Il Trovatore Libretto
English Translation

The Troubadour


Cast:
COUNT DI LUNA (Baritone)
LEONORA (Soprano)
AZUCENA (Mezzo Soprano)
MANRICO (Tenor)
FERRANDO (Bass)
INES (Soprano)
RUIZ (Tenor)
OLD GYPSY (Bass)
MESSENGER (Tenor)

CHORUS
companions of Leonora, nuns,
members of the count's household, men-at-arms, gypsies

PART ONE - The Duel

SCENE ONE
A hall in the Aliaferia palace; a door on one side leads into the Count di Luna's apartments. Ferrando and a number of the Count's retainers are resting near the door; some soldiers are pacing back and forth in the background.

FERRANDO
Look sharp there! The Count
must be served with vigilance;
sometimes, near the house of his beloved
he spends whole nights.

MEN
Jealousy's fierce serpents
are writhing in his breast.

FERRANDO
In the Troubadour, whose song
rises at night from the gardens,
he rightly fears a rival.

MEN
To drive off the sleep
that hangs heavy on our eyelids,
tell us the real story of Garzia,
our Count's brother.

FERRANDO
I'll tell you; gather around me.

OTHERS
We, too... Listen then.

FERRANDO
There lived a happy father of two sons,
the good Count di Luna.
The second boy's faithful nurse
slept next to his cradle.
As dawn was breaking one fine morning,
she opened her eyes and whom did she find
next to that baby?

MEN
Who? Speak ... Who was it?

FERRANDO
A dark, despicable gypsy crone!
Wearing the symbols of a sorceress!
And with a sullen face, over the boy
she cast her bloody, baleful eye!
The nurse is seized with horror;
she utters a sharp cry in the still air;
and, in less time than it takes to tell,
the servants hasten into the room;
and with shouts, blows, threats,
they expel the wretch who dared enter.

MEN
Their hearts were moved by righteous scorn;
the crazy crone provoked it!

FERRANDO
She claimed that she wanted to cast
the boy's horoscope. The liar!
A slow fever began to destroy
the poor child's health!
Weak, covered with a strange pallor,
broken, he trembled at night,
and moaned piteously all day long;
he was bewitched!
The witch was pursued,
seized and condemned to the stake;
but her cursed daughter was left,
to administer a horrible revenge!
This criminal committed an unspeakable act!
The child disappeared,
and they found still glowing embers,
on the very same spot
where the witch had once been burned!
And, alas, a child's skeleton,
half?burnt, still smoking!

MEN
Ah! the wicked, unspeakable woman!
It fills me with both rage and horror!
What about the father?

FERRANDO
His remaining days were few and sad;
yet an undefined presentiment
at heart told him that his son
was not dead; and when he lay dying,
he desired that our master
should swear to him not to stop
his search. Ah! It was in vain!

MEN
And was no news ever had of her?

FERRANDO
No news!
Oh! were it granted me
to track her down some day!

MEN
But, could you recognise her?

FERRANDO
Considering the years that have passed,
I could.

MEN
It would be time to send her
to her mother, in hell.

FERRANDO
In hell?
It's common belief that
the wicked witch's damned soul
still lives in the world, and when the sky
is black she shows herself in various shapes.

ALL
It's true! It's true!
On the edge of the rooftops
some people have seen her!
Sometimes she changes into a hoopoe or an owl!
Other times, a raven; more often, a civet-owl,
flying through the dawn like an arrow!

FERRANDO
One of the Count's men died of fear
because he had struck the gypsy's forehead!
He died, died of fear! He died, died of fear!

MEN
Ah! Ah! He died! Ah! Ah! He died!

FERRANDO
She appeared to him in the form of an owl,
in the deep calm of a silent room!

MEN
Of an owl!

FERRANDO
She looked with gleaming eye,
looked at the sky, sorrowing,
with a bestial cry!

MEN
She looked! She looked!

FERRANDO
Midnight was just striking! Ah!

MEN
Ah!

Midnight strikes.

ALL
Ah! A curse on her, the infernal witch! Ah!

A drum is heard. The soldiers run to the back. The servants gather at the door.


SCENE TWO
The garden of the palace. At the right, a marble stair leads up to the private apartments. Thick clouds conceal the moon. Leonora and Ines are strolling.

INES
Why stay here any longer?
It's late; come;
the queen asked about you
you heard her.

LEONORA
Yet another night without seeing him!

INES
You're nursing a dangerous flame!
Oh, how, where did its first spark
strike you?

LEONORA
At the tourney. There appeared,
in black armour and black helmet,
with black shield and without crest,
an unknown warrior,
who won the honours of the arena.
On the victor's head I placed the crown.
Then civil war raged - I saw him no more!
Like the fleeting image
of a golden dream! And a long
time passed, but then...

INES
What happened?

LEONORA
Listen!
The serene night was silent
and, lovely in the calm sky,
the moon happily revealed
its silvery and full face!
When, resounding in the air
which till then had been so quiet,
sweet and sad were heard
the sounds of a lute,
and a troubadour
sang some melancholy verses.
Verses, beseeching and humble,
like a man praying to God:
and in them was repeated a name,
my name!
I ran eagerly to the balcony...
There he was; it was he!
I felt a joy that only the angels
are allowed to feel!
To my heart, my ecstatic eyes,
the earth seemed like heaven!
To my heart, etc.

INES
What you've told me has filled
my soul with anguish! I fear...

LEONORA
Needlessly...

INES
A sad, but vague presentiment
is stirred in me by this mysterious man!
Try to forget him.

