On July 30, 1991, Luciano Pavarotti has given a free concert in London’s Hyde Park to celebrate his 30 years in opera. A crowd of more than 100,000 stood in the rain to watch and listen to the great Luciano.

Pavarotti at Hyde Park (1991)

Pavarotti at Hyde Park Programme

  1. 0:00:00 Overture
  2. 0:06:25 Giuseppe Verdi – Quando le sere al placido (from Luisa Miller)
  3. 0:12:25 Giacomo Meyerbeer – O paradis (from L’Africaine)
  4. 0:15:55 Giuseppe Verdi – La Mia Letizia Infondere (from I Lombardi alla Prima Crociata)
  5. 0:18:30 Jules Massenet – Pourquoi Me Reveiller? (from Werther)
  6. 0:22:00 Richard Wagner – Treulich geführt (Bridal chorus)
  7. 0:27:15 Giacomo Puccini – Recondita Armonia (from Tosca)
  8. 0:30:00 Giacomo Puccini – E lucevan le stelle (from Tosca)
  9. 0:33:45 François Borne – Carmen fantasy (based on Georges Bizet’s opera Carmen)
  10. 0:40:48 Ruggero Leoncavallo – Vesti la giubba (from Pagliacci)
  11. 0:44:20 Cesare Andrea Bixio – Mama
  12. 0:48:10 Cesare Andrea Bixio – La Mia Canzone al Vento
  13. 0:51:35 Ernesto De Curtis – Non Ti Scordar di Me (Don’t Forget About Me)
  14. 0:55:45 Giacomo Puccini – Tra voi, belle, brune e bionde (from Act I of Manon Lescaut)
  15. 0:58:15 Giacomo Puccini – Donna non Vidi Mai (from Act I of Manon Lescaut)
  16. 1:02:25 ‘O sole Mio
  17. 1:06:25 Ernesto De Curtis – Torna a Surriento
  18. 1:11:30 Giacomo Puccini – Nessun Dorma (from Turandot)

Lyrics

Verdi: Quando le sere al placido, Rodolfo’s aria from Luisa Miller

Luisa Miller is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) to an Italian libretto by Salvadore Cammarano (1801-1852), based on the play Kabale und Liebe (Intrigue and Love) by the German dramatist Friedrich von Schiller (10 November 1759 – 9 May 1805).

Oh! fede negar potessi agl’occhi miei!
Se cielo e terra, se mortali ed angeli
attestarmi volesser ch’ella non è rea…
Mentite! Io risponder dovrei,
tutti mentite…Son cifre sue!
Tanta perfidia! Un’alma sì nera!
Si mendace! Ben la conobbe il padre!
Ma dunque i giuri, le speranze la gioja,
le lagrime, l’affano?
Tutto è menzogna, tradimento inganno!

Oh! fede negar potessi agl’occhi miei!
Se cielo e terra, se mortali ed angeli
attestarmi volesser ch’ella non è rea…
Mentite! Io risponder dovrei,
tutti mentite…Son cifre sue!
Tanta perfidia! Un’alma sì nera!
Si mendace! Ben la conobbe il padre!
Ma dunque i giuri, le speranze la gioja,
le lagrime, l’affano?
Tutto è menzogna, tradimento inganno!

English translation

Oh! I wish I could deny my own eyes!
If heaven and earth, if mortals and angels
Were to swear to me that she is not guilty…
Lies! I should answer,
All lies…this is her hand!
So much treachery! A black soul!
A liar! Well,

my father knew her!
But are all the promises, the hopes of joy,
the tears, without life?
Everything is a lie, a deceptive betrayal!

When in the evenings in the calm
The pale light of a starry sky
She gazed with me into the heavens
With a look of love,
And I felt this hand-pressed
By her hand…
Ah! She betrayed me!
I was mute, ecstatic,
Hanging from her lips.
When she said in angelic tones
I love only you,

It seemed like the world
Opened my soul!

