A duet by Luciano Pavarotti and Mario Lanza: they sing “Lamento di Federico”, “È la solita storia del pastore“, a famous aria taken from Act II of the opera L’arlesiana by Francesco Cilea. Well, not actually they sing together, but the two different versions have been mixed together wonderfully and the result is the video below:

Pavarotti and Lanza sing Lamento di Federico together

And here are the original Lanza and Pavarotti versions below:

Mario Lanza (1921-1959) sings the ‘Lamento di Federico’ from Cilea’s “L’Arlesiana”, in the 1956 Warner Bros. film “Serenade”. The studio orchestra is conducted by Ray Heindorf.
This is arguably Lanza’s best singing film, and the clip shows why- the voice is a bit darker and even more virile than it had been in previous years, loaded with squillo, and his stage presence is magnetic. Too many lyric tenors have crooned their way through this aria. The spinto weight of Lanza’s voice and his raw emotion, on the other hand (not to mention the sheer gorgeous sound), give full measure to the character’s utter despondenc. Lanza’s final ‘Mi fai tanto male! Ahime!’ sends shivers straight down my spine!
Luciano Pavarotti sings the Lamento di Federico, “E’ la solita storia del pastore” from L’Arlesiana by Cilea.

L’arlesiana is an opera in three acts by Francesco Cilea to an Italian libretto by Leopoldo Marenco. It was originally written in four acts, and was first performed on 27 November 1897 at the Teatro Lirico di Milano in Milan. It was revised as a three-act opera in 1898, and a prelude was added in 1937.

The opera is based on the play L’Arlésienne (1872) by Alphonse Daudet, which was itself inspired by a short story from his collection Letters From My Windmill (Lettres de mon moulin) and is best known for the incidental music composed by Georges Bizet.

The “Lamento di Federico”, “È la solita storia del pastore” is an aria famous for tenors. It is sung by Federico, who is deeply in love with a girl from Arles, the Arlesiana of the title, but his family has arranged his marriage with Vivetta. Vivetta has always loved Federico since childhood and is disappointed to know of his love for l’Arlesiana. When he has been left alone, Federico reads the letters of l’Arlesiana and ponders them with his broken heart.

Lamento di Federico Lyrics

Italian

È la solita storia del pastore…
Il povero ragazzo voleva raccontarla
E s’addormì.
C’è nel sonno l’oblio.
Come l’invidio!
Anch’io vorrei dormir così,
nel sonno almen l’oblio trovar!
La pace sol cercando io vo’.
Vorrei poter tutto scordar!
Ma ogni sforzo è vano.
Davanti ho sempre
di lei il dolce sembiante.
La pace tolta è solo a me.
Perché degg’io tanto penar?
Lei! Sempre lei mi parla al cor!
Fatale vision, mi lascia!
Mi fai tanto male! Ahimè!

English Translation

It’s the old tale of the shepherd…
The poor boy wanted to retell it
And he fell asleep.
There is oblivion in sleep.
How I envy him!
I too would like to sleep like that
To find oblivion at least in slumber!
I am searching only for peace.
I would like to be able to forget everything!
Yet every effort is in vain.
Before me I always have
her sweet face.
Peace is ever taken from me.
Why must I suffer so very much?
She, as always speaks to my heart.
Fatal vision, leave me!
You hurt me so deeply! Alas!

Sources

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