LEONORA
What are you saying? Enough!

INES
Give way to a friend's advice,
do give way!

LEONORA
Forget him! Ah, you've spoken a word
that my soul cannot understand.
With such love that words
can scarcely tell,
of a love that only I know,
my heart is intoxicated.
My fate can be fulfilled
only at his side.
If I can't live for him,
then for him I'll die! etc.

INES
May one who has loved so much
never have cause to regret it.

LEONORA
With such love, etc.

INES
May one who has loved so much, etc.

They go up to their rooms. Then the Count di Luna comes in.

COUNT
The night is still!
The queen is surely
immersed in sleep;
but her lady is wakeful -
Oh! Leonora, you're awake;
I'm told, from that balcony,
by the quivering ray
of your night lamp.
Ah, the flame of love
burns my every fibre!
I must see you,
you must hear me. I'm coming.
This is our supreme moment.
He starts to go up the steps, but stops, hearing a lute.
The Troubadour! I tremble with rage!

MANRICO
out of sight
All alone on the earth,
at war with his evil fate,
his only hope is in one heart,
a heart for the Troubadour.

COUNT
These words! I tremble with rage!

MANRICO
But if he possesses that heart,
lovely with its chaste promise, …

COUNT
These words!

MANRICO
... he's greater than any king...

COUNT
What jealousy!

MANRICO
He's greater than any king,
greater is the Troubadour.

COUNT
I'm not mistaken... She's coming down!

Leonora comes down into the garden and runs towards the Count.

LEONORA
My dearest!

COUNT
(What shall I do?)

LEONORA
The hour is later than usual:
I counted its instants
by the beating of my heart!
At last, merciful love leads you
to my arms.

MANRICO
still among the trees
Faithless!

The moon comes out from the clouds and reveals a man whose face is hidden by his visor.

LEONORA
That voice!
Recognising both of them, Leonora throws herself at Manrico's feet.
Ah, the darkness deceived me!
I thought that I was speaking
to you, not him...
To you, that my soul
only wants, desires.
I love you, I swear it, love you
with eternal, immense love!

COUNT
You dare!

MANRICO
Ah, I ask no more!

COUNT
I'm burning with fury!

LEONORA
I love you! I love you!

MANRICO
Ah, I ask no more!

COUNT
If you're not a coward, reveal yourself!

LEONORA
(Alas!)

COUNT
Tell me your name!

LEONORA
(Ah, have mercy!)

MANRICO
Know me then: I'm Manrico!

COUNT
You! What? Mad, foolhardy man!
A follower of Urgel,
sentenced to death, you dare
approach these royal gates?

MANRICO
Why are you delaying?
Come, call the guards,
and hand your rival over
to the executioner's blade!

COUNT
Your last moment
is much nearer,
insane man! Come...

LEONORA
Count!

COUNT
I must have your blood,
victim of my contempt.

LEONORA
Oh heaven, stop!

COUNT
Follow me!

MANRICO
Let's go!

LEONORA
(What shall I do?)

COUNT
Follow me!

MANRICO
Let's go!

LEONORA
(One cry from me could undo him!)
Hear me out!

COUNT
No!
My spurned and jealous love
burns in me with a terrible flame!
Your blood, wretch, would be
hardly enough to put it out!
Foolish girl, you dared
to tell him, œI love you”.
He can live no longer.
You uttered a word
that condemned him to die!
You uttered a word, etc.

LEONORA
At least for a moment, let your scorn
make room for reasoning:
I, and only I, am unfortunately
the cause of all your fire!
So let your fury fall
on the evil girl who offended you;
plunge your sword into this heart
that cannot, will not love you.

MANRICO
The haughty man's wrath is in vain;
he'll fall, run through by me;
the man who can inspire your love
is made by love invincible.
to the Count
Your fate is already sealed;
your hour has struck now!
Destiny has given to me
her heart and your life!

COUNT
Foolish girl, you dared, etc.
Your blood, wretch, would be
hardly enough to put it out!
Foolish girl, you dared
to tell him œI love you”.
He can live no longer, etc.

LEONORA
So let your fury fall, fall
on the evil girl who offended you;
plunge your sword into this heart
that cannot, will not love you! etc.

MANRICO
Your fate is already sealed,
your hour has struck now!
Destiny has given to me
her heart and your life, etc.

COUNT
Ah! my spurned and jealous love
burns in me with a terrible flame!
You uttered a word
that condemned him to die! etc.

The two men go off, swords in hand. Leonora falls senseless.

PART TWO - The Gypsy

SCENE ONE
The slopes of a mountain in Biscay. It is dawn. A great fire is burning. Azucena is sitting by the fire. Manrico is stretched out at her side, wrapped up in his cloak. His helmet lies at his feet, his sword is in his hands, and he is staring at it motionlessly. A band of gypsies is scattered around them.

GYPSIES
See! the heaven's great vault
removes its gloomy, night?time tatters!
It seems like a widow who takes off at last
the dark clothes that enfolded her.
To work! To work! At it! Hammer!
Who brightens the gypsy man's days?
The gypsy maid.
to the women, pausing in their work
Pour me a draught: strength and courage
the body and soul draw from drinking.

Oh, look, look! A ray of the sun
sparkles brighter in my/your glass!
To work! To work!
Who brightens the gypsy man's days?
The gypsy maid!

As Azucena is singing, the gypsies gather around her.