Meyerbeer: O paradis from L’Africaine

L’Africaine (The African Woman) is a grand opera, the last work of the composer Giacomo Meyerbeer. The French libretto was written by Eugène Scribe. The opera is about fictitious events in the life of the real historical person Vasco da Gama. (Meyerbeer’s working title for the opera was Vasco de Gama.)

Mi batte il cor… spettacol divinsognata terra ecco ti premo al fin
o paradiso, dal onda uscito
fiorente suol, splendido suol
in voi rapito io son
tu m’appartieni
o nuovo mondo
alla mia patria ti posso ti posso ofrir
nostro e questo terreno fecondo
que l’europa puo tutta arricchir
spettacolo divin
in te rapito io son
O nuovo mondo
tu m’appartieni (rep)
a me, tu m’appartieni a me
o nuovo mondo tu m’appartieni
tu m’appartieni a me a me, a me, a me.

English translation

My heart throbs… wondrous scene!
At last, I embrace you, the land that I’ve dreamed of!
O paradise, emerging from the sea,
Flowering earth, brilliant sun,
You entrance me!
You belong to me!
Oh, new world,
I can offer you my homeland!
This fertile earth is ours,
Which can enrich all of Europe!
Wondrous scene!
You ravish me!
Oh, new world,
You belong to me!
To me!

Verdi: La Mia Letizia Infondere from I Lombardi alla Prima Crociata

I Lombardi alla Prima Crociata (The Lombards on the First Crusade) is an operatic dramma lirico in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Temistocle Solera, based on an epic poem by Tommaso Grossi.

La Mia Letizia Infondere
La mia latizia infondere vorrei
nel suo bel core!
Vorrei destar co’ palpiti
del mio beato amore
tante armonie nell’etere
quanti pianeti egli ha:
ah! ir seco al cielo, ed ergermi
dove mortal, mortal non va!
Ir seco al cielo, ed ergermi
dove mortal, mortal non va!
Dove mortale,
dove mortal mortal non va!
Dove mortal, mortal, mortal non va!
Dove mortal, mortal, mortal non va!

English translation

To infuse my joy
I wish, in your lovely heart
I wish to awaken with the throbbing
Of my blessed love
As much harmony in the heavens
As it has planets
Ah! To go with her to heaven and to rise up
Where no mortal goes…

Massenet: Pourquoi Me Reveiller? from Werther

Werther is an opera (drame lyrique) in four acts by Jules Massenet to a French libretto by Édouard Blau, Paul Milliet and Georges Hartmann (who used the pseudonym Henri Grémont). It is loosely based on the German epistolary novel The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, which was based both on fact and on Goethe’s own early life.

Werther is madly in love with Charlotte, his friend’s wife. To forget her, he has run away. But when he returns, he finds he is more in love than ever. Werther recites a favorite poem for Charlotte, and at last realizes that fatal truth: Charlotte can never return his love.

Pourquoi me reveiller
Pourquoi me reveiller, o souffle du printemos?
Sur mon front je sens tes caresses.
Et pourtant bien proche est le temps
Des orages et des tristesses.
Demain, dans le vallon,
Se souvenant de ma gloire premiere,
Et ses yeux vainement chercheront ma splendeur:
Ils ne trouveront plus que deuil et que misere!
Helas! Pourquoi me reveiller, o souffle du printemps?

English translation

Why do you wake me now, o sweetest breath of spring?
On my brow, I sense your most gentle caress,
yet how soon creeps on the time.
filled with tempests and with distress!
Tomorrow through the vale, the traveler will pass,
recalling all of the glory of the past.
And in vain he will search for the bloom of my youth,
and nothing will he find but deep pain and endless sorrow.
Alas! Why do you wake me now, o sweetest breath of spring!

Wagner: Treulich geführt (Bridal chorus) From Lohengrin

The “Bridal Chorus” (“Treulich geführt” in German), from the 1850 opera Lohengrin, by German composer Richard Wagner, is a march played for the bride’s entrance at many formal weddings throughout the Western world.

