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from Act II of the French opera Lakmé by Leo Delibes
Libretto: Edmond Gondinet

Role: Lakmé, daughter of Nilakantha, a divine priestess
Voice Part: soprano       Fach: lyric coloratura
Setting: A public square in a town in India
Synopsis: Ordered by her father, Lakmé sings the legend of the pariah's daughter. The girl was walking through the forest at night and comes upon a stranger who has been set upon by wild animals. She rings a magic bell that is on her wand and saves the man, who is actually Vishnu, the son of Brahma the Creator. Vishnu takes her up to paradise for saving him.
Range: Tessitura:
E4 - E6not entered
Translations/Aria Texts:
Translation into English by Elise Curran (added 1998-01-29)
Ou va la jeune Indoue, 			Where goes the young Indian girl,
Filles des Parias,			daughter of the pariahs,

Quand la lune se joue,			When the moon it plays, 
Dans le grand mimosas?			On the tall mimosa trees?
Elle court sur la mousse		She runs over the moss
Et ne se souvient pas			And she doesn't remember_

Que partout on repousse 		That everywhere is shunned
L'enfant des parias;			The child of the pariahs;
Le long des lauriers roses,		Past the pink laurels, 
Revant de douce choses, Ah!		Dreaming of sweet things, Ah!

Elle passe sans bruit 			She passes without noise 
Et riant a la nuit.			And smiles(laughs) at the night.
Labas dans la foret plus sombre,	Over there in the forest more dark, 	
Quel est ce voyageur perdu?		Who is the traveller, lost?
Autour de lui				All around him
Des yeux brillent dans l'ombre,		The eyes shine in the shadows,

Il marche encore au hasard, e perdu!	He wanders on bewildered and lost!
Les fauves rugissent de joie, 		The wild beasts roar with pleasure,
Ils vont se jeter sur leur proie, 	They go to pounce(jump) on their prey,

Le jeune fille accourt 			The young girl runs up
Et brave leur fureurs:			And braves their fury:

Elle a dans sa main la baguette 	She has in her hand the wand
ou tinte la clochette des charmeurs!	Where tinkle the bells of the enchanter!
L'etranger la regarde, 			The stranger looks at her,
Elle reste eblouie.			She stands dazzled.
Il est plus beau que les Rajahs!	He is more beautiful than all the Rahjas!
Il rougira, s'il sait qu'il doit 	He will blush, if he realizes(knows) that he owes
La vie a la fille des Parias.		His life to the daughter of pariahs.
Mais lui, l'endormant dans un reve, 	But he, lulling her to sleep in a dream,
Jusque dans le ciel il l'enleve,	He transports her to heaven,
En lui disant: 'ta place et la!'  	And telling her: 'your place is there!'
C'etait Vishnu, fils de Brahma!		It was Vishnu, son of Brahma!
Depuis ce jour au fond de bois,		Since that day in the depths of the forest,
Le voyageur entend parfois		The traveller may sometimes hear 
Le bruit leger de la baguette		The faint sound of the wand
Ou tinte la clochette des charmeurs!	Where tinkle the bells of the enchanter!

Translated by Elise Curran (
Sheet Music/Scores:
The Ultimate Soprano Aria Album (Version 2.0). Published by CD Sheet Music. Available at and
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