AZUCENA
The flame crackles! The unrestrained mob
runs to that fire, their faces all happy!
Shouts of joy re?echo around;
surrounded by killers, a woman comes forward!
Sinister, shining on the horrible faces,
the ghastly flame rises, rises towards heaven!
The flame crackles! The victim arrives,
dressed in black, dishevelled, barefoot!
A fierce shout of death is raised,
its echo repeated from hill to hill!
Sinister, shining, etc.

GYPSIES
Your song's a sad one!

AZUCENA
Equally sad
as the terrible story
that inspired it!
Avenge me! Avenge me!

MANRICO
(That mysterious phrase again!)

AN OLD GYPSY
Companions, day is approaching;
to forage for our daily bread,
come, come, let's go down
to the nearby villages.

GYPSIES
Let's go! Let's go!
Who brightens the gypsy man's days? etc.

They go off, singing.

MANRICO
We're alone now. Ah, tell me
that terrible story.

AZUCENA
You? Even you don't know it?
But, as a boy, the spur of ambition
drove your steps far from here!
This is the story
of your grandmother's bitter end.
A haughty
Count accused her
of witchcraft, and said that a child, his son,
had been bewitched; she was burned
where that fire gleams!

MANRICO
Ah, poor woman

AZUCENA
She was led in irons
to her terrible fate;
with my baby in my arms
I followed her, weeping;
I tried to make my way
to her, but in vain;
and in vain the poor woman
tried to stop and bless me!
Then, amid obscene curses,
pricking her with their swords,
they forced her to the stake,
those horrible killers! -
Then, in a broken voice,
"Avenge me", she cried.
Those words left in my heart
an eternal echo.

MANRICO
Did you avenge her?

AZUCENA
I managed to steal the Count's son;
I dragged him here with me -
the flames were ready, burning.

MANRICO
The flames? Oh, heaven! Did you ... ?

AZUCENA
He was racked with sobs;
I felt my heart torn, broken!
When, lo, to my weak spirits,
as in a dream, appeared
the bestial vision of frightful forms!
The killers! And the torture!
My mother with blanched face,
dishevelled barefoot!
Her cry! Her cry!
I hear the familiar cry!
"Avenge me!"
I stretch out my shaking hand...
seize the victim,
drag him to the fire, and push him in!
The fatal madness ends,
the horrible scene disappears;
only the flame rages,
and destroys its prey!
And yet, I look around
and before me I see
the wicked Count's son!

MANRICO
Ah! what are you saying?

AZUCENA
I had burned my own, my own son!

MANRICO
Ah! How horrible!

AZUCENA
Ah! My son! My son!
I had burned my own son!

MANRICO
How terrible! Ah! how horrible!

AZUCENA
I can still feel the hair
stand up on my head!

MANRICO
I'm not your son!
Who am I? Who, then?

AZUCENA
You are my son!

MANRICO
Yet you said...

AZUCENA
Perhaps I did. You know how it is...
When the ghastly event
comes into my mind
my clouded spirit sets
foolish words on my lips.
Haven't I always been a mother,
a tender mother to you?

MANRICO
Can I deny it?

AZUCENA
If you're still alive,
don't you owe it to me?
At night, over the battlefields
of Pelilla, where the report went
that you were dead, didn't I come
to give you burial?
Didn't I discover your fleeting
breath of life? And didn't maternal
love hold it in your breast?
And what care I showed
to heal all those wounds!

MANRICO
That I bore on that fatal day!
But all of them, here, in my chest!
Only I, among the retreating thousand,
turned my face still towards the foe!
The evil Di Luna fell upon me
with his escort: I fell!
But I fell like a strong man!

AZUCENA
That was the thanks for his life,
which in that duel,
the monster was given, by you!
Ah, what strange pity for him blinded you?

MANRICO
Oh mother, I can't explain it to myself!

AZUCENA
A strange pity! Strange pity!

MANRICO
Fighting off poorly my fierce attack,
he had already fallen to the ground:
the thrust that was to pierce him
already flashed in the air,
when a mysterious feeling
stopped my hand, as it descended!
Suddenly a sharp chill
ran shuddering through my being
as a cry came down from heaven,
that said to me: "Don't strike!"

AZUCENA
But to that ingrate's spirit
heaven said not a word!
Ah, if fate should drive you
to fight with that wretch again,
then follow, my son, like a God,
follow then what I tell you to do:
strike, plunge up to its hilt
that blade in the wicked man's heart!
Strike, plunge up to its hilt, etc.

MANRICO
Yes, I swear it, this blade
will plunge into that wicked heart! etc.
A horn is heard.
Ruiz sends the usual messenger!
Perhaps …

He replies with the horn that he carries.

AZUCENA
"Avenge me!"

The messenger enters.

MANRICO
Come in. Tell me:
did more fighting follow?

MESSENGER
Let this letter I bear you give the answer.

MANRICO
He reads.
"Castellor is in our hands;
the Prince's orders are that you
shall supervise its defence.
When you receive this, hurry here.
This evening, deceived by the reports
of your death,
in the nearby Holy Cross Convent,
Leonora will take the veil."
Oh, merciful heaven!

AZUCENA
What is it?

MANRICO
to the messenger
Hurry down the hill,
and prepare a horse for me.

MESSENGER
I'll run.

AZUCENA
Manrico!

MANRICO
to the messenger
Time presses!
Fly! Wait for me at the foot of the hill.

The messenger hurries off.

AZUCENA
What do you want or hope to do?

MANRICO
(To lose her! Oh, woe!
To lose that angel!)

AZUCENA
(He's beside himself.)