In English-speaking countries, it is generally known as “Here Comes the Bride” or “Wedding March,” though, actually, “wedding march” refers to any piece in march tempo accompanying the entrance or exit of the bride, notably Felix Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March.” The piece was made popular when it was used as the processional at the wedding of Victoria Princess Royal to Prince Frederick William of Prussia in 1858.

Treulich geführt
Treulich geführt ziehet dahin,
wo euch der Segen der Liebe bewahr’!
Siegreicher Mut, Minnegewinn
eint euch in Treue zum seligsten Paar.
Streiter der Tugend, schreite voran!
Zierde der Jugend, schreite voran!
Rauschen des Festes seid nun entronnen,
Wonne des Herzens sei euch gewonnen!
Duftender Raum, zur Liebe geschmückt,
nehm’ euch nun auf, dem Glanze entrückt.
Treulich geführt ziehet nun ein,
wo euch der Segen der Liebe bewahr’!
Siegreicher Mut, Minne so rein
eint euch in Treue zum seligsten Paar.

Eight women then sing a blessing to a separate melody.

Wie Gott euch selig weihte, zu Freude weihn euch wir.
In Liebesglücks Geleite denkt lang’ der Stunde hier!

Eventually, the chorus returns with these words, gradually proceeding offstage:

Treulich bewacht bleibet zurück,
wo euch der Segen der Liebe bewahr’!
Siegreicher Mut, Minne und Glück
eint euch in Treue zum seligsten Paar.
Streiter der Tugend, bleibe daheim!
Zierde der Jugend, bleibe daheim!
Rauschen des Festes seid nun entronnen,
Wonne des Herzens sei euch gewonnen!
Duftender Raum, zur Liebe geschmückt,
nahm euch nun auf, dem Glanze entrückt.
Treulich bewacht bleibet zurück,
wo euch der Segen der Liebe bewahr’!
Siegreicher Mut, Minne und Glück
eint euch in Treue zum seligsten Paar.

English translation

Faithfully guided, draw near
to where the blessing of love shall preserve you!
Triumphant courage, the reward of love,
joins you in faith as the happiest of couples!
Champion of virtue, proceed!
Jewel of youth, proceed!
Flee now the splendor of the wedding feast,
may the delights of the heart be yours!
This sweet-smelling room, decked for love,
now takes you in, away from the splendor.
Faithfully guided, draw now near
to where the blessing of love shall preserve you!
Triumphant courage, love so pure,
joins you in faith as the happiest of couples!

Faithfully guarded, remain behind
where the blessing of love shall preserve you!
Triumphant courage, love, and happiness
join you in faith as the happiest of couples.
Champion of virtue, remain here!
Jewel of youth, remain here!
Flee now the splendors of the wedding feast,
may the delights of the heart be yours!
This sweet-smelling room, decked for love,
has now taken you, away from the splendor.
Faithfully guarded, remain behind
where the blessing of love shall preserve you!
Triumphant courage, love, and happiness
join you in faith as the happiest of couples.

Puccini: Recondita Armonia from Tosca

Recondita Armonia is the first romanza in the opera Tosca, by Giacomo Puccini. It is sung by the painter Mario Cavaradossi when comparing his love, Tosca, to a portrait of Mary Magdalene that he is painting.

Recondita Armonia
Dammi i colori…

Recondita armonia di bellezze diverse!
È bruna Floria, l’ardente amante mia.
E te, beltade ignota, cinta di chiome bionde,
Tu azzurro hai l’occhio,
Tosca ha l’occhio nero!

L’arte nel suo mistero,
le diverse bellezze insiem confonde…
Ma nel ritrar costei,
Il mio solo pensiero,
Il mio sol pensier sei tu,
Tosca, sei tu!

English translation

Pass me the colors…

Concealed harmony of contrasting beauties!
Floria, my ardent lover, is dark-haired.
And you, unknown beauty, crowned with blond hair,
You have blue eyes,
Tosca has black eyes!

