The Metropolitan Opera HD Live (2006–…): Season 6, Episode 9 - Verdi: Ernani - full transcript

The opera that pushed Verdi onto the world stage. Ernani, outlawed nobleman, heads a resistance effort against Don Carlo, who killed Ernani's father. He also plans to elope with Elvira. Unfortunately, Don Carlo also is in love with Elvira.

To freedom! Come drink!

Let's drink, seeking pleasure at least in wine.

Come drink, seeking pleasure at least in wine.

What's left to an outlaw if he cannot drink?

Let's gamble, though gold is
all too quickly won and lost.

Let's gamble, knowing beauty's smile
lasts only for a while.

Wherever we go, our only companions
are muskets and knives.

And in our caves at night,
they cushion our sleep.

Be happy and drink!
Let's drink! Let's drink!

Let's drink, seeking pleasure at least in wine.

Ernani looks troubled.

Why would our bold leader
seem so full of doubts?

United by fate in life and death,
we pledge ourselves to you.

We always hit our mark, swiftly as an arrow.

No man escapes our attack.

Drink! Be merry, and drink!

My thanks, devoted comrades,
for your loyalty.

Let everyone hear why my heart is heavy.

Then, if you deny me your help... hopes will die,
and perhaps I, too, will perish.

Just as the morning dew revives a faded flower... did a lovely woman's voice
awaken my heart to passion.

Loving Elvira brought me happiness
I've never known before.

But the Duke of Silva loves her, too.

Tomorrow he intends to
marry her against her will.

If I should lose her,
alas, I would die of grief.

If she is lost, alas for me,
I'll surely die of grief.

I'll die of grief.

We must free her!

Is she ready to escape?

So she swore.

We'll follow you to Silva's castle.

Night will hide us and our daggers... we shield you from your rival.

Let your lady's beauty guide us.

And love will reward your daring with joy.

The joys of love await you as your prize.

Yes, the joys of love will be yours
as the prize for daring all.

In the sadness of my exile,
like an angel, she'll comfort me.

Come, lady, come fill my life with flowers.

Any blessings we lack
will be bestowed upon us by love.

If Ernani can see your lovely face
lit by a radiant smile...

...whatever sorrows he endured will be forgotten.

Whatever sorrows he endured,
Ernani will forget.

Let your lady's beauty guide us...

...and the joys of love will be yours
as the prize for daring all.

Come, lady, come fill my life with flowers.

Any blessings we lack
will be bestowed upon us by love.

If he can see your lovely face
lit by a radiant smile...

...whatever sorrows he endured will be forgotten.

Whatever sorrows he endured,
Ernani will forget.

All the joys of love await you
as the prize for daring all.

Night approaches and Silva has not returned.

May he never come back!

The more that hateful creature
pursues me like a specter...

...and proclaims his undying passion...

...the more completely I devote my heart to Ernani.

Ernani, Ernani, rescue me
from the embrace of your rival.

If love allows, I'll fly away
with you and share your new life.

I'll follow you across the barren countryside,
every step of the way.

Our refuge, however desolate,
will seem like Eden to me.

However desolate,
our refuge will seem like Eden to me.

In Spain there are so many
who envy you, Se�ora.

They covet your bridal bed and Silva's adoration.

Wearing this splendid jewelry,
a gift from your betrothed...'ll be the image of a queen
in majesty and grace.

And when tomorrow dawns,
we will greet you as a bride.

I cherish the sweet innocence
of your heartfelt wishes.

My heart belongs to Ernani,
and I scorn talk of any other.

No jewels have the power to turn hate into love.

Time, take wing and speed the hour
of my joyous flight to freedom...

...for the heart of any lover is tormented by delay.

Time, take wing!
It is torment to delay.

Although she is a bride,
she shows no sign of joy.

My heart belongs to Ernani,
and I scorn talk of any other.

No jewels have the power to turn hatred into love.

