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from Act V (Act IV in the four-act version) of the Italian|French opera Don Carlos by Giuseppe Verdi
Libretto: Joseph Méry

Role: Elisabeth of Valois, The Queen of Spain
Voice Part: soprano       Fach: spinto
Setting: The Monastery of St-Just at night, Madrid, Spain, 1559
Synopsis: While waiting for Carlos to meet her, she asks for strength to see him leave her forever for his own safety. Her thoughts then turn to her beloved France where her love for Carlos began.
Range: Tessitura:
A#/Bb3 - A#/Bb5C#/Db4 - A#/Bb5
Translations/Aria Texts:
Translation into English by Guia Monti (added 1997-09-28). Notes: from Italian text
Tu che le vanità, Elizabeth's aria from Don Carlos

Tu che le vanità conoscesti del mondo,	You have known the vanities of this world,
e godi nell' avel il riposo profondo,	and now enjoy the grave's last rest,
se ancor si piange in cielo,		if there is still pity in heaven
piangi sul mio dolore,			mourn over my sorrow
e porta il pianto mio			and carry my tears
al trono del Signor,			at the Lord's presence.
Carlo qui verrà, sì!			Carlos will come!
che parta e scordi omai...		he must leave and forget...
A Posa di vegliar			I've sworn to Posa
sui giorni suoi giurai.			to watch over him.
Ei segua il suo destin,			He must fulfil his destiny,
la gloria il traccerà.			glory will show him the way.
Per me, la mia giornata			As for me, my day
a sera è giunta già!			has already come to an end!
Francia, nobil suol,			France, noble land,
sì caro a' miei verd' anni!		so loved in my younger days!
Fontainebleau! su voi schiude		Fontainebleau! all my thoughts
il pensier i vanni!			go to you!
Eterno giuro d' amor là			There I swore eternal love
Dio da me ascoltò,			To God who heard me
e quest' eternità			and eternity
un giorno sol durò.			lasted only one day.
Tra voi, vaghi giardin			O merry gardens
di questa terra ibera,			of this Iberian land,
se Carlo ancor dovrà			if Carlos should yet 
fermar i passi a sera,			stop here at the end of the day,
che le zolle, i ruscelli,		let the tufts, the brooks,
i fonti, i boschi, i fior,		the fountains, the woods and flowers
con le lor armonie			with their melodies
cantino il nostro amor.			sing of our love.
Addio, addio, bei sogni d' or,		Farewell, farewell golden dreams,
illusion perduta!			lost hopes!
Il nodo si spezzò,			The knot was cut,
la luce s'è fatta muta!			light has lost its splendour!
Addio, addio verd' anni ancor!		Farewell, farewell, my younger years!
cedendo al duol crudel,			Giving in under the cruel suffering
il cor ha un sol desir:			my heart has only one desire:
la pace dell' avel!			the peace of the grave!
Tu che le vanità conoscesti del		You have known the vanities
mondo, etc.				of this world,   etc.
Se ancor si piange in cielo, ah!	If there is still pity in heaven, ah,
il pianto mio reca appie' del Signor!	carry my sorrow at the feet of the Lord!

Translation by Guia Monti (
Sheet Music/Scores:
Verdi, Giuseppe. Favorite Soprano Arias. Published by Ricordi. Available at and
Verdi, Giuseppe. Verdi Arias for Soprano. Published by Music Minus One. Available at and
The Ultimate Soprano Aria Album (Version 2.0). Published by CD Sheet Music. Available at and
Verdi, Giuseppe. Verdi Soprano Arias - Vol. III. Published by Music Minus One. Available at and
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