Art, in its mysterious way,
blends the contrasting beauties together…
But while I’m painting her,
My only thought,
My only thought is of you,
Tosca, it is of you!

Puccini: E lucevan le stelle from Tosca

“E lucevan le stelle” (“And the stars were shining”) is a romanza from the third act of Giacomo Puccini’s opera Tosca, composed in 1900 to an Italian libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa. It is sung by Mario Cavaradossi (tenor), a painter in love with the singer Tosca, while he waits for his execution on the roof of Castel Sant’Angelo.

E lucevan le stelle
E lucevan le stelle…
ed olezzava la terra
stridea l’uscio dell’orto…
e un passo sfiorava la rena…
Entrava ella fragrante,
mi cadea fra le braccia.

O! dolci baci, o languide carezze,
mentr’io fremente le belle forme disciogliea dai veli!
Svanì per sempre il sogno mio d’amore.
L’ora è fuggita, e muoio disperato!
E muoio disperato!
E non ho amato mai tanto la vita,
tanto la vita!

Literal English translation

And the stars were shining,
And the earth was scented.
The gate of the garden creaked
And a footstep grazed the sand…
Fragrant, she entered
And fell into my arms.

Oh, sweet kisses and languorous caresses,
While feverishly I stripped the beautiful form of its veils!
Forever, my dream of love has vanished.
That moment has fled, and I die in desperation.
And I die in desperation!
And I never before loved life so much,
Loved life so much!

Singable English

When the stars were brightly shining…
And faint perfumes in the air pervaded,
Creaked the gate of the garden…
And footstep its precincts invaded…
‘Twas hers, the fragrant creature.
In her soft arms, she clasped me.

With sweetest kisses, tenderest caresses,
A thing of beauty, of matchless symmetry in form and feature!
My dream of love is now dispelled forever.
I lived uncaringly and now I die despairing!
Alas, I die despairing!
And never was life so dear to me, no never,
So dear, no never!

Borne: Carmen Fantasy (based on Georges Bizet’s opera Carmen)

François Borne (1840-1920), sometimes spelled Bourne, was a French flautist playing with the orchestra of “Le Grand Théatre de Bordeaux” (Bordeaux Opera House), composer and professor at “Conservatoire de Musique de Toulouse” (High School for Music in Toulouse). He is recognized for technical improvements to the flute. Furthermore, he is remembered today for his composition Fantasie Brillante on Themes from Bizet’s Carmen which is a staple of the Romantic flute repertoire.

Leoncavallo: Vesti la giubba from Pagliacci

Vesti la giubba (English: Put on the costume) is a famous tenor aria from Ruggero Leoncavallo’s 1892 opera Pagliacci (Clowns) and is regarded as one of the most moving arias in the operatic repertoire. It is sung at the conclusion of the first act, when Canio discovers his wife’s infidelity, but must nevertheless prepare for his performance as Pagliaccio the clown because “The show must go on”. The pain of Canio (Caruso) is portrayed in the aria and exemplifies the entire notion of the ‘tragic clown’: smiling on the outside but crying on the inside. This is still displayed today as the clown motif often features the painted-on tear running down the cheek of the performer.

Italian Text

Recitar! Mentre preso dal delirio,
non so più quel che dico,
e quel che faccio!
Eppur è d’uopo, sforzati!
Bah! Sei tu forse un uom?
Tu se’ Pagliaccio!

Vesti la giubba e la faccia infarina.
La gente paga, e rider vuole qua.

E se Arlecchin t’invola Colombina,
ridi, Pagliaccio, e ognun applaudirà!
Tramuta in lazzi lo spasmo ed il pianto
in una smorfia il singhiozzo e ‘l dolor, Ah!

Ridi, Pagliaccio,
sul tuo amore infranto!
Ridi del duol, che t’avvelena il cor!

