A duet by Luciano Pavarotti and Mario Lanza: they sing “Lamento di Federico”, “È la solita storia del pastore”, a famous aria taken from act II of the opera L’arlesiana by Francesco Cilea. Well, not actually they sing together, but the two different version has been mixed together wonderfully and the result is the video below:
And here are the original Lanza and Pavarotti versions below:
L’arlesiana is an opera in three acts by Francesco Cilea to an Italian libretto by Leopoldo Marenco. It was originally written in four acts, and was first performed on 27 November 1897 at the Teatro Lirico di Milano in Milan. It was revised as a three-act opera in 1898, and a prelude was added in 1937.
The opera is based on the play L’Arlésienne (1872) by Alphonse Daudet, which was itself inspired by a short story from his collection Letters From My Windmill (Lettres de mon moulin) and is best known for the incidental music composed by Georges Bizet.
The “Lamento di Federico”, “È la solita storia del pastore” is an aria famous for tenors. It is sung by Federico, who is deeply in love with a girl from Arles, the Arlesiana of the title, but his family has arranged his marriage with Vivetta. Vivetta has always loved Federico since childhood and is disappointed to know of his love for l’Arlesiana. When he has been left alone, Federico reads the letters of l’Arlesiana and ponders them with his broken heart.
È la solita storia del pastore…
Il povero ragazzo voleva raccontarla
C’è nel sonno l’oblio.
Anch’io vorrei dormir così,
nel sonno almen l’oblio trovar!
La pace sol cercando io vo’.
Vorrei poter tutto scordar!
Ma ogni sforzo è vano.
Davanti ho sempre
di lei il dolce sembiante.
La pace tolta è solo a me.
Perché degg’io tanto penar?
Lei! Sempre lei mi parla al cor!
Fatale vision, mi lascia!
Mi fai tanto male! Ahimè!
It’s the old tale of the shepherd…
The poor boy wanted to retell it
And he fell asleep.
There is oblivion in sleep.
How I envy him!
I too would like to sleep like that
To find oblivion at least in slumber!
I am searching only for peace.
I would like to be able to forget everything!
Yet every effort is in vain.
Before me I always have
her sweet face.
Peace is ever taken from me.
Why must I suffer so very much?
She, as always speaks to my heart.
Fatal vision, leave me!
You hurt me so deeply! Alas!