Gigli was already known when Enrico Caruso died in 1921. He stepped into the roles that would have naturally been Caruso's and as a result became a major star at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City and around the world. Even though he did more or less replace Caruso, their voices were very different. Caruso's voice was large, heroic and darker than Gigli's sizable but still lyric voice. So not really a replacement, but a great tenor that caught a lucky break.
Watch videos with other singers performing Donna non vidi mai:
S'interrompe. Vede Lescaut che sarà venuto sul balcone dell'osteria e frettolosamente lo raggiunge. Des Grieux avrà seguito Manon collo sguardo.
DES GRIEUX Donna non vidi mai simile a questa! A dirle: io t'amo, a nuova vita l'alma mia si desta. "Manon Lescaut mi chiamo!" Come queste parole profumate mi vagan nello spirto e ascose fibre vanno a carezzare. O sussurro gentil, deh! non cessare! … "Manon Lescaut mi chiamo!" Sussurro gentil. deh! non cessar!
English Libretto or Translation:
He pauses.He sees Lescaut who will have come to the balcony of the tavern and hastened himIt reaches.Des Grieux will have followed Manon's neck.
DES GRIEUX Woman I never saw anything like this! To tell you: I love you, to a new life my soul awakens. "Manon Lescaut my name is!" Like these scented words I wander in the spirit and ascose fibers go to caress. O gentle whisper, deh! do not cease! ... "Manon Lescaut my name is!" Gentle gentleman. deh! do not cease!
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