Time, take wing and speed the hour
of my joyous flight to freedom...

...for the heart of any lover is tormented by delay.

Summon your lady, and quickly.

For many days she has been
moody and reclusive.

Silva is still absent.

No matter, do as I tell you.

Why has Elvira robbed me
of the peace I cherish?

I love her, yet she cares nothing
for my power or my devotion.

She prefers the love of a man
sworn to kill me, a common outlaw!

Once more I'll test her heart
and seek to make it mine at last.

Sire, what are you doing here at such an hour?

Love commanded me to come.

You don't love me. You're lying!

You accuse me, your King, of lying?

You must leave at once.

You'll come with me?

Heavens, no!

Come, and learn of my devotion.

And what of honor?

It awaits you in my court.

Sire, no more! Say no more!

You'd let an outlaw boast
he has won your heart?

Every heart harbors a secret.

Then listen well and learn of mine.

From the first day I saw you,
I felt the rapture of young love.

And since then, I've known no peace,
for my heart belongs to you.

Elvira, grant what I desire,
the pure love only you can offer.

Be my joy, my whole existence.

Grant this wish to your beloved... your King.

The blood of Aragon flows
proudly through my veins.

And no crown, however splendid,
can rule my heart, nor sway it.

Royal consort or royal favorite...

...these are not roles I wish to play.

The love you offer is either too lofty...

...or too base a gift for me.

Be my joy, my whole existence.

It is too lofty a gift for me.

This love you offer me, Sire, is too great.

Far too great or too base a gift for me.

No more talk. I'll make you mine.

Come away with me!

Is this the King, this impostor?

Let this dagger be my defense.

Leave me, Sire, or despair will make me
drive it through both our hearts.

I have my men here!

Oh, heavens!

And I am among them!

Ernani! I'm filled with disdain...

...and that tells me who stands before me.

Ernani! A contemptible outlaw...

...the one who spreads turmoil
throughout our kingdom.

I could send you to die in an instant...

...but my pity outweighs my scorn.

Unless you wish to rouse my fury...

...flee from the wrath of your King, you madman!

-Anger, not love, consumes your hearts.
-Hatred for the King burns within me!

-Your wrath profanes my home.
-I must avenge my father's death!

-You must cease your raging.
-You dare prey upon the woman I adore!

-Stop, or I shall kill myself.
-So accept my challenge, O King!

I challenge you, King!

Flee the anger of your King!

I'll die here at your feet.

I shall take my life if you continue!

My soul recognizes neither lover nor King!

What do I find here,
in the place I hold most sacred?

My betrothed, soon to be a Silva,
here with two lowly intruders?

Come, all of you, my knights and faithful servants!

Come and witness
this stain upon my honor...

...this outrage that has
shamed your lord and master.

I thought I'd won her
in her innocence and beauty.

But now, bent by age, I must bow in shame.

Why did time preserve in me
a young man's ardor?

It would have been far kinder
for the years to chill an aging heart.

Passing time would have been kinder...

...if it had chilled the passion of my aging heart.

This offense to my honor cannot go unavenged.

Squire! My sword!

Old Silva calls for speedy vengeance!

As long as an avenging sword
is within reach of Silva...

...he will drive away all infamy,
or perish, sword in hand.

I tremble, overcome with rage,
to see my name dishonored.

But my hand will never waver
when I strike at the guilty one.

As I strike down the guilty one,
my hand will never waver.

My hand will never waver.

Come, fight me!

But Your Lordship....

Not a word while I speak!

Duke, I beg you.

Only our swords may speak now.

Come, you cowards.

And you'll be first!

The King's squire, Don Riccardo!

He's welcome as a witness to my vengeance!

I offer homage and bow to Charles V.

Our Sovereign!

The King himself!

Look at old Silva.

He has set aside his anger.

Silva has regained his reason... the presence of his King!

Silva has regained his reason... the presence of his King!

By tomorrow, our woes will end forever.