MANRICO
takes his helmet and cloak
Farewell!

AZUCENA
No, stop, hear me...

MANRICO
Let me go!

AZUCENA
Stop! I'm the one who's speaking to you!
To risk yourself, still sickly,
over a wild and steep road!
Mad boy, you mean to re?open
the wounds in your unhealed breast!
No, I cannot bear it:
your blood is my blood!
Every drop you shed of it,
you're pressing from my heart!

MANRICO
A moment can steal from me
my love, my hope!
No, heaven and earth haven't
the strength to stop me.

AZUCENA
Madman!

MANRICO
Ah, mother, get out of my way!
Woe to you, should I remain here!
You would see, at your feet,
your son, dead of grief!

AZUCENA
No, I cannot bear it...

MANRICO
Woe to you, should I remain here!

AZUCENA
No, I cannot bear it,
your blood is my blood!
Every drop you shed of it
you're pressing from my heart!

MANRICO
You would see, at your feet,
your son, dead of grief!
You would see, at your feet,
your son, dead of grief!

AZUCENA
Stop! Stop!

MANRICO
Let me go! Let me go!

AZUCENA
Hear me, ah! hear me!

MANRICO
To lose that angel!
Let me go! Let me go, farewell! etc.

AZUCENA
Ah! Stop, hear me,
I'm the one who's speaking to you! etc.

He leaves.


SCENE TWO
The cloister of a convent in the neighbourhood of Castellor. Night. The Count, Ferrando, and a few retainers enter cautiously, wrapped in their cloaks.

COUNT
All is deserted;
nor has the usual hymn
resounded yet on the air.
I've come in time!

FERRANDO
O master, you are undertaking
a bold errand.

COUNT
Bold, yes, it's what furious love
and provoked pride demand of me.
My rival killed, every obstacl
to my wishes seemed to have fallen;
now she prepares a new
and more powerful one; the altar!
Ah no, Leonora shall not belong to others!
Leonora is mine!

The flashing of her smile
is brighter than a star's ray!
The splendour of her fair face
instils new courage in me.
Ah, let the love that inflames me
speak to her in my favour!
Let the sun of her glance
dispel the storm in my heart.
Ah, let the love that inflames me, etc.
A bell is heard.
That sound! Oh heaven!

FERRANDO
Its tolling announces the approaching rite.

COUNT
Ah, before she reaches the altar,
she shall be seized!

FERRANDO
Take care!

COUNT
Silence! I hear nothing!
Go,
and in the shade of those beeches,
conceal yourselves.
Ah, soon she'll become mine;
a fire rages through me!

FERRANDO and RETAINERS
Courage! let's go, and hide in the shadows,
in mystery! Courage! Let's go!
Silence! His bidding be done!

COUNT
Hour, fatal for me,
speed, speed
on your moments;
the joy that awaits me is not mortal joy,
is not mortal joy, no!
In vain a rival God
opposes my love,
not even a God is able,
O woman, to steal you from me,
is able to steal you from me!

FERRANDO and RETAINERS
Courage! Let's go, etc.

COUNT
Hour, fatal for me, etc.

RETAINERS
Courage! Let's go, etc.

COUNT
Not even a God is able,
O woman, to steal you from me, etc.

The Count hides with the others. Voices of nuns are heard from within.

NUNS
Ah, daughter of Eve,
if error blinds your eyes,
as death nears you'll see
that it was a shadow, a dream:
nay, but the shadow of a dream
is our yearning here below!

COUNT
No, no, not even a God is able, etc.

FERRANDO and RETAINERS
Courage! etc.

NUNS
Come, let the veil hide you
from every human eye,
no worldly air or thought
can live in here any more!
Turn to heaven, and heaven
will be disclosed to you.

COUNT
No, no, not even a God is able, etc.

FERRANDO and RETAINERS
Courage, etc.

NUNS
Turn to heaven, and heaven
will be disclosed to you, etc.

Leonora and Ines enter with a train of women.

LEONORA
Why are you weeping?

INES
Ah, then you are leaving us forever!

LEONORA
O sweet friends, earth
no longer has for me
laughter, hope, or flowers!
I must turn now to Him,
who is the only
support of the grieving,
who, after my days of penance,
can join me
to my lost love
one day, among the blessed!
Dry your eyes,
and lead me to the altar!

COUNT
bursting in
No, never!

INES and WOMEN
The Count!

LEONORA
Merciful heaven!

COUNT
The only altar for you is the nuptial altar.

INES and WOMEN
He dared go so far!

LEONORA
Madman! You've come here?

COUNT
To make you mine!

The Troubadour appears.

ALL
Ah!

LEONORA
Must I, can I believe it?
I see you at my side!
This is a dream, an ecstasy,
a supernatural enchantment!
My heart surprised, transported,
cannot bear such joy!
Have you come down from heaven,
or am I in heaven with you?
Have you come down from heaven, etc.

COUNT
So the dead can leave
death's eternal realm!

MANRICO
Heaven did not hold me, nor did
the horrid path of hell.

COUNT
Hell gives up its prey
in order to do me harm.

MANRICO
Your foul killers struck
mortal blows, it's true!

COUNT
But if it never broke,
the thread of your days,
if you live and want to live,
flee from her, and from me.

MANRICO
The waves of the rivers
have an irresistible force!
But a God confounds the wicked!
And the God succoured me!

LEONORA
Or am I in heaven with you?
This is a dream, an ecstasy!
Have you come down from heaven
or am I in heaven with you? etc.

