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Scholar, Writer, Mother, Dreamer. Editor of Luminarium, an online library for English Literature of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Most Beautiful Aria Ever Written: Puccini's "Nessun Dorma"

Performed by Andrea Bocelli in Tuscany. While this is a Pavarotti standard, no one sings it like Bocelli in my opinion. I have never found a recording of it.

Nessun dorma, nessun dorma,
Tu pure, o Principessa,
Nella tua fredda stanza,
Guardi le stelle
Che tremano d'amore
      E di speranza.
The Prince
No one sleeps, no one sleeps...
You either, O Princess,
In your chilly room;
Look at the stars
That are trembling with love
      And hope.
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.
But my secret's locked within me;
My name no one shall know,
      No, no,
Onto your lips I'll tell it
When the dawn grows splenderous
And my kiss brushes away
The silence
      That makes you mine.
Il nome suo nessun saprà
E noi dovrem, ahimè, morir.
His name no one will know,
And we must all, alas, all die.
Dilegua, o notte!
Tramontate, stelle!
Tramontate, stelle!
All'alba vincerò!
      Vincerò! Vincerò!
Dissolve, O Night!
Set behind the mountains, Stars!
Set behind the mountains, Stars!
At dawn, I will win!
      I will win! I will win!

Nessun Dorma libretto from Giacomo Puccini's "Turandot."
English translation Anniina Jokinen.

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Blogger SzélsőFa said...

Try listening to Mario Del Monaco, same aria.
I like Pucccini very much, too.
Although I can't help thinking that most of his stories and characters are sort of sick. Like an unfortunate gesa who is on love with a man who has a wife in every port and neglects her and refuses her love.
Or a princess who beheads those who love her.
Or a faithful maid who chooses to be killed for the love of her life instead of letting him go after his stupid dreams.

July 26, 2007 8:21 AM  
Blogger SzélsőFa said...

You know what?
A few days ago I surfed YouTube for those hilarious X-factor and America's got talent crap auditions. You know, when the contestant thinks s/he can sing while the opposite is true.
So, I came accross Paul Potts's performance.
I liked it, than I surfed some more for the same aria by professional opera singers. I listened tonnes of versions of the same song.
I love Puccini, despite of what I've said above....
Bocelli is really GREAT!!!

July 26, 2007 11:44 AM  
Blogger SzélsőFa said...

sorry it's me again the gazillionth time:
Nessun Dorma, by Jussi Björling from 1944.

July 26, 2007 3:18 PM  
Blogger SzélsőFa said...

How abou this one, with English subtitles

August 02, 2007 4:33 PM  
Blogger Anniina said...

Hi SzélsőFa,

I've heard all of those before, but like I said, for me, only Boccelli sings it the way Puccini intended it. It's like all the other singers are "performing" it -- thinking about how they sound, whether they're pure, etc., where as Boccelli lives it -- it's like the difference between a real actor and a technician -- a real actor is the part. Boccelli convinces me he is absolutely dying of love for this woman, and it will be the consummation of his whole being to kiss this woman -- he'll just die if he doesn't. Puccini is all about love, about feeling, and it's not the purest note that makes the best performance, but the purest emotion, the conviction of love on the part of the singer. Boccelli for me. =)

August 03, 2007 3:14 AM  
Blogger SzélsőFa said...

I totally feel what you're talking about. Bocelli does it so humble - he does not 'do' it, he lives through the song I can feel that.
His performance is a remarkably good, an outstanding one in my book, too.
Voice-vise, Mario Del Monaco is my fav.
But as you said, singing an opera is not just about singing notes here and there. Singing notes correctly is just the thing to begin with.

August 03, 2007 12:04 PM  
Blogger Student said...

I've never heard Boccelli's rendition, but I am a die-hard Pavarotti fan, and his performance of it always moves me. He's is amazing, I have to say.

February 01, 2010 5:59 AM  

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