Pavarotti – Nessun dorma

Luciano Pavarotti (12 October 1935 – 6 September 2007) was an Italian operatic tenor who during the late part of his career crossed over into popular music, eventually becoming one of the most acclaimed and loved tenors of all time. He made numerous recordings of complete operas and individual arias, gaining worldwide fame for his tone, and achieving the honorific title “King of the High Cs“.

As one of the Three Tenors, who performed their first concert during the 1990 FIFA World Cup before a global audience, Pavarotti became well known for his televised concerts and media appearances. From the beginning of his professional career as a tenor in 1961 in Italy to his final performance of “Nessun dorma” at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Pavarotti was at his best in bel canto operas, pre-Aida Verdi roles, and Puccini works such as La bohème, Tosca, Turandot and Madama Butterfly. He sold over 100 million records, and the first Three Tenors recording became the best-selling classical album of all time. Pavarotti was also noted for his charity work on behalf of refugees and the Red Cross, amongst others. He died from pancreatic cancer on 6 September 2007.

Below is Pavarotti singing the aria “Nessun dorma” which is from the final act of Giacomo Puccini’s opera Turandot (set in China).

Tenors José Carreras, Plàcido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti, together with conductor Zubin Mehta, celebrate the finale to soccer’s 1994 World Cup at Los Angeles’ Dodger Stadium before an estimated worldwide audience of more than one billion viewers.

Pavarotti’s vocal range is very impressive, his ability to hit and sustain high notes is phenomenal. He had amazing breath control. He was 59 years old in the performance below! Well past his prime, yet he still sounds fantastic!

Pavarotti is surely the greatest operatic tenor of the 20th century, and one of the greatest of all time. He introduced opera to many people who had never been exposed to it before.


Nessun dorma! Nessun dorma!
Tu pure, o Principessa
Nella tua fredda stanza
Guardi le stelle
Che tremano d’amore, e di speranza!

Ma il mio mistero è chiuso in me;
Il nome mio nessun saprà!
No, No! Sulla tua bocca
Lo dirò quando la luce splenderà!

Ed il mio bacio scioglierà
Il silenzio che ti fa mia!

Il nome suo nessun saprà
E noi dovrem, ahimè, morir, morir!

Dilegua, o notte!
Tramontate, stelle!
Tramontate, stelle!
All’alba vincerò!
Vincerò! Vincerò!

(English translation)
No one sleeps! No one sleeps!
Even you, oh princess
In your cold room
Look at the stars
That tremble with love and with hope

But my mystery is locked inside me
No one will know my name!
No, no! On your mouth
I will say it when the light shines

And my kiss will dissolve
The silence that makes you mine

No one will know his name
And we, alas, will have to die, to die!

Disappear, night!
Fade away, stars!
Fade away, stars!
At dawn, I will win!
I will win! I will win!

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