INES and NUNS
The heaven that you trusted
had mercy on you, etc.

MANRICO
But a God confounds the wicked!
And that God succoured me! etc.

COUNT
If you live and want to live,
flee from her, and from me, etc.

FERRANDO and THE COUNT'S MEN
to the Count
You're fighting against fate,
which is defending her, etc.

Ruiz enters with armed men.

RUIZ and MANRICO'S RETAINERS
Long live Urgel!

MANRICO
My brave fighters!

RUIZ
Come!

MANRICO
My lady, follow me.

COUNT
You dare hope?

LEONORA
Ah!

MANRICO
Stand back!

COUNT
To steal her from me? No!

The Count draws his sword, but is disarmed by Ruiz and his men.

RUIZ and MEN
He's raving!

FERRANDO and RETAINERS
What are you attempting, Sir?

COUNT
I lost my reason! My heart is raging! etc.

LEONORA
He terrifies me!

INES and WOMEN
Ah yes, heaven had mercy on you! ?

MANRICO
May your life be a torment! etc.

RUIZ and MANRICO'S RETAINERS
Come; Fate smiles on you, etc.

FERRANDO and THE COUNT'S RETAINERS
Surrender; to surrender now
is not cowardice! etc.

LEONORA
Have you come down from heaven,
or am I in heaven with you?
With you, in heaven with you?

INES and WOMEN
? had mercy upon you!

MANRICO and RETAINERS
Come! ah, come, come, come!

COUNT
My heart is raging!

THE COUNT'S RETAINERS
Surrender, ah, surrender, surrender!

Manrico goes off with Leonora. The Count is held back. The women take refuge in the convent.

PART THREE - The Gypsy's son

SCENE ONE
A military camp. On the right, the Count di Luna's tent, over which flies the commander's pennon. Squads of soldiers are everywhere. Some are gambling, others cleaning their weapons or strolling about. Then Ferrando comes out of the Count's tent.

SOME SOLDIERS
Now we're dicing, but ere long
we'll play a quite different game;
this sword, now wiped clean of blood,
will soon be bathed in blood again!
Other soldiers arrive.
The reinforcements asked for!
They look brave enough!
May the attack on Castellor
no longer be put off.
May the attack, etc.

FERRANDO
Yes, brave friends, at dawn
the captain plans to attack
the fort on every side.
There rich booty
we'll surely find, beyond our hopes.
Conquer then, and it's ours.

SOLDIERS
You're inviting us to a party.

ALL
Let the warlike trumpet sound and echo,
call to arms, to the fray, the attack;
may our flag be planted tomorrow
on the highest of those towers.
No, victory has never smiled
on happier hopes than ours!
There glory awaits us ? and the needful.
There wait spoil, booty and honour.
Let the warlike trumpet, etc.
No, victory has never smiled, etc.

They disperse. The Count comes out of his tent.

COUNT
In my rival's arms!
This thought pursues me everywhere
like a persecuting demon.
In my rival's arms!
But as soon as dawn breaks, I'll run,
I'll run to separate you.
Oh Leonora!
Ferrando enters.
What is it?

FERRANDO
Near the camp
a gypsy was wandering:
surprised by our scouts,
she started to flee; rightfully
fearing the wretch was a spy,
they followed her.

COUNT
Did they overtake her?

FERRANDO
She's been taken.

COUNT
Have you seen her?

FERRANDO
No. The commander of the patrol
gave me the news.

Noises are heard.

COUNT
Here she is.

Azucena is dragged before the Count.

SOLDIERS
Forward, you witch, forward!
Forward! Forward!

AZUCENA
Help! let me go! Ah, you raving men!
What have I done wrong?

COUNT
Approach.
Answer me,
and don't dare lie to me!

AZUCENA
Question me.

COUNT
Where are you going?

AZUCENA
I don't know.

COUNT
What?

AZUCENA
It's the gypsy's custom
to move her wandering steps
without any plan;
the sky is her roof,
and the world is her country.

COUNT
Where have you come from?

AZUCENA
From Biscay, whose barren mountains
received me until now.

COUNT
(From Biscay!)

FERRANDO
(What do I hear! Oh, what a suspicion!)

AZUCENA
I lived days of poverty,
yet happy in my condition,
my only hope was my son.
The ingrate left and forgot me!
Abandoned, I wander about,
hunting for that son,
for that son who cost my heart
horrible pangs!
The love I feel for him
no other mother on earth has felt!

FERRANDO
(Her face!)

COUNT
Tell me: did you stay a long time
in those mountains?

AZUCENA
Yes, a long time.

COUNT
Can you remember a child,
a Count's son, stolen from his castle
fifteen years ago, and brought thither?

AZUCENA
You... speak... who are you?

COUNT
The stolen boy's brother!

AZUCENA
(Ah!)

FERRANDO
(Yes!)

COUNT
Did you ever hear the story?

AZUCENA
Not l! Let me
go on looking for my son.

FERRANDO
Wait, foul wretch!

AZUCENA
(Alas!)

FERRANDO
to the Count
You see who committed
the horrible, ghastly deed.

COUNT
Go on.

FERRANDO
She's the one!

AZUCENA
Be silent!

FERRANDO
She's the one who burned the child!

COUNT
Ah, monster!

SOLDIERS
She's the one!

AZUCENA
He's lying!

COUNT
Now you won't escape your fate!

AZUCENA
I beg you!

COUNT
Tie those knots tighter!

AZUCENA
Oh God! Oh God!

