Pavarotti sings Una furtiva lagrima

The legendary Luciano Pavarotti sings “Una furtiva lagrima” (English: A furtive tear), a romanza from act 2, scene 8 of Gaetano Donizetti’s “L’elisir d’amore” (English: The Elixir of Love), a 1831 comic opera (melodramma giocoso) in two acts. The opera premiered on 12 May 1832 at the Teatro della Canobbiana in Milan.

Una furtiva lagrima

One of the best-loved arias in the operatic repertoire, Una furtiva lagrima is sung by Nemorino (tenor) when he finds that the love potion he bought to win the heart of his dream lady, Adina, works.

Nemorino is in love with Adina, but she is not interested in a relationship with an innocent, rustic man. To win her heart, Nemorino buys a love potion with all the money he has in his pocket. That love potion is actually a cheap red wine sold by a traveling quack doctor, but when he sees Adina weeping, he knows that she has fallen in love with him, and he is sure that the “elixir” has worked. Though he must leave to join the army, he is reassured that the “furtive tear” he saw in Adina’s eye was proof that she finally loved him. He sings of his joy with this aria.

Una furtiva lagrima lyrics (libretto)

The Italian lyrics were is taken from “L’elisir d’amore Score and libretto” on Indiana University web site. This source does not include the last line “Si può morir! Si può morir d’amor”, which is however heard in most performances of the romanza.

Una furtiva lagrima

Una furtiva lagrima
negli occhi suoi spuntò:
Quelle festose giovani
invidiar sembrò.
Che più cercando io vo?
Che più cercando io vo?
M’ama! Sì, m’ama, lo vedo. Lo vedo.
Un solo istante i palpiti
del suo bel cor sentir!
I miei sospir confondere
per poco a’ suoi sospir!
I palpiti, i palpiti sentir,
confondere i miei co’ suoi sospir…
Cielo! Si può morir!
Di più non chiedo, non chiedo.
Ah, cielo! Si può! Si può morir!
Di più non chiedo, non chiedo.
Si può morir! Si può morir d’amor.

English traslation: A furtive tear

A furtive tear
in her eyes appeared:
Those festive young girls
she seemed to envy.
What more need I look for?
What more need I look for?
She loves me! Yes, she loves me, I see it. I see it.
For a single instant the beats
of her beautiful heart to feel!
My sighs to confound
for a while with her sighs!
Her heartbeats, her heartbeats to feel,
my sighs with hers to merge
Heavens! One could die!
More I cannot ask, I cannot ask.
Oh, heavens! One could, one could die!
More I cannot ask, I cannot ask.
One could die! One could die of love!

Luciano Pavarotti sings Una Furtiva Lagrima
Luciano Pavarotti as Nemorino


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