The great American Soprano Leontyne Price singing "Pace, pace, mio Dio" from Italian opera La Forza del Destino by Giuseppe Verdi (The Power of Fate) – Bell Telephone Hour performances (1967).
Ms. Price's voice has been characterized as "vibrant", "soaring" and "a Price beyond pearls", as well as "genuinely buttery, carefully produced but firmly under control", with phrases that "took on a seductive sinuousness”. Time magazine called her "Rich, supple and shining, it was in its prime capable of effortlessly soaring from a smoky mezzo to the pure soprano gold of a perfectly spun high C."
Synopsis: Don Alvaro a young nobleman from South America who has settled in Seville where he is not very well thought of. He falls in love with Donna Leonora, the daughter of the Marquis of Calatrava who is determined that she shall marry only a man of the highest origin. Despite knowing her father’s aversion to Alvaro, Leonora is deeply in love with him, and she determines to give up her home and country in order to elope with him. The Marquis unexpectedly discovers Alvaro with Leonora and threatens him with death. And in order to remove any suspicion of Leonora’s purity, Alvaro surrenders himself. As he flings down his pistol, it goes off wounding the Marquis who dies cursing his daughter.
“Pace, pace, mio Dio” (Peace, peace, my God) sung in Act 4 – Leonora, outside the cave where she has come to live out her remaining days in repentance. She still loves Alvaro after many years despite the bad things that have happened. She calls upon God to end her suffering.
Watch videos with other singers performing Pace pace mio Dio:
Presso la grotta di Leonora. Valle tra rupi inaccessibili, attraversata da un ruscello. Nel fondo a sinistra dello spettatore è una grotta con porta praticabile, e sopra una campana che si potrà suonare dall'interno. La scena si oscura lentamente; la luna apparisce splendidissima. Donna Leonora, pallida, sfigurata, esce dalla grotta, agitatissima. Leonora
LEONORA Pace, pace, mio Dio! Cruda sventura M'astringe, ahimé, a languir; Come il dì primo Da tant'anni dura Profondo il mio soffrir. L'amai, gli è ver! Ma di beltà e valore Cotanto Iddio l'ornò. Che l'amo ancor. Né togliermi dal core L'immagin sua saprò. Fatalità! Fatalità! Fatalità! Un delitto disgiunti n'ha quaggiù! Alvaro, io t'amo. E su nel cielo è scritto: Non ti vedrò mai più! Oh Dio, Dio, fa ch'io muoia; Che la calma può darmi morte sol. Invan la pace qui sperò quest'alma In preda a tanto duol. Va ad un sasso ove sono alcune provvigioni deposte dal Padre Guardiano Misero pane, a prolungarmi vieni La sconsolata vita … Ma chi giunge? Chi profanare ardisce il sacro loco? Maledizione! Maledizione! Maledizione!
Torna rapidamente alla grotta, e vi si rinchiude.
English Libretto or Translation:
A valley amid precipitous rocks, traversed by a stream. In the background, to the spectator's left, is a cave with a practicable door, above which is a bell that can be rung from within. The sun is going down. The scene darkens slowly; the moon appears, extremely bright. Donna Leonora, pale and worn, emerges from the cave in a state of great agitation.
LEONORA Peace, peace, O God! She comes down. Cruel misfortune compels me, alas, to languish; my suffering has lasted for so many years, as profound as on the first day. Peace, peace, O God! I loved him, it is true! But God had blessed him with such beauty and courage that I love him still, and cannot efface his image from my heart. Fatal destiny! A crime has divided us down here! Alvaro, I love you and in heaven above it is written that I shall never see you again! O God, God, let me die, for only death can bring me peace. In vain this soul of mine here sought peace, a prey to so much woe. She goes to a rock on which the Father Superior has left food for her. Wretched bread, you come to prolong my inconsolable life. - But who comes here, daring to profane this sacred retreat? A curse! A curse!
She retreats rapidly into the cave, closing it behind her.