English Translation

Act! While in delirium,
I no longer know what I say,
or what I do!
And yet it’s necessary… make an effort!
Bah! Are you not a man?
You are a clown!

Put on your costume and powder your face.
The people pay to be here, and they want to laugh.

And if Harlequin shall steal your Columbina,
laugh, clown, so the crowd will cheer!
Turn your distress and tears into jest,
your pain and sobbing into a funny face – Ah!

Laugh, clown,
at your broken love!
Laugh at the grief that poisons your heart!

Bixio: Mama

“Mamma” is a popular song first written in 1941 by Cesare Andrea Bixio with Italian lyrics by Bixio Cherubini under the title “Mamma son tanto felice” (Mum, I am so happy). Cesare Andrea Bixio (11 October 1896 – 5 March 1978) was an Italian composer. He was one of the most popular Italian songwriters of the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s. The performers of this song included: Beniamino Gigli, Luciano Tajoli, Richard Tucker, Claudio Villa, Robertino Loreti, Violetta Villas, Muslim Mogomayev, Luciano Pavarotti, Toto Cutugno, Andrea Bocelli, Sergio Franchi, Romina Arena, and Mario Frangoulis. In 1946, the English lyrics were written by Harold Barlow and Phil Brito who had their popular recording hit the charts in May 1946.

Mamma
Mamma, son tanto felice
Perche ritorno da te
La mia canzone ti dice
Ch’ il pi bel sogno per me
Mamma son tanto felice
Viver lontano perche

Mamma, solo per te la mia canzone vola
Mamma, sarai con me, tu non sarai piu’ sola
Quanto ti voglio bene
Queste parole d’amore che ti sospira il mio cuore
Forse non s’usano piu

Mamma
Ma la canzone mia pi bella sei tu
Sei tu la vita
E per la vita non ti lascio mai piu

Sento la mano tua stanca
Cerca i miei riccioli d’or
Sento, e la voce ti manca
La ninna nanna d’allor
Oggi la testa tua bianca
Io voglio stringere al cuor

Mamma, solo per te la mia canzone vola
Mamma, sarai con me, tu non sarai pi sola
Quanto ti voglio bene
Queste parole d’amore che ti sospira il mio cuore
Forse non s’usano piu’

Mamma
Ma la canzone mia piu’ bella sei tu
Sei tu la vita
E per la vita non ti lascio mai piu’
Mamma mai piu’

English translation

Mom I am very happy
because I am returning to you
my song is telling you
that it is the most beautiful day for me
mom I am very happy
why should we live apart?

Mom, only for you
my song flies
mom, you will stay with me
you’ll not be alone anymore
how much I love you
these words of love
that my heart is whispering to you
maybe are not longer used

Mom, but my most beautiful song is you
you are my life
and for the rest of my life I’ll never leave you again

I can feel your tired hand
looking for my golden curls
I can hear, and your voice is a whisper
the lullaby of back then
today, your white head
I want to hold tight to my heart.

Bixio: La Mia Canzone al Vento

A song by the Italian composer Cesare Andrea Bixio.

La mia canzone al vento
Sussurra il vento come quella sera
vento d’aprile di primavera
che il volto le sfiorava in un sospiro
mentre il suo labbro ripeteva giuro
ma pur l’amore ? un vento di follia
che fugge… come sei fuggita tu.

Vento, vento
portami via con te
raggiungeremo insieme il firmamento
dove le stelle brilleranno a cento
e senza alcun rimpianto
voglio scordarmi un giuramento
vento, vento
portami via con te.

Tu passi lieve come una chimera
vento d’aprile di primavera
tu che lontano puoi sfirarla ancora
dille ch’io l’amo e il cuore mio l’implora
dille il ch’io fremo dalla gelosia
solo al pensiero che la baci tu.

Vento. Vento
portami via con te
tu che conosci tutte le mie pene
dille che ancor le voglio tanto bene
sotto le stelle, chiare
forse ritorner? l’amore
vento, vento
portami via con te.

Sussurra il vento come quella sera
perch? non torni ? primavera.

