Also known as:
|Don José / Carmen|
|Previous scene:||Attends un peu, Carmen|
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Giuseppe Di Stefano (24 July 1921 -- 3 March 2008) was an Italian operatic tenor who sang professionally from the late 1940s until the early 1990s. He was known as the "Golden voice" or "The most beautiful voice", as the true successor of Beniamino Gigli. He was also known for his long-term performance and recording association with soprano Maria Callas. Giuseppe di Stefano was born in Motta Sant'Anastasia, a village near Catania, Sicily. He was the only son of a carabiniere turned cobbler and his dressmaker wife. After serving in the Italian military (and briefly taking lessons from the Swiss tenor Hugues Cuénod), di Stefano made his operatic debut in 1946 in Reggio Emilia as Des Grieux in Massenet's Manon, the role in which he made his La Scala debut the following year. The great beauty of his lyric tenor voice quickly won him international attention and he was duly engaged by the Metropolitan Opera in New York. He made his New York debut in 1948 as the Duke of Mantua in Verdi's Rigoletto after singing the role in Riccione with Hjördis Schymberg that summer. He went on to perform regularly in New York for many years. In 1957, di Stefano made his British debut at the Edinburgh Festival as Nemorino in L'elisir d'amore and his Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, debut in 1961, as Cavaradossi in Tosca. As a singer, di Stefano was admired for his excellent diction, unique timbre, passionate delivery and, in particular, for the sweetness of his soft singing. In his Metropolitan Opera radio broadcast debut in Faust, he attacked the high C forte and then softened to a pianissimo. Sir Rudolf Bing said in his memoirs that this was the most beautiful sound he had heard come out of a human throat during his many years as general manager of the Metropolitan Opera. In a documentary aired on PBS entitled Pavarotti and the Italian Tenor, a critic remarked that "di Stefano's [singing] technique was not good", due to the fact that he apparently misused the passagio of his voice. Luciano Pavarotti said he modeled himself after di Stefano, a fact that gained much attention after Pavarotti's death in September 2007. He was also the tenor who most inspired José Carreras. Di Stefano sang the tenor leads in several of the most famous recordings of Maria Callas, all of which were for EMI...
Lyrics & English Translation
In prison I kept lovingly
The flower you had thrown at me.
Though it had faded and turned dry,
It still smelled sweet as time went by;
And I would put that special flower
On my closed eyes, hour after hour.
Drunk with that fragrance, I felt light,
And there I saw you in the night!
At times I would begin to hate you,
To curse you and to execrate you,
To say: why did it have to be
That fate brought her so close to me!
Then I thought that faith had defied me,
And I only felt deep inside me,
I only felt but one desire,
But one desire, one hope, one yen,
To see you, Carmen, yes, see you again!
For all you needed was to be there,
To throw a fleeting glance my way,
To have full mastery of me there,
Oh, Carmen, dear!
And all you did with me was play!
Carmen, I love you!
A link to this wonderful artists personal Website:
I send my kind and warm regards,
La fleur que tu m'avais jetée,
Dans ma prison m'était restée,
Flétrie et sèche, cette fleur
Gardait toujours sa douce odeur;
Et pendant des heures entières,
Sur mes yeux fermant mes paupières
De cette odeur je m'enivrais
Et dans la nuit je te voyais.
Je me prenais à te maudire
À te détester, à me dire:
Pourquoi faut-il que le destin
L'ait mise là sur mon chemin?
Puis je m'accusais de blasphème
Et je ne sentais en moi-même
Qu'un seul désir, un seul espoir,
Te revoir, ô Carmen, oui te revoir! …
Car tu n'avais eu qu'à paraître,
Qu'à jeter un regard sur moi
Pour t'emparer de tout mon être,
Ô ma Carmen.
Et j'étais une chose à toi.
Carmen, je t'aime!
The flower you had thrown at me
In my prison I had stayed,
Withered and dry, this flower
Always kept its sweet smell;
And for hours,
On my eyes closing my eyelids
From this smell I would get drunk
And in the night I saw you.
I began to curse you
To hate you, to tell me:
Why must destiny
Put it there on my way?
Then I blamed myself for blasphemy
And I did not feel in myself
Only one desire, one hope,
To see you again, O Carmen, yes, see you again! ...
Because you had only to appear,
What to take a look at me
To take hold of all my being,
O my Carmen.
And I was a thing of you.
Carmen, I love you!