We'll defy the old man's anger.

I must conceal my suspicions.

Keep steadfast in your loyalty to me.

Sire, forgive my anger.

Friend, arise. I grant you pardon.

Your disguise confused me.

Very clearly, I deceived you.

The late emperor's successor
must be chosen...

...and because I prize your wisdom,
I would welcome your advice.

I am honored, supremely honored.

If we may, we'll spend the night
in the comfort of your castle.

What's he saying?

I want to save you!

But my retainer must leave at once.

Heaven has pitied my distress!

Your "retainer" will follow you always...

...till a father's angry spirit
is appeased by revenge...

...and my hatred is extinguished.

Flee, Ernani, if you love me.
There is danger all around us.

Though one word could be fatal to you,
be assured of my devotion...

...and the protection it gives.

If I obtain the imperial crown for which I long,
I will rule with justice and show myself worthy of it.

Silva's fury has turned to joy.

If I obtain the imperial crown for which I long,
I will rule with justice.

Silva's fury has turned to joy.

Let us revel, surrounded by pleasure.

Fortune smiles on Silva's palace,
bright and festive as never before.

No one ever has seen such a morning
as the one that dawned today.

Let us revel, surrounded by pleasure.

Like a flower gracing a garden
with its scented blooms..., too, is Elvira's beauty
cherished by both earth and sky.

Now her beauty will be worshipped
by a paragon of knighthood...

...who now in wisdom surpasses
men he once conquered in battle.

Heaven grant them the blessing of children.

Just as water reflects sunlight,
may their children mirror them.

May the virtues of wisdom and beauty
be their children's virtues, too.

Let us revel, surrounded by pleasure.

Celebrate this wedding day!

Iago, bring the visitor, the pilgrim, to me.

May Heaven smile upon you.

Good pilgrim, approach.

What do you seek?

Shelter in this house.

To the Silvas, guests are sacred.
That is our way.

Who you are, whence you came, I will not ask...

...for you are now my guest, sent here by God.

I thank you, sir.

Don't thank me.
A guest is master here.

My bride has arrived.

Your bride?

Within the hour.

The ring and the tiara-
you haven't put them on yet?

His bride...within the hour?

Then accept my wedding gift, Your Lordship.

Your rival's head!

Ernani, here?

Oh God!

Riches, enough gold to satisfy
whatever greed requires...

...I'll give it all to you, freely,
paid for with my blood.

A thousand soldiers follow me,
like hounds pursuing their quarry.

I, the bandit Ernani,
despise my very existence.

Alas, my beloved is lost!

He's lost his mind!

My men have scattered in retreat.

And I am now your captive.

The King will pay you a bounty.

That shall not be, I swear it.
You will be safe in Silva's house.

Give me up to the King!

Silva does not break his word.

Within these walls,
I treat a guest as if he were my brother.

Soldiers, man the castle turrets!

My lady, come!

You broke your word!
And you dare to face me?

If you believe that, kill me!
I remained faithful to my word.

Everyone thought you had been killed.

Killed? I am alive!

Mindful of my vow to you,
I planned to take my life at the altar.

I am guilty of nothing.

But you are guilty of cruelty.

Weep no longer.
Forgive me for such madness...

...for I love you still.

Those words resound in my heart!
They vanquish my grief.

Ah, to die this very moment as you hold me...

...knowing this embrace prepares us
for the joys of Paradise.

Love will bring us only sorrow,
all of our days on earth.

Love will bring us only sorrow
every day of our life.

Shameful wretches, I cannot restrain my fury.

I'll destroy you!
I'll avenge this betrayal.

Sir, the King is at the gates with his men.

He wants to come in.

Welcome the King.

Once more I ask you for death.

No, a vengeance far more dreadful
will be mine to wreak upon you.

I will hide you, and so securely
they will hunt for you in vain.

I alone will obtain revenge for such an outrage.

If you seek a greater vengeance,
let me be the one to bear it...