SOLDIERS
Go ahead and shout!

AZUCENA
Why don't you come, Manrico,
O my son?
Won't you aid
your wretched mother?

COUNT
Manrico's mother!

FERRANDO
Quake!

COUNT
Oh luck! She's in my power!

FERRANDO
Quake! Quake!

COUNT
Oh, luck!

AZUCENA
Ah!
Pray, loosen, barbarians,
the chains that bite me so.
This cruel torture
is like a drawn?out death!
Oh wicked son, worse
than your wicked father,
beware! God protects the helpless,
and God will punish you!

COUNT
Your brood, foul gypsy,
he? That seducer?
With your torture then
I can wound his heart!
Joy floods my breast,
which words cannot express!
Ah, through me, my brother's ashes
will have complete vengeance!

FERRANDO and SOLDIERS
Wretch, you'll see a pyre
rise here in a little while.
Nor will the earthly fire
be your only punishment!
The flames of hell for you
will be an eternal stake!
There your soul will have
to suffer and to burn!

AZUCENA
Pray loosen, barbarians,
the chains that bite me so.
This cruel torture
is like a drawn?out death!
O wicked son, worse
than your wicked father,
beware! God protects the helpless,
God protects the helpless,
beware! There is a God,
and God will punish you, ah yes, ah yes, etc.

COUNT
Your brood, foul gypsy,
he? That seducer?
Through me, my brother's ashes
will have complete vengeance! etc.

FERRANDO and SOLDIERS
The flames of hell for you
will be an eternal stake!
There your soul will have
to suffer and to burn! etc.

At a sign from the Count, the soldiers drag Azucena away.


SCENE TWO
A hall at Castellor, with a balcony at the back. Manrico, Leonora and Ruiz.

LEONORA
What was that sound of arms I heard a moment ago?

MANRICO
The danger is great:
no use to disguise it!
At dawn tomorrow
we'll be attacked.

LEONORA
Alas! What are you saying?

MANRICO
But we will vanquish
our enemies. Our daring,
our arms, and our courage
are equal to theirs.
to Ruiz
Go. During my short absence,
I commit to your care
the warlike work.
Let nothing be missing.

Ruiz leaves.

LEONORA
What a grim light
shines on our wedding!

MANRICO
Ah, my dear, rid yourself
of any gloomy forebodings!

LEONORA
How can I?

MANRICO
Let love, sublime love, at this moment
speak to your heart.

Ah yes, my love, when I am
yours, and you are my wife,
my spirit will be more fearless,
my arm will be stronger.
And yet, if on the page
of my destiny it's written
that I must be among the victims,
pierced by the foe's steel,
as I draw my last breath,
my thoughts will come to you,
and death will seem to me
only preceding you to heaven.
And death will seem to me, etc.

The chapel organ is heard.

LEONORA and MANRICO
The wave of holy sounds
descends, pure, into our hearts!
Come, the altar opens to us
the joys of unspoiled love!
Ah! the joys of unspoiled love, etc.

Ruiz runs in.

RUIZ
Manrico?

MANRICO
What is it?

RUIZ
The gypsy... come... in irons... look

MANRICO
Oh God!

RUIZ
Those barbarians' hands
have already lighted the pyre...

MANRICO
approaching the balcony
Heaven! My legs fail me,
my eyes are clouding over!

LEONORA
You're raging!

MANRICO
I should!
Learn then: I am ?

LEONORA
Who?

MANRICO
Her son!

LEONORA
Ah!

MANRICO
Ah, cowards! This wicked sight
almost takes away my breath!
Get our men together! Hurry
Ruiz! Go, go... And fly back!

Ruiz leaves.

The horrible blaze of that pyre
burns, enflames all of my being!
Monsters, put it out; or very quickly
I'll put it out with your blood!
Before I loved you, I was yet her son;
your suffering cannot restrain me...
Unhappy mother, I hasten to save you,
or at least hasten to die with you!

LEONORA
I cannot bear such deadly blows.
Oh, how much better to die!

MANRICO
The horrible blaze of that pyre, etc.

Ruiz comes back with the soldiers.

RUIZ and SOLDIERS
To Arms! To arms!
Here we are, ready to fight with you,
or die with you!
To arms, etc.

MANRICO
Unhappy mother, I hasten to save you,
or at least hasten to die with you! etc.
To arms! To arms! To arms!

They leave.

PART FOUR - The Execution

SCENE ONE
A wing of the Aliaferia palace; at one corner a tower with windows. Very dark night. Two people come in, muffled in cloaks: Ruiz and Leonora.

RUIZ
We've arrived; there's the tower,
where the State's prisoners languish.
Ah, the hapless man was brought here!

LEONORA
Go ... leave me,
and don't fear for me.
I can save him, perhaps.
Ruiz retires.
Fear for me? ... Sure
and ready is my protection.
She looks at a ring on her right hand.
Shrouded in this dark night,
I'm near you, and you don't know it!
Moaning wind, you who blow here,
ah, mercifully take my sighs to him.

On the rosy wings of love
go, oh mournful sigh;
comfort the flagging spirits
of the wretched prisoner.
Like a breath of hope
flutter in that room;
waken in him the memories,
the dreams, the dreams of love.
But, pray, don't imprudently tell him
the pangs, the pangs that rack my heart! etc.

MONKS
from within
Have mercy on a spirit approaching
the departure which has no return.
Have mercy on him, divine Goodness.
Keep him from being the prey of hell.

