The Metropolitan Opera HD Live (2006–…): Season 1, Episode 2 - Bellini's I Puritani - full transcript

England, 1640s. Civil war and politics interfere with Elvira's plans to marry Arturo, because he is helping Queen Elizabeth escape from the rebels. Elvira doesn't understand any of this, so...


It is dawn.

The trumpet sounds.

It heralds the day.

When the trumpet sounds...

...the soldier rises quickly.

He prepares his weapons.

And he goes on to victory!

Let fury rise in each soldier's heart.

Let his blade flash.

And let the enemy - the Stuarts -
be destroyed!

Soldiers of Cromwell...

...turn your thoughts to prayer.

In our morning hymn,
lift your minds and hearts to God.

The moon, sun and stars,
the darkness and the light...

...give praise and glory to the Creator.

Heaven and earth exalt the Lord.

Let all people praise and honor Him.

You heard their hymn?

To the king who created the day...

...let the hymn of the pure in heart
rise to heaven.

Now let's celebrate!

This is a time of joy!

Sing of a blessed love!

The bride is the fair Elvira.

Her laughter and beauty
enchant every heart.

She's lovelier than a rose,
an angel from heaven.

Let's be joyful and celebrate!

Let's sing to this marriage
made in heaven.

How can I hide my terrible suffering?

These wedding songs
only increase my anguish.

Elvira, how I longed for you!

Now I have lost you forever.

I'm without hope or love.

What is left for me in life?

Faith in God and country.

You speak the truth.

Open your heart to a friend.
It will comfort you.

Elvira's father granted me her hand
before I went off to battle.

Last night, I returned with my troops.

I hurried to her father,
eager to take Elvira as my bride.

He said, "Elvira loves Cavalier Talbot."

"I have no power over her heart."

Resign yourself, my friend.

My heart aches with grief.

I'll find peace only in the grave.

I have lost her forever.

My beautiful love! My hope!

What does life have to offer me now?

Nothing but grief.

I wandered for years and years...

...always at the mercy
of the whims of fate.

I endured suffering and hardship.

Always hoping for her love....

Your soldiers await your orders.

My mind is closed to thoughts of glory.

Your heart is not stirred
by duty and honor?

It is stirred only by love and rage!

Forget the past and your hopes of love.

What lovely dreams of peace
and contentment.

Let them change my fate,
or change my heart.

What torment it is, in my sorrow... live with the memory
of a tender love.

Take command of your troops!

I no longer dream of glory.

But you once burned
with a patriot's zeal!

Now I burn with love and rage!

Remember your oath as a soldier.

Forget the past, those dreams of love.

Those lovely dreams
of peace and contentment!

Let them change my fate,
or change my heart.

What torment it is to live
with the memory of a tender love!

Dear uncle, you are my second father.

You seem so sad.

Embrace me, Elvira.

Call me your daughter!

My daughter,
you brighten this old man's spirits.

I watch over you now
with a father's love.

Tears fill my eyes on this joyful day.

My dear daughter... you shall be a bride.

A bride?


A powerful love burns in my heart.

You know my heart is pure.

If I am forced to the altar,
trembling with fear... that moment, I shall die of grief.

Put aside any thought of death.

I cannot marry without love.

What if you were meant to wed
your cavalier?

I mean, your true love.


It is not a dream.

My love....

Weep tears of joy, my daughter.

May your tears of love
wash away your pain.

Merciful God, look upon her.

Behold this innocent soul.

Look down from heaven
and bless this child.

I weep tears of joy.

My child, your sorrow is ended at last.

Who spoke on my behalf?
Who touched my father's heart?

Night had fallen
and heaven and earth lay still.

All nature seemed shrouded in sadness.

In that dark hour,
I remembered your prayers and tears.

I decided to plead with your father
for your happiness.

"My brother," I began,
but I could say no more.

I felt tears well up in my eyes
as I grasped his hand.

Then, in a sobbing voice, I spoke again.

"Your Elvira yearns for the brave Arturo."

"If you force her to marry another..."

"...the poor child will surely die."

You're an angel of mercy.

Heaven sent you to me.

After a long silence, your father spoke.

"I have given my word to Riccardo."

"He shall wed my daughter."

I tremble at the very thought.

"Think of your grieving daughter. "

I repeated, "She will surely die!"

"No, she must live!" he said,
and he embraced me.

"Let Elvira find contentment in her love."

What is that sound?

The soldiers' signal.

The noble earl approaches.

And the noble count.

It is Arturo Talbot.

Lord Arturo is crossing the bridge.

Make way for the brave warrior!

I can barely contain my joy!

Daughter, trust the love in your heart.

We have come to honor
Arturo and Elvira.

May love crown beauty and valor.

