Maria Callas sings “Casta Diva” from Norma (Bellini)

Maria Callas sings “Casta Diva” from Norma, Vincenzo Bellini’s 1831 opera in two acts. Paris, 1958. The opera is regarded as a leading example of the bel canto genre and a major soprano aria, “Casta diva”, in act 1, is one of the most famous of the nineteenth century. Maria Callas was a notable Norma of the post-war period.

Casta Diva lyrics

Libretto by Felice Romani.

Casta Diva

Casta Diva, che inargenti
queste sacre antiche piante,
a noi volgi il bel sembiante
senza nube e senza vel
Tempra, o Diva,
tempra tu de’ cori ardenti
tempra ancora lo zelo audace,
spargi in terra quella pace
che regnar tu fai nel ciel
Fine al rito
e il sacro bosco
sia disgombro dai profani.
quando il Nume irato e fosco,
chiegga il sangue dei Romani.
Dal Druidico delubro
La mia voce tuonerà.
Cadrà; punirlo io posso.
Ma, punirlo, il cor non sa.
Ah! bello a me ritorna
Del fido amor primiero;
E contro il mondo intiero
difesa a te sarò.
Ah! bello a me ritorna
Del raggio tuo sereno,
e vita nel tuo seno,
e patria e cielo avrò.
Ah, riedi ancora qual eri allora,
quando il cor ti diedi allora,
ah, riedi a me.

Virtuous Goddess

Virtuous Goddess, covering with silver
these sacred ancient plants,
turn towards us your fair face
cloudless and unveiled
Temper, oh Goddess,
you temper the ardent hearts
furthermore temper the audacious zeal,
spread on earth the same peace
that make you make reign in heaven
Complete the rite
and the sacred forest
should be cleansed of the profane
when the Spirit irate and gloomy,
will ask for the blood of the Romans.
From the Druidic temple
my voice will thunder.
He’ll fall; I can punish him.
But my heart doesn’t know to punish.
Ah! Come back to me beautiful
to your loyal first love;
and against the whole world
I shall protect you.
Ah! Come back to me beautiful
along with your serene radiance
and life in your womb,
and I’ll have homeland and sky.
Ah, come back again as you were then,
then when I gave you my heart,
Ah, come back to me.

Sources

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