English translation

Whispers the wind like that night
April wind of spring
that touched the face with a sigh
while his lip repeated swear
but still, love? a wind of madness
who escapes… you as you run away.

Wind, wind
take me away with you
together we will reach the sky
where the stars will shine a hundred
and no regrets
I want to fancy an oath
wind, wind
take me away with you.

You walk as light as a chimera
April wind of spring
You can spiral that far yet
tell her that I love her and my heart begs the
I tell her the quiver with jealousy
at the thought that the kisses you.

Wind. Wind
take me away with you
you who know all my pains
tell her you still love her so well
under the stars, clear
returner perhaps? love
wind, wind
take me away with you.

Whispers the wind like that night
why? do not come back? spring.

De Curtis: Non Ti Scordar di Me (Don’t Forget About Me)

Non Ti Scordar di Me (Don’t Forget About Me) is a song composed by the Italian composer Ernesto De Curtis (October 4, 1875- December 31, 1937). It is originally written for the legendary Italian tenor Beniamino Gigli (March 20, 1890 – November 30, 1957), who sang it in his 1935 film of the same name.

Italian
Partirono le rondini dal mio paese
freddo e senza sole,
cercando primavere di viole,
nidi d’amore e di felicita.
La mia piccola rondine parti
senza lasciarmi un bacio,
senza un addio parti.
Non ti scordar di me:
la vita mia legata e a te.
Io t’amo sempre piu,
nel sogno mio rimani tu.
Non ti scordar di me:
la vita mia legata e a te.
C’e sempre un nido nel mio cor per te.
Non ti scordar di me!

Non ti scordar di me!

English translation

The swallows left
From my cold and sunless country,
Searching for Springs full of violets
And lovely and happy nests.
My little swallow left
Without leaving me a kiss
She left without a goodbye

Don’t forget about me:
My life is tied to you
I love you more and more
In my dream, you stay

Don’t forget about me
My life is tied to you
There’s always a nest
In my heart for you

Don’t forget about me!

Puccini: Tra voi, belle, brune e bionde (from Act I of Manon Lescaut)

Manon Lescaut is an opera in four acts by Giacomo Puccini. The story is based on the 1731 novel L’histoire du chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut by the Abbé Prévost and should not be confused with Manon, an 1884 opera by Jules Massenet based on the same novel.The libretto is in Italian, and was cobbled together by five librettists whom Puccini employed: Ruggero Leoncavallo, Marco Praga, Giuseppe Giacosa, Domenico Oliva and Luigi Illica. The publisher, Giulio Ricordi, and the composer himself also contributed to the libretto. So confused was the authorship of the libretto that no one was credited on the title page of the original score. However, it was Illica and Giacosa who completed the libretto and went on to contribute the libretti to Puccini’s next three – and most successful – works, La Bohème, Tosca and Madama Butterfly.

Tra voi, belle, brune e bionde
Tra voi, belle, brune e bionde.
Si nsconde giovinetta vaga, vezzosa…
Dal labbro rosa, me m’aspetta?
Sei tu quella, bionda stella?
Dillo a me!
Palesatemi il destino, e il divino
viso ardente che m’innamori…
Ch’io vegga e… odori…
Eternamente!

Sei tu quella, bruna stella?
Dillo a me!

English translation

Between you, beautiful, brunettes and blondes.
It nsconde young girl wanders, Vezzosa…
From pink lip, me waiting for me?
You’re the one, blonde star?
Tell me!
Palesatemi fate, and the divine
the glowing face that m’innamori…
I see and… smells…
Eternally!

You’re the one, brown star?
Tell me!

Puccini: Donna non Vidi Mai from Act I of Manon Lescaut

Donna non vidi mai (English:I have never seen a woman) is an aria from the first act of Giacomo Puccini’s opera, Manon Lescaut.

