Monday, November 24, 2008

Great Moments in Opera

Giacomo Puccini wrote Tosca. One of the most famous arias in it is E lucevan le stelle. Here are two videos (inspired by Weer'd). The first one is Luciano Pavarotti, who many say is the greatest tenor of the second half of the 20th century. The second is Placido Domingo, who many of the others say is the greatest. I love 'em both. The Domingo clip is from an interesting movie they made here in Rome about 15 years ago. They filmed it on three consecutive evenings in the exact locations in which the action takes place. Act 1 is in the Basilica of S. Andrea. Act 2, in Palazzo Farnese, the present day French Embassy, and Act 3, part of which we see in this video, in Castel S. Angelo. The English translation is right in the videos. The Italian is below. The scene depicted could not be more dramatic. The hero, Mario Cavaradossi, is about to be executed for political crimes and is recalling an intensely beautiful moment.

E lucevan le stelle,
e olezzava la terra
stridea l'uscio dell'orto,
e un passo sfiorava la rena.
Entrava ella, fragrante,
mi cadea fra le braccia.
Oh! dolci baci, o languide carezze,
mentr'io fremente le belle forme discogliea dai veli!
Svani per sempre il sogno mio d'amore...
L'ora e fuggita e muoio disperato!
E non ho amato mai tanto la vita!

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad some good came out of that horrible Paverati/Reed pairing.

    Many that video took my breath away it was so bad. You picked some good ones, Mike!