She is like a rose, lovely as springtime.

And like the evening star...

...she brings peace to every soul.

Her knight is stalwart like the noble cedar.

He is mighty in battle and tender in love.

Love first led me to you... secret and in sorrow.

Love now brings me to your side... joy and exultation.

May this day end your sorrow.

My love.

Now I am yours.

Heaven, smile upon our vows...

...and bless this great love.

In this lovely, shining hour...

...I remember my suffering.

Now my happiness is redoubled.

Joy has banished sorrow from my heart.

May the flame of love
always burn within you.

What happiness!

May heaven smile upon our vows...

...and bless this great love.

Daughter, your marriage rites
must take place without me.

Here is your safe-conduct to the church.

Noble Lady, the sovereign English
Parliament has summoned you.

I shall escort you.

What do they want of me?

(This ends all hope.)

I must not question my orders,
but simply obey them.

Who is the prisoner?

She will not say.
We know she is loyal to the Stuarts.

We believe she's travelling
under a false name.

(Then her fate is sealed.
She is doomed, poor woman.)

(He seems compassionate.)

Prepare for the marriage ceremony.

Dear daughter,
put on your wedding dress.

See that my horses are ready.

My orders are to leave at once.

May heaven unite you as I do now.

(He seems to have compassion for me.)

If you need advice or help,
you can trust me.

What if I were in grave danger?

Tell me what you fear!

Soon I'll be dead.

My father was slain
for his loyalty to the Stuarts.

Who are you?

I want to help you.

It is too late.

I am the widow of King Charles.

I will share his dreadful fate.

My Queen!

I await my death.

Don't speak of dying.

I'll take you to safety
beyond the city walls.

The executioner will find me!

There's no hope of escape, Arturo.

I am destined to die.

No, there's still hope, my Queen.

I'll save you, or die with you.

You would put your life in danger.

Think of Elvira who waits for you
at the altar.

Don't speak of the woman I love.

Don't weaken my resolve.

You will live, my Lady,
or I will die with you!

And I will bless my beloved Elvira
with my dying breath.

Here is your lovely maiden
with her bridal veil...

...gentle and fair as the April lily.

My hair is scented with roses.

I'm wearing the necklace
you gave me as a wedding gift.

Would you grant me a favor?

What is your wish, sweet girl?

I want to be as lovely
as the morning star.

Help me arrange my veil.

Beautiful lady, I'll hide the ringlets
of your hair.

Hide your face, as I will,
behind my wedding veil.

Hidden and beautiful behind this veil....

Now you seem like a bride at the altar.

Elvira, the hour is drawing near.

Later, my Lady,
you'll place the veil on me.

This wedding veil is meant
for a happy young bride.

Not for me.

Wait! This is a gift from heaven!

The veil will deceive the guard.

He'll think you're my bride.

You'll meet a terrible end! You'll be killed!

I beg you to come with me.

I'll save you from certain death.

You try to seize her in vain!

She's all that I love on earth.

I won't let you rob me of my only love!

I challenge you to mortal combat.

Beware of my sword!

Don't try to rob me of all I hold dear!

I scorn your fury!

I accept your challenge.

I'll plunge this sword through your heart.

I don't fear you or your challenge.

I'll fight you to the death!

Stop, I beg you!

Do not shed blood over me.

You must not fight for my sake.

The prisoner!

Defend your honor with your sword.

No, you may both leave unharmed.

Can this be true?

Can I believe him?

I won't prevent your escape.

Let us leave then!

(The fool!)

Farewell, Elvira.

Farewell, my beloved.

Let's go to the church and celebration!

They're at the bridge...passing the fort.

They at the they're gone.

Where is Arturo?

He is gone!

They're already beyond the walls.

That woman....the prisoner...

...with the Cavalier!

They urge their horses on,
flying like the wind!

Soldiers, to arms!

Capture the two traitors!

Arturo's lady...

...veiled in white...

...he looks at her and sighs.

He calls her his bride. Is she Elvira?

Am I no longer Elvira?

His bride....?

Elvira! What are you saying?

I am Elvira?

Come to your senses, Elvira.

She is no longer herself.

She will die of grief.

Arturo! You've returned?

Come closer to me.

Come to the church... faithful Arturo.

I swear eternal faith to you, my love.

My heart will stay true to you forever.

I'll live with you in love...

...and of love I shall die.

How it pains me to hear her weep!

We curse the man who betrayed her!

Come, hurry back to me, Arturo.

I live for your love...

...and I will die of love.

Have you left me?

Cruel man, would you abandon
the woman who loves you so?

How harsh her fate is!

Let God and man shun the fugitives!

May they never find peace
from raging storms.

Through war and plague...

...curse them forever in life and death!