...and grant my beloved all your compassion.

Make your threats against me only,
for the guilt is mine alone.

Cousin, why is your castle armed like a fortress?

Answer me.

No matter! I know you petty nobles
seek any chance to unseat me.

I, too, am watching, ready to destroy
the dens where treason lurks.

I'll destroy all those who defend them, as well.

The Silvas all are loyal.

We shall see.

When we defeated the rebels and dispersed them...

...we learned their leader, Ernani,
was given refuge in your castle.

Surrender him, or, I warn you,
we'll raze your castle!

And you know I don't speak idly.

No question, it's true.
Just now, a pilgrim came to us...

...and, in the name of God,
asked to be sheltered.

I cannot betray him.

So, you scoundrel,
you'd betray your King instead?

No Silva would betray you.

I'll have your head if I can't have Ernani's.

Then, so be it.

Don Riccardo, relieve him of his sword.

Search the castle, every corner!

Find where the traitor is hidden!

This house is loyal, as is the master.

We will see, aged rebel,
just how defiant you can be.

We'll see how calmly and serenely
you withstand your King's revenge.

It rumbles high above,
poised to fall upon you...

...more ferocious, more tremendous
than any thunderbolt.

No King of Spain would sully
the proud and ancient name of Silva.

I'll have your head, traitor.
No other way remains.

Still, the King would not dishonor
Silva's proud and ancient name.

It's your head, you traitor,
for no other way remains.

No, no other way remains.

We have searched all through the castle.

But we failed to find the rebel,
and he left no trace.

We disarmed the guards and sentries.

Sire, ignore their cries for pity.

They are traitors to the Crown.

Under torture, they will tell us
where the bandit is hiding.

Stop, I beg you! Your noble heart
cannot refuse this plea for pity.

Do you plead now?

A plea for pity from Elvira calms my rage.

To assure your fealty,
I'll take this woman hostage.

Come with me, or else the guilty man....

No, that must never be!

Sire, it cannot be your wish
to torture me this way.

For I love her!

Amid the miseries of age,
she is my only solace.

Don't take her away.
Take my life instead.

Then where is Ernani?

It's no use.

I cannot break my word.

You have no hope of pity now,
no choice but to obey.

Lady, come share the sweet life
I long to give you...

...where you will never suffer
another moment's grief.

Wipe away those tears, Elvira,
from your pale and lovely face.

Imagine the rapture that awaits you at my side.

A greater happiness may be hers if she will yield.

More than age and its afflictions,
this will hasten Silva's death.

But his burning thirst for vengeance
will be quenched before he dies.

Come and share the sweet life I long to give you...

...and you will never suffer another moment's grief.

Wipe away those tears, Elvira,
from your pale and lovely features.

Imagine the rapture that awaits you at my side.

Yes, a greater happiness may be hers if she will yield.

More than age and its afflictions,
this will hasten Silva's death.

May Heaven keep you in its care, Sire... long as my hatred for you lives on.

Come out!

Choose one and come with me!

Go with you?

To duel.

I won't! I cannot!

Do you recoil at the flash of my sword?

Your age forbids such combat.

But I have challenged you!
One of us must die!

You saved my life!
Take it now, but listen to my plea!

I'll die, but not until you hear my prayer.

Offer your prayer to God!

No, it is to you.

Speak, then! Quickly!

One last time, the very last, I long to see her.

Let me see Elvira!

She went away with the King.

You let him take her?
He is our rival!

The King? Is this true?

To arms, men!

I want to share your vengeance.

No, I will kill you first.

After we've had revenge on him,
then you may take my life.

You'd honor such a pledge?

Let this seal it.

You will choose the hour Ernani is to perish...

...and upon hearing this horn sound...

...Ernani will take his life.

Give me your hand, then.

Swear an oath.

I swear it by my father.

Bear witness, Lord, and punish him
who severs the vow between us.

Take away both breath and light.
Let infamy follow all his days.

