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A moi les plaisirs

Opera details:

Opera title:



Charles Gounod




Faust Synopsis


Faust Libretto


English Deutsch

Duet details:




Doctor Faust / Méphistophélès


Tenor / Bass-Baritone



Previous scene: Me voici d'ou vient ta surprise
Next scene: Demoiselle ni belle

Enrico Caruso & Marcel Journet "O merveille...A moi les plaisirs" from Gounod’s Faust (Victor 89039)

Singer(s): Enrico Caruso Marcel Journet

On Victor 89039, Enrico Caruso & Marcel Journet "O merveille...A moi les plaisirs" from Gounod’s Faust.

Caruso lived from February 25, 1873, to August 2, 1921.

He was born in Naples, and at the end of his life he returned to Naples, hoping to recover from illness but instead dying there. He did not live in Naples during his adult life. Caruso purchased the Villa Bellosguardo, a palatial country house near Florence, in 1904. Caruso's real home during his years of greatest fame was a suite at Manhattan's Knickerbocker Hotel.

The tenor made more than 260 recordings for the Victor Talking Machine Company. A sensation in opera houses and on concert stages, he is still famous because his records were incredibly popular during his own life and remained popular long after the tenor's death. Many singers of the twentieth century said they learned much while listening to Caruso's voice.

He was loved as the lead tenor in "warhorse" works--that is, in operas that stand the test of time, being produced often. But he also took risks, gambling on newly created roles (with no guarantee that the new opera would succeed) and also helping revive forgotten operas. He excelled in Italian and French role. His voice was not suited for Mozart or Wagner.

He created interesting roles--that is, he was first to sing those roles in new operas. On December 10, 1910, Caruso created the role of Dick Johnson in the world premiere of La fanciulla del West. Puccini, the composer, wrote with Caruso's voice specifically in mind.

Earlier, Caruso created the role of Loris in Umberto Giordano's Fedora, at the Teatro Lirico, Milan, on November 17, 1898. At that same theater, on November 6, 1902, he created the role of Maurizio in Francesco Cilea's Adriana Lecouvreur.

In March 1902, he created the main tenor part in Germania by Alberto Franchetti.

A month later, on April 11, 1902, Caruso was paid by the Gramophone & Typewriter Company's Fred Gaisberg to sing ten numbers into a recording horn in a Milan hotel room. The fee was 100 pounds sterling. The tenor sang to piano accompaniment. Gaisberg (either Fred or his brother Will) wrote "Carusso" on early wax blanks.

As time passed, people looked back and viewed this session as giving birth to a new era.

Before 1902, opera recordings aroused little enthusiasm since voices on discs and cylinders were distant, often drowned out by surface noise. Early opera recordings gave little satisfaction.

Caruso helped make the gramophone respected because his voice--a superb one--recorded well. Before 1902, recording officials had difficulty convincing celebrities to make records since the final product was crude. Some celebrities did make recordings in 1902 (they include Plançon, Van Rooy, Calvé, Scotti, Bispham, and Renaud)--partly to earn large fees for little work, partly to satisfy curiosity about how they sound. But Caruso's success inspired many others.

With the first Caruso discs available in the summer of 1902, the gramophone was clearly more than a toy--that is one way to view Caruso's contribution to the infant industry. Lovers of great singing realized that recording devices could capture and preserve great singing. Caruso's voice on his early discs came across clearly enough to be satisfying, Caruso's interpretations compelling.

Caruso had other Milan sessions. The next one (again for the Gramophone & Typewriter Company) was on November 30, 1902, with some titles recorded a day or two later (in December 1902).

I once assumed that Will Gaisberg (Fred's brother--Fred himself was touring, making records in exotic locations) produced all the Milan recordings of the November-December sessions, but I read that B.G. Royal recorded four of the recordings, and these have "-R" embossed next to the matrix numbers, indicating that Royal was the producer.

On April 19, 1903, Caruso made seven recordings in Milan for the Anglo-Italian Commerce Company, pianist unknown. These were released on the Zonophone label.

In late October 1903, three more titles were recorded in Milan. There were issued by Pathe on both cylinder and disc.

Next, Caruso cut two titles for the Gramophone & Typewriter Company--the last Milan session.

Thereafter Caruso recorded only for the Victor Talking Machine Company.

Caruso's records helped make him a star in opera houses, and Caruso's success in opera houses helped record sales. Victor Talking Machine Company discs brought wealth and fame to the artist, and Caruso's name brought prestige to the Victor Talking Machine Company.

On September 16, 1920, the ailing tenor visited a recording studio for the last time (at Trinity Church at Camden, New Jersey).

Enrico Caruso & Marcel Journet "O merveille...A moi les plaisirs" from Gounod’s Faust (Victor 89039)

Watch videos with other singers performing A moi les plaisirs:


Non! Je veux un trésor
Qui les contient tous! ...
Je veux la jeunesse! ...
A moi les plaisirs,
Les jeunes maîtresses!
A moi leurs caresses!
A moi leurs désirs!
A moi l'énergie
Des instincts puissants,
Et la folle orgie
Du cœur et des sens!
Ardente jeunesse,
A moi les désirs,
A moi ton ivresse,
A moi les plaisirs!

Fort bien!
Je puis contenter ton caprice.

Et que te donnerai-je en retour?

Presque rien!
Ici, je suis à ton service,
Mais là-bas, tu seras au mien!

Là-bas? ...

Là-bas ....
Lui présentant un parchemin
Allons, signe! - Eh quoi! ta main tremble!
Que faut-il pour te décider?
La jeunesse t'appelle; ose la regarder!

Apparition de Marguerite au Rouet

O merveille!

Eh bien! que t'en semble?

Donne! ...

Allons donc! ...
Prenant la coupe restée sur la table
Et maintenant,
Maître, c'est moi qui te convie
A vider cette coupe où fume en bouillonnant
Non plus la mort, non plus le poison; mais la vie!

prenant la coupe
A toi, à toi, à toi,
Fantôme adorable et charmant!

Il vide la coupe et se trouve métamorphosé en jeune et élégant seigneur. La vision disparait.


Je la reverrai?

Sans doute.



C'est bien!

En route!

English Libretto or Translation:

No! I want a treasure
Which contains them all!
I want youth!
Then, pleasure will be mine,
So will young mistresses!
Mine their caresses!
Mine their desires!
Mine the energy
Of powerful instincts
And the mad orgy
Of the heart and senses!
Fiery youth,
I want your desires,
I want your raptures,
I want your pleasures!...

Very well! I can gratify your whim!

And what shall I give you in return?

A mere trifle.
Here, I am in your service
But down there, you will be in mine.

Down there?

holding out a parchment
Down there! Come now, sign this.
What, your hand is shaking?
What can I find to urge you on?
Youth is calling you, be bold enough to look at it!

He conjures up a vision of Marguerite sitting at her spinning-wheel

O wonder!

Well? What do you think of it?

taking the parchment
He signs

We are set!
He takes the beaker from the table.
And now, Master, I myself invite you
To drain this vessel
In which smokes and bubbles
No longer Death, no longer poison, but life!

seizing the beaker
To you, divine and bewitching vision!

He drains the beaker and is at once changed into a young and elegant lord. The vision vanishes.


Shall I see her again?

No doubt you will.


This very day!

Very well!

Away, then!

Pleasure will be mine/yours,
So will young mistresses, etc.

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