Maria Callas at Covent Garden, 1962 (Complete concert)

Maria Callas’ complete concert at Royal Opera House (Covent Garden), London. November 4, 1962. Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra, conductor: Georges Prêtre.

Programme

  1. Don Carlos: “Tu, che la vanitá conoscesti del mondo” [1] by Giuseppe Verdi @0:50

    Don Carlos is a five-act grand opera composed by Giuseppe Verdi to a French-language libretto by Joseph Méry and Camille du Locle, based on the dramatic play Don Carlos, Infant von Spanien (Don Carlos, Infante of Spain) by Friedrich Schiller.

    Period: Romantic
    Written: 1867/1884; Italy

  2. Carmen: Act 1 Prelude “Les toréadors” by Georges Bizet @12:50
    Period: Romantic
    Written: 1873-1874; France

  3. Carmen: L’amour est un oiseau rebelle “Habañera” [2] by Georges Bizet @14:50

    Habanera, the popular name for “L’amour est un oiseau rebelle” (Love is a rebellious bird) is actually an aria for a mezzo-soprano role. It is one of the most famous arias from Bizet’s Carmen. It is the entrance aria of the title character, “Carmen”, a Gypsy Girl, in scene 5 of the first act.

    Written: 1873-1874; France

  4. Carmen: Près des remparts de Seville “Seguidilla” [3] by Georges Bizet @19:20

    The Seguidilla aria forms part of Act I of Carmen. The beautiful gypsy girl, Carmen, sings it in an attempt to seduce her captor, the soldier Don José, into going with her to her friend Lillas Pastia’s inn.

Libretto

Tu che la vanità conoscesti del mondo

Italian

Tu che la vanità conoscesti del mondo
E godi nell’avel il riposo profondo,
Se ancor si piange in cielo,
piangi sul mio dolor,
E porta il pianto mio al trono del Signor.
Si! Carlo qui verrà!
che parta e scordi ormai,
A Posa di vegliar sui giorni suoi giurai,
Ei segua il suo destin,
la gloria il traccerà,
Per me, la mia giornata a sera è giunta già!
Francia, nobil suol,
si caro ai miei verd’anni!
Fontainebleau!
ver voi schiude il pensier i vanni.
Eterno giuro d’amor
là Dio da me ascoltò,
E quest’eternità un giorno sol durò.
Tra voi, vaghi giardin
di questa terra ibéra,
Se Carlo ancor dovrà fermare i passi a sera
Che le zolle, i ruscelli, i fonti,
i boschi, i fior,
Con le lor armonie cantino il nostro amor.
Addio, bei sogni d’or, illusion perduta!
Il nodo si spezzò, la luce è fatta muta!
Addio, verd’anni ancor!
cedendo al duol crudel,
Il core ha un sol desir: la pace dell’avel!
Tu che le vanità conoscesti del mondo
E godi nell’avel d’un riposo profondo,
Se ancor si piange in cielo,
piangi sul mio dolor,
E il tuo col pianto mio reca a’ piè del
Signor.

English translation

You have known the vanities of this world,
and now enjoy the grave’s last rest,
if there is still pity in heaven
mourn over my sorrow
and carry my tears
at the Lord’s presence.
Carlos will come!
he must leave and forget…
I’ve sworn to Posa
to watch over him.
He must fulfil his destiny,
glory will show him the way.
As for me, my day
has already come to an end!
France, noble land,
so loved in my younger days!
Fontainebleau! all my thoughts
There I swore eternal love
To God who heard me
go to you!
and eternity
lasted only one day.
O merry gardens
of this Iberian land,
if Carlos should yet
stop here at the end of the day,
let the tufts, the brooks,
the fountains, the woods and flowers
with their melodies
sing of our love.
Farewell, farewell golden dreams,
lost hopes!
The knot was cut,
light has lost its splendour!
Farewell, farewell, my younger years!
Giving in under the cruel suffering
my heart has only one desire:
the peace of the grave!
You have known the vanities
of this world, etc.
If there is still pity in heaven, ah,
carry my sorrow at the feet of the Lord!

Habanera

The French libretto was written by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy.