LEONORA
That sound, those prayers,
so solemn and dire,
fill the air
with baleful terror!
The distress
that fills me almost deprives
my lips of their breath,
my heart of its beating!

MANRICO
from the tower
Ah! how slow Death
is in its coming,
to him who longs to die!
Farewell, Leonora, farewell!

LEONORA
Oh heaven!
I feel faint!

MONKS
Have mercy, etc.

LEONORA
Over the horrid tower,
ah, Death seems
with wings of darkness
to be poised!
Ah, perhaps these doors
will be opened for him
only when his corpse
is already cold!

MONKS
Have mercy.. have mercy.. have mercy...

MANRICO
I'm paying with my blood
for the love I bore you!
Don't forget, don't forget me,
Leonora, farewell, Leonora, farewell!

LEONORA
Forget you! Forget you!
I feel faint! etc.

MANRICO
I'm paying with my blood, etc.

MONKS
Have mercy.. have mercy... have mercy

LEONORA
How could I ever forget you!
You will see that never on earth
was there a stronger love than mine;
it defeated Fate in violent strife,
it will defeat death itself.
Either at the cost of my life
I shall save your life,
or, forever united to you
I shall descend into the grave!
You will see that never on earth, etc.

Leonora retires. The Count comes out of the palace with some guards.

COUNT
Did you hear?
As dawn breaks, the son to the block,
and the mother to the stake.
The guards go into the tower.
Perhaps I'm abusing the power
that the Prince freely gave me!
That's what you drive me to,
O fatal woman!
Where can she be?
When Castellor was retaken,
I had no word of her,
and all our searching was in vain!
Ah, where are you, cruel one?

Leonora reveals herself.

LEONORA
Before you.

COUNT
That voice! What? You, woman?

LEONORA
As you see.

COUNT
Why have you come?

LEONORA
His last hour is approaching,
and you ask me?

COUNT
You dared?

LEONORA
Ah yes, I ask mercy for him!

COUNT
What? You're raving!

LEONORA
Mercy!

COUNT
You're raving!

LEONORA
Mercy!

COUNT
I? Show mercy to my rival?

LEONORA
A clement God inspire you!

COUNT
I? Show mercy to my rival?

LEONORA
A clement God inspire you!

COUNT
Vengeance is my only god, etc.

LEONORA
Pity! Pity! I ask pity!

COUNT
Go! Go! Go!

LEONORA
Look, at your feet I shed
a river of bitter tears;
Isn't my weeping enough?
Then stab me and drink my blood.
Trample upon my corpse,
but save the Troubadour!

COUNT
Ah! I would like to make worse
the unworthy man's fate,
make him die a hundred deaths
in a thousand horrible spasms.

LEONORA
Then kill me...

COUNT
The more you love him, the worse
my fury flames up!

LEONORA
Trample upon my corpse,
but save the Troubadour!

COUNT
The more you love him, the worse
my fury flames up! etc.

LEONORA
Stab me, stab me, trample upon my corpse,
but save the Troubadour! etc.

LEONORA
Count!

COUNT
Won't you stop?

LEONORA
Spare him!

COUNT
At no price could you gain that.
Move away!

LEONORA
There is one price, just one;
and I'll give it to you!

COUNT
Explain yourself. Tell me: what is this price?

LEONORA
Myself!

COUNT
Heaven! What did you say?

LEONORA
And I will keep my promise.

COUNT
Am I dreaming?

LEONORA
Make way for me within those walls;
let him hear me, let the victim flee,
and I am yours.

COUNT
Swear it.

LEONORA
I swear before God,
who can see my whole soul.

COUNT
Ho there!

A guard appears. While the Count is whispering to him, Leonora sucks the poison concealed in her ring.

LEONORA
(You'll have me… but as a cold and lifeless corpse.)

COUNT
He shall live.

LEONORA
(He'll live! My joy strips me
of words, O Lord,
but with its hurried beating
my heart renders thanks!
Now, fearless, filled with joy
I can await the end,
dying I can tell him:
I have saved you!)

COUNT
What are you whispering? Turn,
turn your words to me again,
or it will seem a dream,
all that I heard before!

LEONORA
He'll live!

COUNT
You're mine! Mine! Repeat it,
reassure my doubting heart;
ah, I can scarcely believe it,
when I hear it from you!

LEONORA
He'll live! My joy strips me
of words, O Lord.
Dying I can tell him:
I have saved you!
I have saved you! Ah! etc.

COUNT
You're mine, mine, ah!
I can scarcely believe it! etc.

LEONORA
Let us go!

COUNT
You've sworn -

LEONORA
Let us go!

COUNT
- Remember!

LEONORA
My word is sacred!

LEONORA
He'll Iive! My joy strips me, etc.

COUNT
You're mine! You're mine! Repeat it, etc.

They go into the tower.


SCENE TWO
A horrible dungeon; in one corner a barred window. Azucena lies on a kind of rough coverlet. Manrico is sitting beside her.

MANRICO
Mother, can't you sleep?

AZUCENA
I've invoked sleep time and again,
but it flees from my eyes!
I'm praying.

MANRICO
Perhaps the chilly air
is painful for your limbs?

AZUCENA
No, only I would like
to flee from this tomb of the living
because I feel that my breath is choking me.

MANRICO
Flee!

AZUCENA
Don't be sad;
the barbarians
won't be able to torture me!

MANRICO
What?

AZUCENA
You see, the finger of Death
has already set on my forehead
its dark prints!

MANRICO
Ah!

AZUCENA
They'll find a corpse, mute and cold!
No, a skeleton!

