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Plus blanche que la blanche hermine

Opera details:

Opera title:

Les Hugenots

Composer:

Giacomo Meyerbeer

Language:

French

Synopsis:

Les Hugenots Synopsis

Libretto:

Not entered yet.

Translation(s):

Not entered yet.

Aria details:

Type:

aria

Role(s):

Raoul de Nangis

Voice(s):

Tenor

Act:

1

Previous scene: Pour les couvents c'est fini
Next scene: Non loin des vieilles tours

Leo Slezak sings 'Plus blanche que la blanche hermine' (auf Deutsch) Meyerbeer's 'Les Huguenots'

Singer: Leo Slezak

Leo Slezak sings 'Plus blanche que la blanche hermine' (auf Deutsch) from Giacomo Meyerbeer's 'Les Huguenots'.

This recording is from 1907.

Leo Slezak (18 August 1873 -- 1 June 1946) was a world-renowned Austrian-Czech tenor who specialized in German opera and lieder. He was also one of the premier interpreters of Verdi's Otello. Discovered and trained by the well-known baritone and teacher Adolf Robinson, he made a promising début at Brno on 17 March 1896 , as Lohengrin. His early career was somewhat chequered and his Covent Garden début on 18 May 1900, again as Lohengrin, was ruined by the pandemonium aroused by the war news of the Relief of Mafeking in South Africa. By contrast, his career in Vienna, whither he was called by Gustav Mahler in 1901, was brilliant and prolonged. He remained one of the leading tenors of the house through the mid-1920s and subsequently made occasional guest appearances until a final Pagliacci in 1933. Slezak had become internationally famous during this time, especially after a period of study with Jean de Reszke in 1907. A marked improvement was noted on his reappearance at Covent Garden in 1909, when he sang Otello with robust power and beauty of tone. That autumn he made his first appearance at the Metropolitan Opera as Otello, to still greater acclaim. He remained with the company for four consecutive seasons, singing, among other parts, his main Wagnerian roles (Tannhäuser, Lohengrin, Walther), Giuseppe Verdi's Manrico and Radames, and P.I. Tchaikovsky's Hermann, and frequently appeared under the direction of Arturo Toscanini and Gustav Mahler. In later years he became well known as an lieder interpreter and, later still, made a new career for himself in 'comic uncle' roles in German and Austrian films. His irrepressible sense of fun comes out in his autobiographical books; a similar volume by his son, the actor Walter Slezak, calleWhat Time's the Next Swan?', alludes to the tenor's celebrated stage whisper on an occasion when the swan in Lohengrin began to move off before he had stepped aboard. Such anecdotes, together with his immense stature and ample girth, might suggest that Slezak was more of a 'character' than a serious artist; but, the verdict of New York critics during his seasons there, as well as numerous recordings made over a 30 year period, prove the contrary. There were certain flaws in his technique, but at his best he combined great warmth and brilliance of tone with clear enunciation and a near-perfect command of mezza voce.

Watch videos with other singers performing Plus blanche que la blanche hermine:

Libretto/Lyrics/Text/Testo:

Non loin des vieilles tours
et des remparts d’Amboise
seul j’égarais mes pas,
quand j’aperà§ois soudain
une riche litière au détour du chemin;
d’étudiants nombreux la troupe
discourtoise
l’entourait, et leurs cris,
leur air audacieux
me laissaient deviner leur projet:
je m’élance...
Tout fuit à  mon aspect.
Timide, je m’avance...
Ah! quel spectacle enchanteur
vint s’offrir à  mes yeux!

Plus blanche que la blanche hermine,
plus pure qu’un jour de printemps,
un ange, une vierge divine,
de sa vue éblouit mes sens.
Vierge immortelle!
Qu’elle était belle!
Et malgré moi devant elle m’inclinant,
je disais, je lui disais:
Belle ange, reine des amours,
beauté du ciel,
Je t’aimerais toujours!

En m’écoutant, un doux sourire
trahit le trouble de son coeur,
et dans ses yeux j’ai su lire
le présage de mon bonheur.
Amant fidèle, flamme nouvelle
brûle mon coeur, flamme éternelle
me brûle encor, et je me dis:
Belle ange, reine des amours,
beauté du ciel,
Je t’aimerais toujours!

English Libretto or Translation:

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