French

Quand je vous aimerai?
Ma foi, je ne sais pas,
Peut-être jamais, peut-être demain.
Mais pas aujourd’hui, c’est certain!
[sung]
L’amour est un oiseau rebelle
Que nul ne peut apprivoiser,
Et c’est bien en vain qu’on l’appelle,
S’il lui convient de refuser.
Rien n’y fait, menace ou prière;
L’un parle bien, l’autre se tait,
Et c’est l’autre que je préfère;
Il n’a rien dit mais il me plaît.

(L’amour est un oiseau rebelle) L’amour…
(Que nul ne peut apprivoiser,) L’amour…
(Et c’est bien en vain qu’on l’appelle,) L’amour…
(S’il lui convient de refuser.) L’amour…

L’amour est enfant de Bohême,
Il n’a jamais, jamais connu de loi;
Si tu ne m’aimes pas, je t’aime;
Si je t’aime, prends garde à toi! (Prends garde à toi!)
Si tu ne m’aimes pas,
Si tu ne m’aimes pas, je t’aime; (Prends garde à toi!)
Mais si je t’aime, si je t’aime;
Prends garde à toi!

(L’amour est enfant de Bohême,)
(Il n’a jamais, jamais connu de loi;)
(Si tu ne m’aimes pas, je t’aime;)
(Si je t’aime, prends garde à toi!) (Prends garde à toi!)

Si tu ne m’aimes pas,
Si tu ne m’aimes pas, je t’aime; (Prends garde à toi!)
Mais si je t’aime, si je t’aime;
Prends garde à toi! (Prends garde à toi!)

L’oiseau que tu croyais surprendre
Battit de l’aile et s’envola.
L’amour est loin, tu peux l’attendre;
Tu ne l’attends plus, il est là.
Tout autour de toi, vite, vite,
Il vient, s’en va, puis il revient.
Tu crois le tenir, il t’évite,
Tu crois l’éviter, il te tient!

(Tout autour de toi, vite, vite) L’amour…
(Il vient, s’en va, puis il revient.) L’amour…
(Tu crois le tenir, il t’évite,) L’amour…
(Tu crois l’éviter, il te tient!) L’amour…

L’amour est enfant de Bohême,
Il n’a jamais, jamais connu de loi;
Si tu ne m’aimes pas, je t’aime;
Si je t’aime, prends garde à toi! (Prends garde à toi!)
Si tu ne m’aimes pas,
Si tu ne m’aimes pas, je t’aime (Prends garde à toi!)
Mais si je t’aime, si je t’aime
Prends garde à toi!

(L’amour est enfant de Bohême,)
(Il n’a jamais, jamais connu de loi;)
(Si tu ne m’aimes pas, je t’aime;)
(Si je t’aime, prends garde à toi!) (Prends garde à toi!)

Si tu ne m’aimes pas,
Si tu ne m’aimes pas, je t’aime (Prends garde à toi!)
Mais si je t’aime, si je t’aime
Prends garde à toi! (Prends garde à toi!)

English translation

When will I love you?
Good Lord, I don’t know,
Maybe never, maybe tomorrow.
But not today, that’s for sure.

Love is a rebellious bird
That none can tame,
And it is well in vain that one calls it
If it suits him to refuse
Nothing to be done, threat or prayer.
The one talks well, the other is silent;
And it’s the other that I prefer
He says nothing but he pleases me.

(Love is a rebellious bird) Love…
(that none can tame,) Love…
(and you can call him, although it is, quite in vain,) Love…
(because it suits him not to come) Love…

Love is a gypsy’s child,
It has never, never known the law;
If you do not love me, I love you;
If I love you, take guard yourself (Take guard yourself!)
If you do not love me,
If you do not love me, I love you (Take guard yourself!)
But if I love you, if I love you
Take guard yourself!

(Love is a gypsy’s child,)
(It has never, never known the law;)
(If you do not love me, I love you;)
(If I love you, take guard yourself) (Take guard yourself!)

If you do not love me,
If you do not love me, I love you (Take guard yourself!)
But if I love you, if I love you
Take guard yourself!(Take guard yourself!)

