tell me, lady, who you are, I ask you please!
. . .
. . .
(Pagliacci)(On with the show)
Recitar!...mentre preso dal delirio
non so piu quel che dico e quel che faccio!
Eppur...e d'uopo...sforzati! Bah, sei tu forse un uom?
Tu se' Pagliaccio! Vesti la giubba e la faccia infarina.
La gente paga e rider vuole qua.
E se Arlecchin t'invola Colombina, ridi, Pagliaccio...
e ognum applaudira! Tramuta in lazzi lo spasmo ed il pianto;
In una smorfia il singhiozzo e'l dolor...
Ridi Pagliaccio, sul tuo amore infranto!
Ridi del duol che t'avvelena il cor!
Canio, his wife Nedda, and their troupe perform adulterous comedies in their
traveling shows. This time, though, life imitates art. Canio has just been
warned that Nedda is in the arms of another man. When Canio arrives, the man is
gone. "Tell me his name!" he threatens. Just at that moment, they announce,
"It's show time!"
Go on stage, while I'm nearly delirious?
I don't know what I'm saying or what I'm doing!
And yet, chin up! I'll try harder. Bah, you think you're a man?
You're just a clown! On with the show, man,
and put on your white-face.
The people pay you and you must make them laugh.
And if Harlequin should steal your Columbine, laugh,
you're Pagliaccio, and the world will clap for you!
Turn into banter all your pain and sorrow,
and with your clowns' face hide grief and distress...
Laugh loud, Pagliaccio, forget all of your troubles,
Laugh off the pain that so empoisons your heart.
. . .
(Tosca)(How the stars seemed to shimmer)
E lucevan le stelle,
e olezzava la terra
stridea l'uscio dell'orto,
e un passo sfiorava la rena.
Entrava ella, fragrante,
mi cadea fra le braccia.
Oh! dolci baci, o languide carezze,
mentr'io fremente le belle forme discogliea dai veli!
Svani per sempre il sogno mio d'amore...
L'ora e fuggita e muoio disperato!
E non ho amato mai tanto la vita!
The painter Cavaradossi has been sentenced to death for helping to hide an
escaped political prisoner. As he awaits his fate, he sings of the sweet
memories of his beloved Tosca and his dashed dreams.
How the stars seemed to shimmer,
the sweet scents of the garden,
how the creaking gate whispered,
and a footstep skimmed over the sand,
how she then entered, so fragrant,
and then fell into my two arms!
Ah sweetest of kiss, languorous caresses,
while I stood trembling, searching her features
concealed by her mantle. My dreams of pure love,
forgotten forever! All of it's gone now!
I die hopeless, despairing, and never before
have I loved life like this!
. . .
(Tosca)(What strange and lovely harmony)
Recondita armonia di belleze diverse!...
E bruna Floria, l'ardente amante mia.
E te, beltade ignota, cinta di chiome bionde!
Tu azzuro hai l'occhio, Tosca ha l'occhio nero!
L'arte nel suo mistero le diverse belleze insiem confonde:
ma nel ritrar costei il mio solo pensiero,
ah! il mio solo pensier, sei tu, Tosca, sei tu!
Cavaradossi is working on a portrait of the Madonna for the church of Saint
Andrea. Though the painting closely resembles a beautiful parishioner there,
Cavaradossi explains that it is a combination of that woman, who he does not
know, and his own dark-haired, dark-eyed lover Floria Tosca.
What strange and lovely harmony of such different beauties!
How dark is Floria, this ardent love of mine.
And you, mysterious beauty, long and blond flowing tresses
how your eyes are sky-blue, Tosca's eyes are black-night.
Art, too, with its many mysteries, blends all together
such different beauties. But though I paint another,
my only thought is you, oh, my only thought is you,
Tosca, is you, is you!
. . .
(L'Arlesiana)(It's that familiar tale)
E la solita storia del pastore...
Il povero ragazzo voleva raccontarla e s'addormi.
C'e nel sonno l'oblio. Come l'invidio!
Anch'io vorrei dormir cosi, nel sonno almen l'oblio trovar!
La pace sol cercando io vo'. Vorrei poter tutto scordar!
Ma ogni sforzo e vano. Davanti ho sempre
Davanti ho sempre di lei il dolce sembiante.
La pace tolta e solo a me. Perche degg'io tanto penar?
Lei! sempre lei mi parla ancor! Fatale vision, mi lascia!
Mi fai tanto male, Ahime!
Federico loves a girl of ill repute, so his family arranges a marriage with a
childhood sweetheart. The heartbroken lad compares his sad adventure to the
well-known tale of a shepherd boy. He knows he will never forget his one true
It's that familiar tale you've heard of the shepherd...
that penniless young man, attempting to retell it,
fell sound asleep. In such slumber there's oblivion.
How I've envied him! Like him, I would sleep all of my days;
at least if I slept, I might forget! I seek only peace,
it's all I need! Forget it all! Never recall!
Yet all is futile effort, before me will always be that sweet
face of hers, alas! My peace and my quiet, forever gone!
Why must I suffer so, oh why? She, always she, speaks to me!
Vision so fatal, please vanish! How you have harmed me! Alas!
. . .
Celeste Aida, forma divina,
Mistico serto di luce e fior,
Del mio pensiero tu sei regina,
Tu di mia vita sei lo splendor.
Il tuo bel cielo vorrei ridarti,
Le dolci breeze del patrio suol;
Un regal serto sul crin posarti,
Ergerti un trono vicino al sol, ah!
The Ethiopians have been defeated in battle. Aida, their princess, has been
enslaved by the victorious Egyptians, though her identity is not known to them.
The Egyptian General Radames falls in love with the beautiful Aida and dreams of
setting her upon a throne.
Heavenly Aida, goddess of beauty,
garland of flowers and of bright light.
You are the ruler of all of my thoughts,
you are the splendor of my whole life.
I'll bring you back, yes, to your lovely skies
to the soft breezes of your native land.
I'll place a royal wreath upon your crown,
and build you a throne close to the sun!
. . .