What sorrow!

What dread!

What sadness!

Her eyes weep and her heart is broken.

The poor girl will die of grief.

We saw her wandering.

Her step was unsure....

She shook with grief
as she cried for mercy.

Have you any news?

She is resting now.

The poor girl!

Does she still grieve?

Sometimes she weeps...then smiles.

Does she find any peace?

At times, her mind is clear,
but then it fades again.

I cannot explain more.

It fills me with such anguish
that I can hardly speak of it.

I beg you to ask me no more.

We ask out of sorrow
for what you are suffering.

If you wish...I will tell you.

Her lovely hair is undone,
yet adorned with roses.

The dear girl often wanders about.

And she asks sorrowfully...

"Where has Elvira gone,
where is she now?"

Dressed in white, as if at the altar...

...she goes through the wedding ritual
and sings her vows.

Then she cries out, trembling with love...

"Arturo, come back to me now!"

How cruel he was!

How he betrayed her!

And now that poor heart...will die of love.

Often she moans like a wounded dove.

She appears gripped by fever.

But then, as a harp sounds mournfully...

...she sings of love again.

She believes another man to be Arturo.

Longing has turned her hope to delusion.

In her suffering, she sobs and weeps.

Then, ever more loving...

...she calls for death.

The poor girl will die of love.

Heaven take pity on her sorrow.

Death's arrow will be swift.

Arturo Talbot has been sentenced to die... the English Parliament.

Here is his fate!

Here on earth,
our lives are plagued by evil.

This is a lesson
for the good and wicked alike.

The traitor is damned by the wrath of God.

Parliament has proclaimed
Walton's innocence.

It summons him to the highest honors.

Cromwell speaks through me,
his first officer.

The fugitive, still at large,
has bathed England in blood.

Go now, and search for him.

If misfortune should draw him here...

...let him find neither grace...

...nor mercy. Not from anyone.

Oh, let me have hope again...

...or let me die.

Listen, she is approaching.

Her cries are heart-wrenching!

Here, his sweet voice called to me...

...then faded away.

Here, he vowed to be faithful.

He swore to be true....

And then he cruelly fled from me.

Never again will we be here together.

Never again will we be bound together... our sighs of joy.

Let me have hope again...

...or let me die.

How her love shines through her pain!

Who are you?

Don't you know me?

My father....

And Arturo...and my love?

Tell me! Tell me!

Dry your tears!

Lead me to the altar,
dancing and singing!

Everyone join the wedding feast.

Dance with me! Rejoice!

Will you dance with me?

Come to the wedding!

He is weeping.

He is weeping...perhaps he once loved?

You are weeping.

He once loved.

I can hardly bear her grief.

Have you ever loved?

Gaze at my face.

Look at me well...

...and you will know.

If you are weeping, it means you know...

...that a heart, faithful in love...

...always lives in sorrow.

Calm yourself, my dear.

God will ease your pain.

May heaven help you forget
the man who betrayed you.

Arturo, I'll never see you again!

Take my life from me...

...or give me back my love!

Her wound becomes my own!

My heart breaks for her.

She's smiling again.

What can she be thinking?

Arturo, don't worry about my father.

In the end, I'll win his approval.

We'll forget every sorrow.

And I'll bring you happiness!

Arturo stole her from me!

Come, beloved, the moon is shining.

There is silence all around us.

Until the break of day...

...come, rest upon my heart.

Hurry, dear Arturo.

Come back to your Elvira.

She weeps and longs for you.

Come back to her love!

May love bring her joy instead of sorrow.

Come, beloved, the moon is shining.

There is silence all around us.

Hurry, dearest Arturo.

Come back to your Elvira.

You must save your rival.

It is within your power.

I cannot.

You do not want to.

No, he shall die!

Do you remember that moment
when the prisoner fled?

Was Arturo entirely to blame?

How dare you!

I have nothing more to say.

It was the will of Parliament
that Arturo be put to death.

The rebels will be chastened by his fate.

I don't hate him or fear him.

But still, the criminal deserves to die.

Beware of the fury that blinds you!

Remorse and fear will destroy your life.

If Arturo dies because of you,
another soul will go with him.

Think again! You will have two victims.

And wherever you go...

...their spirits will follow you.

If you see a ghost wandering
in the night, wailing and sobbing... will be Elvira!

She'll cry out, "I died because of you!"

When you hear a ghost raging
in a darkening storm... will be Arturo pursuing you.

He'll curse you with the fury of the dead.

What if Elvira's angry ghost
pursues me...

...and rails at me for her suffering?

My pleas will surely win me her pardon.

If Arturo's ghost from Hades...

...rises before me, covered in blood... great fury will plunge him
back to the depths forever!

Let the grief that I suffer... over your good heart.

