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1 November 2018, 13:07
What is Pavarotti really singing about in Puccini’s aria? We translated the Italian lyrics to find out...
‘Nessun Dorma’ is an incredibly emotional aria, that for the passion and precision he poured into it, we have all come to associate with the late tenor Luciano Pavarotti.
The slight problem with that, is that we get so distracted by watching Pavarotti in his element, that we forget to pay attention to the lyrics.
So, does anyone *actually* know what Pavarotti is singing about?
Puccini’s aria, from the opera Turandot, includes the lyrics: “None shall sleep, even you, oh Princess, in your cold room”, “watch the stars that tremble with love and hope”, and the monumentally cheery “no one will know his name and we must, alas, die”.
Here are the full lyrics:
None shall sleep,
None shall sleep!
Even you, oh Princess,
In your cold room,
Watch the stars,
That tremble with love
And with hope.
But my secret is hidden within me,
My name no one shall know,
On your mouth, I will tell it,
When the light shines.
And my kiss will dissolve the silence that makes you mine!
(No one will know his name and we must, alas, die.)
Vanish, o night!
Set, stars! Set, stars!
At dawn, I will win!
I will win!
I will win!
And here are the original Italian lyrics:
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!
ll nome suo nessun saprà
E noi dovrem, ahimè! Morir! Morir!
Dilegua, o notte! Tramontate, stelle!
Tramontate, stelle! All'alba vincerò!
Watch Pavarotti's full performance here: