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Connais tu le pays

Opera details:

Opera title:



Ambroise Thomas




Mignon Synopsis


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Aria details:






Mezzo-Soprano or Soprano



Previous scene: Oui je veux par le monde
Next scene: Overture

100 Singers - RISE STEVENS

Singer: Risë Stevens

Rise Stevens, Mezzo-Soprano (1913-2013)
Ambroise Thomas: MIGNON
"Connais-tu le pays ... "
Conducted by Frieder Weissmann / Recorded 1941 (Public Domain)

My personal opinion: The history of classical music recording is also the story of regrettable omissions. Just imagine Maria Callas and Tito Gobbi in Bartok's BLUEBEARD'S CASTLE or Fritz Wunderlich in WINTERREISE. Imagine Nicolai Gedda singing "Ah, mes amis quel jour" from LA FILLE DU REGIMENT with nine high C's (after all, he left us five versions of "Mes amis, écoutez l'histoire" from LE POSTILLON DU LONJUMEAU by Adam). The great Jussi Björling was already announced by HMV as Massenet's Des Grieux in MANON, but replaced by Henri Legay. A scheduled CARMEN with Rise Stevens and Björling was also never materialized. Later Stevens said: "I was very disappointed. Can you imagine to have him on that record? There was only one Jussi!" Björling was substituted by Jan Peerce. Caruso never sang "Nessun dorma", because he died three years before Puccini composed TURANDOT. Alfredo Kraus never recorded LES CONTES D'HOFFMANN commercially. Anita Cerqueti made only one studio opera: LA GIOCONDA. The list of omissions goes on with names such as Eleanor Steber, Leyla Gencer, Virginia Zeani, Maria Chiara and many more.
And sometimes we have the exact opposite: Recordings, they should not have done; embarrasing performances with former stars beyond their prime or expensive productions of unknown works that hardly anyone wants to hear - a speciality of modern countertenors! Another subject is the inflationary use of well-known names: Placido Domingo, for instance, had sung in more than 250 (!) complete opera recordings (15 different OTELLO versions are available). Nevertheless IMHO there is only one evergreen performance in his vast discography: DON CARLO under Giulini. Don't let anyone say, the world is fair ...
For more than two decades a star at the Met, the previously mentioned American mezzo-soprano Rise Stevens shared the same fate as Eleanor Steber, her colleague in New York: Phonogram under-representation. Largely overlooked by international companies, Stevens can be heard in no more than four studio operas, of these only two were main parts: Gluck's ORFEO (Pierre Monteux) and the said CARMEN (Fritz Reiner's only non-live opera). Both productions were realized with a large number of American singers: New York City born Rise Stevens was supported by Roberta Peters, Licia Albanese, Jan Peerce, Robert Merrill, Margaret Roggero and Met veteran baritones Osie Hawkins and George Cehanovsky. Some extra caution had to be taken to design the original album covers: CARMEN shows Stevens seductive looking and lasciviously lolling, ORFEO even presents her sitting on a rock dressed as ancient Orpheus with the real Acropolis in the background - and an overseen modern car along with Athens tourists! Monteux, at that time age 82, slows down the romantic selections ("Che puro ciel", "Che faro"), giving the score warmth and feeling - and Rise Stevens adapts to that very well. After all these historically informed performances (and an invasion of men with female voices), it's really refreshing to hear again a true mezzo soprano. I like this recording very much, even if German music author Kesting (a man of hair-raising conclusions) wrote, Stevens as Orpheus is "short of breath" ...
The gem in Steven's discography, naturally, is her CARMEN, a role she performed at the Met between 1945 and 1961 more than 120 times. It was her signature role, albeit "... she was far from being a great singer" (Howard Taubman in 'New York Times'). One wonders, what is a 'great' singer? Rise Stevens is in wonderful voice here, immensely expressive and lively - no trace of artificial diva behavior (à la Jessye Norman). 16 successful years as Carmen at the Met speak for themselves (regrettably her partner is not Björling, but rather Jan Peerce who sings grainy, brusque and charmless). In an abridged version of Saint-Saens' SAMSON ET DALILA (produced on occasion of Stevens' acclaimed Met performances as Dalila), her mesmerizing "Mon coeur s'ouvre à ta voix" (model for Marilyn Horne) has no chance against Mario del Monaco's vocal muscle play. Rise Stevens gives a more memorable performance in the weird Bing Crosby movie "Going my way" (1944), in which she sings Carmen's "Habanera" - strangely dressed in a raincoat (!) and with a thorny rose between her teeth ...

