Una furtiva lagrima – Brownlee, Pavarotti and Caruso versions

A beautiful aria, three different times, three great tenors. Lawrence Brownlee (2014), Luciano Pavarotti (1982) and Enrico Caruso (1904) versions of “Una furtiva lagrima” (A furtive tear), a romanza from act 2, scene 8 of the Italian opera L’elisir d’amore by Gaetano Donizetti.

Lawrence Brownlee version (2014)

Brownlee is a wonderful tenor, one of the greatest tenors currently active. Describing his voice, Speight Jenkins, general director of the Seattle Opera, said: “There are other singers that sing this repertory very well, but I don’t think anyone else has quite as beautiful a sound and as rounded a tone.”

Read more about Lawrence Brownlee on BlackPast.org

Luciano Pacarotti version (1982)

April 13, 1982. Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Kurt Herbert Adler.

Enrico Caruso version (1904)

Digitally remastered version of a recording from the 1st of February 1904 (room 826, Carnegie Hall, New York).

In the opera L’elisir d’amore, “Una furtiva lagrima” 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.

Libretto (Lyrics)

Italian

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 coi 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 translation

A single furtive tear
from her eyes sprang:
Of those festive, young girls
envious it seemed to be.
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.
Just for an instant the beating of
her beautiful heart I heard!
And my sighs became as one
fleetingly with her sighs!
Her heart beating, her heart beating to hear,
our sighs confounded as one…
Heavens! Yes I could, I could die!
More I can’t ask, I can’t ask.
Oh, heavens! Yes I could! Yes I could die!
More I can’t ask, I can’t ask.
Yes I could die! If I could die of love.

Sources

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