Donna non vidi mai, simile a questa!
A dirle: “io t’amo,”
a nuova vita l’alma mia si desta.
“Manon Lescaut mi chiamo!”
Come queste parole profumate,
mi vagan nello spirto
e ascose fibre vanno a carezzare.
O sussurro gentil,
deh! non cessar,
I have never seen a woman, such as this one!
To tell her: ” I love you”,
my soul awakens to a new life.
“Manon Lescaut is my name.”
How these fragrant words
wander around in my mind.
And come to carress my innermost fibers.
Oh! sweet thoughts,
Ah, do not cease!

‘O sole Mio

“O sole mio” is a globally known Neapolitan song written in 1898. Its lyrics were written by Giovanni Capurro and the melody was composed by Eduardo di Capua. There are other versions of “‘O sole mio” but it is usually sung in the original Neapolitan language. ‘O sole mio is the Neapolitan equivalent of standard Italian Il sole mio and translates literally as “my sunshine”.

Neapolitan lyrics

Che bella cosa è na jurnata ‘e sole,
n’aria serena dopo na tempesta!
Pe’ ll’aria fresca para già na festa…
Che bella cosa na jurnata ‘e sole.

Ma n’atu sole cchiù bello, oi ne’,
‘o sole mio sta nfronte a te!
‘o sole, ‘o sole mio, sta nfronte a te,
sta nfronte a te!

Quanno fa notte e ‘o sole se ne scenne,
me vane quasi ‘na malincunia;
sotta ‘a fenesta toia restarria
quanno fa notte e ‘o sole se ne scenne.

Ma n’atu sole cchiù bello, oi ne’,
‘o sole mio sta nfronte a te!
‘o sole, ‘o sole mio, sta nfronte a te,
sta nfronte a te!

English translation

What a beautiful thing is a sunny day!
The air is serene after a storm,
The air is so fresh that it already feels like a celebration.
What a beautiful thing is a sunny day!

But another sun that’s brighter still,
It’s my own sun that’s upon your face!
The sun, my own sun, it’s upon your face!
It’s upon your face!

When night comes and the sun has gone down,
I almost start feeling melancholy;
I’d stay below your window
When night comes and the sun has gone down.

But another sun that’s brighter still,
It’s my own sun that’s upon your face!
The sun, my own sun, it’s upon your face!
It’s upon your face!

De Curtis: Torna a Surriento

“Torna a Surriento” is a Neapolitan song said to have been composed in 1902 by Ernesto De Curtis to words by his brother, Giambattista. The song was copyrighted officially in 1905; it has since become wildly popular.

Torna a Surriento
Vide ‘o mare quant’è bello!
spira tanta sentimento…
Comme tu, a chi tiene mente,
ca, scetato, ‘o faje sunná!

Guarda guá’ chistu ciardino,
siente sié’ sti sciure ‘arancio…
nu prufumo accussí fino,
dint”o core se ne va…

E tu dice: “Io parto, addio!”
T’alluntane da stu core…
Da la terra de ll’ammore,
tiene ‘o core ‘e nun turná?!

Ma nun mme lassá,
nun darme stu turmiento…
Torna a Surriento:
famme campá!…

Vide ‘o mare de Surriento
che tesore tene ‘nfunno:
Chi ha girato tutt”o munno,
nun ll’ha visto comm’a ccá!

Guarda, attuorno, sti Ssirene
ca te guardano ‘ncantate
e te vònno tantu bene:
Te vulessero vasá!…

E tu dice: “Io parto, addio!”
T’alluntane da stu core…
Da sta terra de ll’ammore,
tiene ‘o core ‘e nun turná?!

Ma nun mme lassá,
nun darme stu turmiento…
Torna a Surriento:
famme campá!…

Come back to Sorrento

See the sea and how beautiful it is,
it inspires all kinds of emotions,
like you with people who care
you make them daydream.

Behold, look at this garden;
sense, smell these orange buds,
there isn’t a perfume so fine,
going straight in your heart

And you say: “I’m leaving, goodbye!”
you’re walking away from this heart,
from this land of love:
do you have the heart not to return?