Watch videos with other singers performing Connais tu le pays:

Teresa BERGANZA Mignon Connaistu le pays  23443
2 - Teresa Berganza
Ambroise Thomas Mignon Connaistu le pays Magdalena Kozena 23448
2 - Magdalena Kožená

Maria Jose Montiel sings Connaistu le pays Mignon by Thomas 23444
2 - María José Montiel
Connaistu le pays Denyce Graves 92598
2 - Denyce Graves

Elisabeth Grummer Connaistu le pays Thomas Mignon rec 1953 23475
1 - Elisabeth Grümmer
Elena Cernei Thomas MIGNON Connaistu le pays 23464
2 - Elena Cernei

Karine Deshayes Connaistu le pays ou fleurit l oranger Moscow 29 April 2015 92599
2 - Karine Deshayes

Lucia Valentini Terrani in Connaistu le pays dall opera Mignon di AThomas 23459
2 - Lucia Valentini Terrani

Frederica von Stade Connaistu le pays Mignon Ambroise Thomas 23442
2 - Frederica von Stade
Elina Garanca Connaistu le pays Mignon Ambroise Thomas 23440
2 - Elīna Garanča

Part III Rare and unknown voices HERTHA TaPPER 92602
3 - Hertha Töpper
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2 - Jennifer Larmore

Mignon s Aria Connaistu le pays Vesselina Kasarova 92607
2 - Vesselina Kasarova
Adelina Patti Connaistu le pays Thomas Mignon recorded in 1906 92606
1 - Adelina Patti

Lucrezia Bori Connaistu le pays Thomas Mignon recorded in 1928 92613
1 - Lucrezia Bori
MarieNicole Lemieux Connaistu le pays Mignon Ambroise Thomas 23445
3 - Marie-Nicole Lemieux

100 Singers RISE STEVENS 92615
2 - Risë Stevens
Giulietta Simionato Connaistu le pays Mignon 23453
2 - Giulietta Simionato

Conchita Supervia Connaistu le pays Thomas Mignon French Odeon 1931 92617
2 - Conchita Supervía
Ambroise Thomas Mignon Geraldine Farrar Connaistu le pays  23485
1 - Geraldine Farrar

Ebe Stignani Mignon Thomas Non Conosci Il Bel Suol 92619
2 - Ebe Stignani

Ernestine SchumannHeink Connaistu le pays Thomas Mignon rec 1907 92620
3 - Ernestine Schumann-Heink

Marilyn Horne Connaistu le pays Mignon Ambroise Thomas 23451
2 - Marilyn Horne
Lotte Lehmann Connaistu le pays Thomas Mignon recorded in 1917 92621
1 - Lotte Lehmann

2 - Sonia Ganassi
15Ambroise Thomas Connaistu le pays Mignon  92630
1 - Małgorzata Walewska

Mezzosoprano GIANNA PEDERZINI Mignon Non conosci il bel suol 1930 92633
2 - Gianna Pederzini
Ninon VALLIN Mignon Connaistu le pays  92635
1 - Ninon Vallin

Thomas Mignon Julia Hamari Act 1 flv 92637
2 - Julia Hamari
American Soprano Anna Case Connaistu le pays O Sleep Why Dost Thou Leave Me 1928 92640
1 - Anna Case

Connaistu le pays Mignon Thomas LIVE Jana Sakorova 23478
3 - Jana Sýkorová
Connaistu le pays aus Mignon Ambroise Thomas GesangDaniela Vega 92645
2 - Daniela Vega

Polish Soprano Marcella Sembrich Connaistu le pays 1907 92653
1 - Marcella Sembrich
Mignon Connaistu le pays Romance Act 1 Mignon 92655
1 - Renata Scotto

Sigrid Arnoldson sing Mignon Act I Connaistu le pays 92657
1 - Sigrid Arnoldson

Jane Rhodes Connaistu le pays MIGNON Ambroise Thomas 23466
2 - Jane Rhodes

2 - Bruna Castagna
Mignon Connaistu le pays ou fleurit l oranger Mignon 1953 Version 92670
2 - Solange Michel

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1 - Janine Micheau
Mignon Mignon Act I Connaistu le pays 92674
1 - Florence Easton

Mignon oeConnaistu le pays Do You Know the Land 92675
1 - Bidu Sayão
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1 - Amalia Paoli

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2 - Soňa Červená
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3 - Maartje Offers

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2 - Monica Groop
Soprano FLORENCE EASTON Mignon Connaistu le pays 1922 92641
1 -
1 - Florence Easton

Mignon Act I Act I Connaistu le pays ou fleurit l oranger Mignon 92699
1 - Mimi Benzell
2 - Risë Stevens


Connais-tu le pays où fleurit l'oranger?
Le pays des fruits d'or et des roses vermeilles,
Où la brise est plus douce et l'oiseau plus léger,
Où dans toute saison butinent les abeilles,
Où rayonne et sourit, comme un bienfait de Dieu,
Un éternel printemps sous un ciel toujours bleu!
Hélas! Que ne puis-je te suivre
Vers ce rivage heureux d'où le sort m'exila!
C'est là ! c'est là  que je voudrais vivre,
Aimer, aimer et mourir!

Connais-tu la maison où l'on m'attend là -bas?
La salle aux lambris d'or, où des hommes de marbre
M'appellent dans la nuit en me tendant les bras?
Et la cour où l'on danse à  l'ombre d'un grand arbre?
Et le lac transparent où glissent sur les eaux
Mille bateaux légers pariels à  des oiseaux!
Hélas! Que ne puis-je te suivre
Vers ce pays lointain d'où le sort m'exila!
C'est là ! c'est là  que je voudrais vivre,
Aimer, aimer et mourir!

English Libretto or Translation:

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Sheetmusic in our database with this aria

Operatic Anthology: Mezzo-SopranoCantolopera: Arias for Mezzo-Soprano Volume 2