Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Pavarotti: Nessun Dorma

Luciano Pavarotti is singing Giacomo Puccini's Nessun Dorma, with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted  by Zubin Mehta, on January 14, 1980. This performance was part of the "Live from Lincoln Center" 30th anniversary special. (There is another wonderful version of Nessun Dorma, with the Three Tenors, which was performed at Los Angeles, Dodger Stadium, in 1994, in front of 56, 000 people.

I am not highly knowledgeable about opera, but I love to listen and watch great performances, no matter the musical genre. Without a doubt, this is literally a spine-tingling performance, the human voice in perfection, equal to any manufactured musical instrument. Pavarotti is one of the greatest tenors of all time, and one of the greatest singers of any musical form or genre. It is an honour to watch such a master, a true maestro.

Nessun dorma is an aria from Act III of the opera, Turandot (1924) by Giacomo Puccini [1858-1924]. As Wikipedia points out,
is one of the best-known tenor arias in all opera. 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.


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 e chiuso in me,
il nome mio nessun sapr No, no, sulla tua bocca lo dir quando la luce splender
Ed il mio bacio sciogliera il silenzio
che ti fa mia!

(Il nome suo nessun sapr..
e noi dovrem, ahim?morir!)

Dilegua, o notte!
Tramontate, stelle!
Tramontate, stelle!
All'alba vincerr vincerincerr


No-one sleeps....no-one sleeps,
Even you, O Princess,
in your cold room,
Watch the stars
which tremble with love
and hope!

But my secret is locked within me,
no-one shall know my name!
No, no, I shall say it on your mouth
when the light breaks!

And my kiss will break the silence
that makes you mine!

(No-one shall know his name,
and we, alas, shall die!)

Vanish, o night!
Set, ye stars!
At dawn I shall win!
See Announcements for some editorial changes starting January 1, 2011.