The bird you hoped to catch
Beat its wings and flew away …
Love is far, you can wait for it
You no longer await it, there it is
All around you, swift, swift,
It comes, goes, then it returns …
You think to hold it fast, it flees you
You think to flee it, it holds you

(All around you, swift,) Love…
(It comes, goes, then it returns) Love…
(You think to hold it fast, it flees you) Love…
(You think to flee it, it holds you) Love…

Love is a gypsy’s child,
it has never, never known the law;
if you love me not, then I love you;
if I love you, take guard yourself (Take guard yourself!)
if you love me not,
if you love me not, then I love you (Take guard yourself!)
but if I love you, if I love you
take guard yourself!

(Love is a gypsy’s child,)
(it has never known the law;)
(if you love me not, then I love you;)
(if I love you, take guard yourself) (Take guard yourself!)

if you love me not,
if you love me not, then I love you (Take guard yourself!)
but if I love you, if I love you
take guard yourself (Take guard yourself)

Seguidilla

French

Carmen
Près des remparts de Séville
chez mon ami Lillas Pastia,
j’irai danser la seguedille
et boire du Manzanilla,
j’irai chez mon ami Lillas Pastia.
Oui, mais toute seule on s’ennuie,
et les vrais plaisirs sont à deux;
donc pour me tenir compagnie,
j’ammènerai mon amoureux!
Mon amoureux!.. il est au diable!
Je l’ai mis à la porte hier!
Mon pauvre coeur, très consolable,
mon coeur est libre comme l’air!
J’ai des galants à la douzaine;
mais ils ne sont pas à mon gré.
Voici la fin de la semaine:
qui veut m’aimer? je l’aimerai!
Qui veut mon âme? Elle est à prendre!
Vous arrivez au bon moment!
Je n’ai guère le temps d’attendre,
car avec mon nouvel amant
près des remparts de Séville,
chez mon ami Lillas Pastia,
j’irai danser la seguedille
et boire du Manzanilla,
dimanche, j’irai chez mon ami Pastia!
José
Tais-toi, je t’avais dit de ne pas me parler!
Carmen
Je ne te parle pas, je chante pour moi-même,
je chante pour moi-même!
Et je pense! il n’est pas défendu de penser!
Je pense à certain officier,
je pense à certain officier qui m’aime
et qu’à mon tour, oui, qu’à mon tour
je pourrais bien aimer!
Mon officier n’est pas un capitaine,
pas même un lieutenant, il n’est que brigadier;
mais c’est assez pour une bohémienne
et je daigne m’en contenter!
José
Carmen, je suis comme un homme ivre,
si je cède, si je me livre,
ta promesse, tu la tiendras,
ah! si je t’aime, Carmen, Carmen, tu m’aimeras!

English translation

Carmen
Right by the walls of Sevilla,
At my old friend Lillas Pastia’s,
I’ll go to dance the seguidilla
And drink some manzanilla,
I’ll go to my old friend Lillas Pastia’s.
But all alone it’s not much fun,
True pleasure is when you’re a pair;
So, to make sure I’ve got someone,
I’ll bring my lover with me there!
My lover man! To hell with him now!
I broke up with him yesterday!
And my poor heart’s ripe for a whim now,
My heart is free, it’s free to play!
I am pursued by scores of gallants;
But none that I like through and through.
Now here’s the weekend – what’s the balance?
Who will love me? I’ll love him too!
Who wants my soul? It’s ripe for mating!
You have arrived right with the tide!
I have no time to waste by waiting,
For with my new man by my side,
Right by the walls of Sevilla,
At my old friend Lillas Pastia’s,
I’ll go to dance the seguidilla
And drink some manzanilla,
This Sunday I’ll go to my old friend Pastia’s!
José
Shut up, I’d told you to do no talking to me!
Carmen
I’m not talking to you, I’m singing for my pleasure,
I’m singing for my pleasure!
And I’m thinking! And thinking is not against the law!
I’m thinking of a man of war,
I’m thinking of a man of war who treasures
Me and that I could, oh yes, I could
Have loving feelings for!
He’s not a captain, though he’s quite proficient,
Not even one rank below, just an NCO;
But for a Gypsy girl that’s quite sufficient,
And for me that can be just so!
José
Oh, Carmen, I feel on a bender,
If I yield and if I surrender,
To your promise you will be true,
Oh, Carmen, Carmen, if I love you you’ll love me too.