But don’t leave me,
don’t give me this torment,
come back to Sorrento,
make me live!

See the sea of Surriento,
the buried treasure it has!
Those who traveled all over the world,
haven’t seen anything like it.

Behold these Sirens all around
that look at you enchanted,
and love you so much;
they’d love to kiss you,

And you say: “I’m leaving, goodbye!”
you’re walking away from this heart,
from this land of love:
do you have the heart not to return?

But don’t leave me,
don’t give me this torment,
come back to Sorrento,
make me live!

Puccini: Nessun Dorma from Turandot

Nessun Dorma is one of the best-known tenor arias in all operas. It is sung by Calaf, il principe ignoto (the unknown prince), who falls in love at first sight with the beautiful but cold Princess Turandot. However, any man who wishes to wed Turandot must first answer her three riddles; if he fails, he will be beheaded.

Prince Calaf attempts the impossible.

Her first riddle is told:
“What is born each night and dies at dawn?”
Prince Calaf answers: “Hope!”. Correct.

Turandot, unaffected, asks her second riddle:
“What flickers red and warm like a flame, yet is not fire?”
“Blood.” Calaf is right again. No suitor has proceeded this far, ever. This time, the princess becomes unnerved. She asks her third riddle:

“What is like ice yet burns?”

Silence falls over the crowd. A few moments later, Calaf shouts, “Turandot!” He is right again. The crowd cheers and congratulates Calaf, thankful his life was not lost and future lives were saved.

Nonetheless, the cruel princess recoils at the thought of marriage to him. She pleads with her father to spare her marriage to Prince Calaf, some stranger. Her father refuses.

Prince Calaf, in order to appease the princess, offers her another chance by challenging her to guess his name by dawn. (As he kneels before her, the Nessun Dorma theme makes a first appearance, to his words, “Il mio nome non sai!”) If she does so, she can execute him; but if she does not, she must marry him. The cruel and emotionally cold princess then decrees that none of her subjects shall sleep that night until his name is discovered. If they fail, all will be killed.

As the final act opens, it is now night. Calaf is alone in the moonlit palace gardens. In the distance, he hears Turandot’s heralds proclaiming her command. His aria begins with an echo of their cry and a reflection on Princess Turandot:

Nessun dorma! Nessun dorma!
Tu pure, o Principessa,
nella tua fredda stanza,
guardi le stelle
che tremano d’amore, e di speranza!
Ma il mio mistero è chiuso in me;
il nome mio nessun saprà!
No, No! Sulla tua bocca
lo dirò quando la luce splenderà!
Ed il mio bacio scioglierà
il silenzio che ti fa mia!

None shall sleep! None shall sleep!
Even you, O Princess,
in your cold bedroom,
watch the stars
that tremble with love and with hope!
But my secret is hidden within me;
none will know my name!
No, no! On your mouth
I will say it when the light shines!
And my kiss will dissolve
the silence that makes you mine!

Just before the climactic end of the aria, a chorus of women is heard singing in the distance:

Il nome suo nessun saprà,
E noi dovrem, ahimè, morir, morir!

No one will know his name,
and we will have to, alas, die, die!

Calaf, now certain of victory, sings:

Dilegua, o notte!
Tramontate, stelle!
Tramontate, stelle!
All’alba vincerò!
Vincerò! Vincerò!

Vanish, o night!
Fade, you stars!
Fade, you stars!
At dawn, I will win!
I will win! I will win!

Pavarotti at Hyde Park - Luciano Pavarotti concert (1991)
Pavarotti at Hyde Park: Luciano Pavarotti has given a free concert in London’s Hyde Park to celebrate his 30 years in opera (July 30, 1991). A crowd of more than 100,000 stood in the rain to watch Luciano.

Sources

M. Özgür Nevres

Published by M. Özgür Nevres

I am Özgür Nevres, a software engineer, an ex-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. Please consider supporting me on Patreon.

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