American operatic soprano Dorothy Kirsten, the American tenor and Hollywood star of Italian origin Mario Lanza, and the American operatic mezzo-soprano Blanche Thebom sing “O Terra Addio”, the final duet from Giuseppe Verdi’s opera “Aida,” which premiered in Cairo in 1871. This scene is from “The Great Caruso”, a 1951 biographical film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and starring Mario Lanza as famous operatic tenor Enrico Caruso.

American operatic soprano Dorothy Kirsten, the American tenor and Hollywood star of Italian origin Mario Lanza, and the American operatic mezzo-soprano Blanche Thebom sing “O Terra Addio”, the final duet from Giuseppe Verdi’s opera “Aida,” which premiered in Cairo in 1871. This scene is from “The Great Caruso”, a 1951 biographical film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and starring Mario Lanza as famous operatic tenor Enrico Caruso.

O Terra Addio

“O Terra Addio” is the final duet from Giuseppe Verdi’s opera “Aida,” which premiered in Cairo in 1871. This opera, set in the Old Kingdom of Egypt, is a story of love and betrayal involving Aida, an Ethiopian princess enslaved in Egypt; Radamès, an Egyptian military commander; and Amneris, the Egyptian King’s daughter. The opera culminates in the tragic finale where Radamès is condemned to be buried alive for treason, due to his love for Aida, and Aida chooses to join him in his tomb, so they can die together.

The duet “O Terra Addio” is sung by Aida and Radamès as they accept their fate, entombed beneath the temple of Vulcan. They bid farewell to the earth and the sun, embracing death as a release from their torments and envisioning a life together beyond the grave. The music is poignant and deeply moving, reflecting the characters’ resignation to their fate and their transcendent love that endures beyond death.

Verdi’s music for “O Terra Addio” is characterized by its lyrical beauty and emotional depth. The duet combines a sense of serene acceptance with an undercurrent of profound sadness, capturing the tragedy of the lovers’ situation. The orchestration supports the voices with a delicate and ethereal texture, suggesting the otherworldly peace the lovers find in death. The melody is both simple and profound, allowing the singers to express the depth of their characters’ feelings.

“O Terra Addio” is a masterpiece of operatic writing, showcasing Verdi’s ability to convey complex emotions through music. The duet is a powerful and affecting conclusion to the opera, leaving a lasting impression on the audience. It reflects Verdi’s themes of love, sacrifice, and the search for peace, themes that resonate with audiences even today.

“Aida” remains one of Verdi’s most beloved operas, celebrated for its grandeur, its compelling narrative, and its richly emotional music. “O Terra Addio” stands out as one of the opera’s most memorable moments, a testament to Verdi’s genius in capturing the essence of human emotion and the tragic beauty of love and loss.

O Terra Addio lyrics [text]

Italian

Si avvicina ad Aida e la sorregge

Aida e Radamès

O terra, addio; addio, valle di pianti…
Sogno di gaudio che in dolor svanì.
A noi si schiude il ciel e l’alme erranti
Volano al raggio dell’interno dì.

Sacerdoti, Sacerdotesse

Immenso Fthà, noi t’invochiam!

Aida e Radamès

Ah! si schiude il ciel.
O terra, addio; addio, valli di pianti…

Amneris

in abito di lutto appare nel tempio e va a prostrarsi sulla pietra che chiude il sotterraneo
Pace t’imploro…

Aida e Radamès

Sogno di gaudio che in dolor svanì.

Amneris

… salma adorata;

Aida e Radamès

A noi si schiude il ciel…

Amneris

Isi placata…

Aida e Radamès

… si schiude il ciel e l’alme erranti…

Amneris

Isi placata ti schiuda il ciel!

Aida e Radamès

Volano al raggio dell’eterno dì.

Sacerdoti, Sacerdotesse

Noi t’invochiam…

Aida e Radamès

… il ciel…

Sacerdoti, Sacerdotesse

… immenso Fthà!

Aida e Radamès

… si schiude il ciel!

Aida cade e muore nelle braccia di Radamès

Amneris

Pace t’imploro,
… pace, pace…
… pace!

Sacerdoti, Sacerdotesse

Immenso Fthà!

English Translation

Aida and Radamès

Ah! Heaven is opening for us!
Oh earth, farewell; farewell, vale of tears…

Amneris

appears dressed in mourning and throws herself down upon the stone which seals the crypt
Peace I beg…

Aida and Radamès

… dream of joy which in sorrow fades.

Amneris

… beloved corpse…

Aida and Radamès

For us heaven opens …

Amneris

… may Isis, be placated…

Aida and Radamès

… heaven opens and our wandering souls…

Amneris

Isis, placated, open heaven to you!

Aida and Radamès

… fly to the light of eternal day

Priests, Priestesses

We invoke thee…

Aida and Radamès

… heaven…

Priests, Priestesses

… mighty Phtha!

Aida and Radamès

… heaven opens for us!

Aida sinks into Radamès’ arms and dies.

Amneris

Peace I beg,
… peace, peace …
… peace!

Priests, Priestesses

Mighty Phtha!

Sources

M. Özgür Nevres

Published by M. Özgür Nevres

I am Özgür Nevres, a software engineer, a former road racing cyclist, and also an amateur musician. I opened andantemoderato.com to share my favorite music. I also take care of stray cats & dogs. This website's all income goes directly to our furry friends. Please consider supporting me on Patreon, so I can help more animals!

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