Your anguish has moved me.

Your plea brings tears to my eyes.

He who loves his country well
also honors mercy.

Our enemy may attack us at dawn.

If Talbot is with them....?

He shall die.

I'll fight beside you!

If Talbot fights,
he'll die by my sword!

Let all hear our battle cry!

To our land...victory!

Victory and honor!

Let the trumpet sound,
and I'll fight bravely.

I'll gladly face death
with a cry for freedom!

Fearless love of country
wins blood-stained laurels.

And mercy blesses
the victor's valiant tears.

Let the trumpet sound,
and I'll fight bravely.

I'll gladly face death
with a cry for freedom!

I am safe.

I am safe at last.

My foes missed their mark
and lost my trail.

O land of my birth!

O love!

All-powerful words!

My heart leaps with every step.

And I bless every branch, every stone.

What sweetness for an unhappy exile... see his treasured home again.

After wandering from shore to shore...

...he kisses his native soil at last.

A troubadour sat by a fountain,
sad and alone.

And to ease his heartache,
he sang of love.

Our song of love!

Elvira, where are you now?

No one answers.

I'll take up her song.

Perhaps she'll come here to me
if she hears it.

As in those happy days...

...when we whispered, "I love you."

The exile wanders
through valleys and mountains...

...always with sorrow at his side.

In the dark of night, he longs for sleep...

...ever the wanderer in exile.

He wakes from his dreams...

...weeping for his country and his fate.

Time and places are all alike
for the unhappy troubadour.

Only in death will he find respite
from his pain.

The song ended, alas.

How it touched my heart!

That voice spoke to my soul.

What memories!

What useless dreams!

Arturo, where are you?

Here beside you, Elvira. Forgive me!

Arturo, my love!

Is it truly you?

My suffering is ended?

Our sorrows are over.

Love unites us once more!

Arturo, we'll never again be parted?

Never! I'll never leave you again.

Gazing at you for even a moment
brings me consolation...

...for all that I suffered
all the time we were parted.

We were parted?

How long were we apart?

Do you remember?

Three months.

It was three centuries...

...of sighs and torment.

Three centuries of despair!

I called to you every moment.

"Come back, Arturo...console me."

My words were choked by sobs.

Forgive me...she was in pain.
A prisoner, abandoned.

If you didn't love her,
why did you follow her?

Don't you realize her life was at stake?

Who is she?

Didn't you know? The queen!

Any delay would have sent her
to a horrible death.

Suddenly, my mind seems clear.
Then you've always loved me?


I want to hold you always
in a loving embrace.

Then you do love me, Arturo.

Come into my arms,
my love, my delight, my life!

No one can take you from me
while I hold you to my heart.

I long for you every moment.

Let me tell you again
how deeply I love you.

No words can express my happiness.

My spirits soar in ecstasy.

I long for you every moment.

Let me tell you again that I love you.

I love you deeply and forever.

Who goes there?

Cromwell's men.

Would you abandon me again?

She shall never have you!

Be quiet, unhappy girl!
Trust me, for heaven's sake.

I'll never leave you.

Have pity!

You wretched man!

Cavalier, God will punish your betrayals.

Arturo, what evil fate brought you here?

Believe me, Arturo,
she doesn't love you.

Only I can make you happy.

Talbot, both God and country...

...have condemned you to death!

God's justice for the traitor!

How can this be true?

She seems near death.

How the poor girl suffered!

She believed I had betrayed her.

She suffered though life...

...torn by misery.

Now I defy your thunderbolts.

Now I defy this bitter stroke of fate...

...if only I can die at her side.

What sorrowful voice do I hear?

It stirs me from my torment.

I have no more tears.

It strikes me to the heart.

Why are we waiting? Revenge!

Arturo, you're still alive.

I'm here beside you.

Forgive me! Because of me, you'll die.

Embrace me.

Now farewell.

God in his vengeance
will strike down the wicked!

How cruel you are!

She is trembling.

She is dying.

What heartless souls you are.

You're deaf to pleas of mercy.

What heartless souls you are.

You would drag him to his death.

But if he must die...

...then I will die with him.

Wait, for pity's sake!

She is trembling, she is dying.

Yet you are deaf to pity!

Cromwell's heralds!

What message are they bringing?


The Stuarts are defeated...

...and the guilty are pardoned!

Loving souls, live in joy... you once lived in sorrow.

My dearest angel... heart alone
can barely contain such joy.

Now I bless all our tears and sighs.

I glory in the ecstasy of this moment!

Love and tenderness
crown their hearts with joy!

One heart alone
can barely contain such joy.

Let both our hearts rejoice in love.

Now I bless all our tears and sighs.

I glory in the ecstasy of this moment!