We are here, awaiting your orders.

Let us hunt down the abductor!

Arm yourselves for blood and vengeance.

We are ready, breathing blood and revenge.

Silva's voice urges us on as we boldly go forth!

These weapons of death shall strike down our foes.

He who attempts to resist will fall first.

Let pity be a crime.

Is this where the League will meet?

They'll assemble here.

To plot against me!

I'll hide from the assassins...

...there, in Charlemagne's tomb.

And the electors?

They're weighing the merits of the man
they will make Holy Roman Emperor...

...the man they will crown
with the laurels of the Caesars.

Leave me.

If I should be elected...

...go up to the great tower
and fire the cannon three times.

Then bring Elvira to me.

What will you do?

Here, where the dead lie,
I'll commune with my forebears...

...and then confront the rebels.

Great Heaven!

Upon these marble tombstones...

...the rebels sharpen their daggers
and plot to kill me.

Power! Riches!

Honors! Beauty! Youth!

What are you?

Merely ships adrift on time's endless ocean...

...battered by life's unending sorrows...

...until they run aground on the reef
that is your grave...

...and sink into oblivion.

Into that void, you and your name will vanish.

The dreams and illusions of youth are gone.

And now the spell of these dreams is broken.

If I should now be summoned to the throne...

...the glory of my name will soar
beyond the eagle's flight...

...and reach across the centuries
on Virtue's mighty wings.

Reaching across the centuries,
the glory of my name will long endure.

Ad augusta!

And the response?

Per angusta!

All is well.

Holy zeal inspires us.

May it set our hearts and souls ablaze.

Ad augusta!

Per angusta!

Since our cause is just and holy... will make these tombs resound
with fate's decree.

Is anyone missing?

None among us is a coward.

Let the secret be revealed.

Charles aspires to be Emperor.

We will stifle that ambition.

He has oppressed the Spanish people.

Every man here is prepared to strike him down.

One will suffice!

But let fate decide which one of us will kill him.

Come what may, we all stand ready
to destroy him or to perish.

Who was chosen?


Oh, how sweet this moment!
Father, oh, Father!

If you die, be assured, you'll be avenged.

Young man, surrender me that honor.

Do you think me such a coward?

I could spare you,
and bequeath my fortune to you...

...or claim your life here and now.

No, I want to kill him!

Then know what awaits you...
death and eternal retribution.

Our cause has made us brothers.
Let a solemn pact affirm it.

Let's swear, then.

Swear an oath to bind us!

Let the Lion of Castile reawaken...

...and let his roar resound,
as it did when we drove out the Moors.

As one family united
heart and hand, we'll do battle...

...against any who seek to enslave us,
and fight until the last of us falls.

Whether death or victory awaits us,
let us honor the fallen.

They inspire their sons to battle
with more ardor than ever before.

Dawning in radiance and glory,
may a new day at last be upon us...

...when Iberia, that cradle of heroes,
will exult in its freedom again.

The cannon!

Sounded twice!

What is fated, let it be!

The Emperor Charlemagne!

Charles V, whom you betrayed!

The Council of Electors
acclaims you Holy Roman Emperor...

...descendant of the Caesars and their successor.

I bow to God's will.

And yet these traitors plot to have me overthrown.

Now you tremble, cowards? Too late!

I have you in my grasp,
and when I tighten it...

...I will destroy you!

Separate the rabble from the counts and dukes.

The mob goes to prison.

The nobles shall be beheaded.

Then sentence me to death with all the others!

I am a Count, and the Duke of Segorbia and Cardona.

I stand here before you all as Don Juan of Aragon.

Seeking vengeance for my father,
I plotted to kill you, but I failed.

I surrender to your power!
Behead me, King!

Then you shall die with all the others!

You who are supreme in earthly power...

...let a single act of mercy
make your glory even brighter...

...or the vengeance you seek
will forever be tainted with remorse.

No, this cannot be!