MANRICO
Stop!

AZUCENA
Don't you hear?
People are coming...
The executioners...
They want to drag me to the stake!
Defend your mother!

MANRICO
Nobody, rest assured.

AZUCENA
The stake ?

MANRICO
Nobody's coming here.

AZUCENA
The stake! The stake! The stake!
That horrible word!

MANRICO
Oh Mother! Oh Mother!

AZUCENA
One day a ferocious mob
led your grandmother to the stake!
Look at the terrible flames!
They're touching her already!
Her burning hair already
sends sparks up to heaven!
Look at her eyes,
hanging out of their sockets!
Ah! who will save me
from this horrible sight!

MANRICO
If you love me still, if a son's voice
has power in a mother's breast,
seek oblivion in sleep
from the spirit's terrors,
and rest and calm.

AZUCENA
Yes, weariness overcomes me, my son...
I'll close my eyes in peace,
but if you see burning
the stake's horrid flames, then waken me.

MANRICO
Rest now, mother, and may God
grant less grievous images to your sleep.

AZUCENA
We'll go back to our mountains,
and there enjoy our former peace!
You'll sing with your lute,
and I'll sleep serenely.

MANRICO
Rest, mother. Silent and alert,
I'll turn my thoughts to Heaven.

AZUCENA
You'll sing, etc.

MANRICO
I'll turn my thoughts to heaven,
Rest, mother, etc.

She falls asleep. The door opens and Leonora comes in.

MANRICO
What! Does that feeble
light not deceive me?

LEONORA
It's I, Manrico, my Manrico!

MANRICO
O, my Leonora!
Ah! piteous Heaven, do you grant me
such a great joy before I die?

LEONORA
You won't die; I've come to save you!

MANRICO
What? To save me? Can it be true?

LEONORA
Farewell! Don't delay!
Hurry! Leave!

MANRICO
And you're not coming?

LEONORA
I must stay.

MANRICO
Stay?

LEONORA
Ah, flee!

MANRICO
No!

LEONORA
Woe if you delay!

MANRICO
No!

LEONORA
Your life!

MANRICO
I scorn it!

LEONORA
Leave! Leave!

MANRICO
No!

LEONORA
Your life!

MANRICO
I scorn it!
Still ? woman,
look into my eyes!
Who gave it to you?
And at what price?
You won't speak?
A terrible thought!
From my rival! I understand!
This wretch sold her love...

LEONORA
Oh, how unjust!

MANRICO
Sold a heart sworn to me!

LEONORA
Oh, how your wrath blinds you!
Oh, how unjust and cruel you are…

MANRICO
Wretch!

LEONORA
... to me! Believe me! Flee!
Or you're lost!
Heaven itself can't save you!

MANRICO
This wretch sold her love.

LEONORA
Oh, how your wrath blinds you!

MANRICO
Sold a heart sworn to me!

LEONORA
Oh, how your wrath blinds you!

MANRICO
Wretch!

LEONORA
Oh, how unjust and cruel you are
to me! Believe me! Flee!
Or you're lost!
Heaven itself can't save you!

MANRICO
This wretch sold a love
sworn to me!

AZUCENA
Ah! We'll go back to our mountains, etc.

LEONORA
Ah! flee, flee! Or you're lost!
Heaven itself can't save you! etc.

MANRlCO
No! This wretch sold her love,
sold a heart sworn to me, etc.

Leonora sinks at Manrico's feet.

MANRICO
Go away!

LEONORA
Don't drive me off!
You see? My strength fails,
I'm overcome, weak.

MANRICO
Go! I detest you! My curse upon you!

LEONORA
Ah stop, stop!
Don't curse me;
the time has come
to pray to God for me!

MANRICO
A shudder runs through my breast!

LEONORA
Manrico!

MANRICO
Woman! Reveal... tell me...

LEONORA
I have death in my breast!

MANRICO
Death!

LEONORA
Ah, the poison's strength
was more rapid than I thought.

MANRICO
Oh, horror!

LEONORA
Feel; my hand is icy,
but here, here a terrible fire is burning!

She touches her chest.

MANRICO
Heaven, what have you done!

LEONORA
Rather than live as another's,
I wanted to die yours!

MANRICO
And I, a madman, dared curse this angel!

LEONORA
I can't go on!

MANRICO
Ah, hapless girl!

LEONORA
The moment has come...
I'm dying, Manrico.
Father in Heaven, now
I beg your forgiveness!

MANRICO
Heavens!

The Count appears, stopping at the entrance.

COUNT
(Ah, she wanted to deceive me
and die for him!)

LEONORA
Rather than live as another's,
I wanted to die yours!

MANRICO
And I, like a madman,
dared curse this angel, etc.

LEONORA
Rather than live as another's,
I wanted to die yours! etc.

COUNT
(Ah! she wanted to deceive me
and die for him! etc.)

LEONORA
Manrico!

MANRICO
Leonora!

LEONORA
Farewell, I'm dying...

MANRICO
Ah! Alas, wretched one!

COUNT
to the soldiers
Take him to the block!

MANRICO
as he is dragged off
Mother! Ah, Mother, farewell!

AZUCENA
Manrico!
Where is my son?

COUNT
Hastening to his death.

AZUCENA
Ah, stop! Hear me!

COUNT
draws her to the window
See!

AZUCENA
Heaven!

COUNT
He's dead.

AZUCENA
He was your brother!

COUNT
He! What horror!

AZUCENA
Mother, you are avenged!

COUNT
And I still live!