Also known as:
|Don José / Carmen|
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Giuseppe di Stefano (24 July 1921 -- 3 March 2008) was an Italian operatic tenor whose career spanned from the late 1940s to the early 1970s. He was also known for his long association with Maria Callas, with whom he performed and recorded many times, and with whom he was briefly romantically involved.
It is the opionion of many that di Stefano had perhaps the most beautiful natural voice of any tenor in recorded history. Of course he is also infamous for his regression in his technique; his consistent heavy pushing through the passaggio and beyond caused him to lose most of his vocal beauty by the late 60-early 70s.
Here he sings an absolutely wonderful rendition of 'La fleur que tu m'avais jetee' from Carmen. Live, 21 January 1956. This is before his voice had begun the process of self-destruction; it is absolutely gorgeous here.
A side note: for those of you who know the story, this is the live broadcast where Pippo breaks Risë Stevens' arm later in the performance. Her cry of "Put my arm down!" can clearly be heard on the full broadcast.
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!