Through me, Heaven urges mercy,
the noblest quality of all.

Ruler of rulers, more than your glory,
it is your virtue to which I aspire.

Heavenly God, I vow to follow
Your every footstep in all I do.

You all are pardoned.

I've subdued my anger.

Be joined in marriage and lasting love.

And honor Charlemagne's glorious name!

We offer homage to Charles V.

We'll honor your name now and forever,
you who show mercy even as God does.

I will now live only for vengeance.

We offer homage to Charles V.

May honor and glory forever be his!

How happy they seem now...

...entwined like two flowers
that bloom on one stem.

The tempest is over now, forever forgotten...

...and Heaven will smile with favor on them.

Who is that dark figure wandering among us?

He looks like a phantom summoned from the grave.

He can scarcely hide his anger.

His eyes are blazing coals.

Let those made uneasy by his glance shun him.

Contentment and pleasure
must reign here unchallenged.

Let smiles reflect the joy in every heart.

The music has faded.

The torches are extinguished.

Love finds its pleasure
in such silence and secrecy.

See how the very stars, my Elvira,
seem to smile on our happy union.

I used to see them shine that way,
those nights in Silva's castle...

...through lonely vigils,
waiting for you, my love.

My heart, in its impatience,
counted centuries with each passing hour.

Now you're with me at last!

Now and always!

Yes, yes, forever yours!

Until we draw our dying breath,
our hearts will beat as one.

God's curse is on me!

Turn your smiling face to me again... I may see it.

The tiger demands his prey!

Heavens! What's wrong? What is it?

But can't you see it?
That hellish sneer mocking me from the shadows?

It's the old man! Look!

But what you say is madness!

He's come to claim me!

Elvira! An old battle wound
has returned to plague me.

Go and find some remedy to soothe the pain.

And you?

Go quickly, if you love me!

Now all is silent.

Could I have only imagined I heard it?

My heart, so unused to being happy...

...may only be recalling some past torment.

I'll go now.


It's you!

Wedding garlands now change
to wreaths of mourning.

"Let this seal it."

"You will choose the hour Ernani is to perish..."

"...and upon hearing this horn sound..."

"...Ernani will take his life."

Or were those the words of a liar?

Hear me! Allow me one word more.

Abandoned as a child, I roamed in misery.

Life gave me a bitter cup of woes,
and I was forced to drain it.

Now that I have finally seen
a glimmer of Heaven's favor...

...grant me one moment
to savor the sweetness of love.

Choose one of these.
Decide, but quickly!

Do not hesitate.

A knife or poison!
I recoil at such a choice!

Where is Spanish honor?

You'd break your word, you liar?

Then give it to me. I shall die!


Cruel man, what are you doing?
Why end two lives at once?

You demon, why must you torment us?

So close to death,
do you still strive for vengeance?

With your own death at hand,
I'll urge it on, old man!

What have I said? Forgive me!

It was my grief that spoke.

Weeping is futile.
You ask for my pardon in vain.

His fury cannot be appeased.

I, too, was born to the Silvas.

I love him, and I am bound to him
by ties that cannot be severed.

That love will be his undoing
and because of it he shall die.

Let my tears inspire you to pity us.

Elvira, hide your tears,
for now I must be steadfast.

The suffering my heart endures
deepens because you suffer.

So dreadful was the oath I swore
that I must die to keep it.

Fate was only mocking me
by allowing me a glimpse of joy.

Heaven has not been merciful... those who suffer.

Weeping is futile.
You ask for my pardon in vain.

Your love is his undoing...

...and because of it he shall die.

Have pity!

"And upon hearing this horn sound,
Ernani will take his life."

I heard it...

...and I'll fulfill my destiny!

What have you done?
I will die, too!

You shall not die!
Such wild words are useless!

Wait for me.

My only place is with you.

Living would prove your love for me.

Farewell, my love.

-We are united on the altar of death!
-The demon of revenge triumphs!