The Metropolitan Opera HD Live (2006–…): Season 9, Episode 9 - Rossini: La donna del lago - full transcript

Hello. I'm Patricia Racette.

Welcome to the Met, where today,
we're offering a showcase

of great bel canto singing with
a cast of top Rossini stars.

"La Donna del Lago,"

based on Sir Walter Scott's
"The Lady of the Lake,"

has some complicated plot turns.

it's about two tenors,

and one mezzo soprano
playing a pants role,

who are all in love with Elena,

the lady of the lake, sung by
the great Joyce DiDonato.

The characters who woo her
are none other than

the King of Scotland
in disguise,

sung by the brilliant tenor
Juan Diego Florez.

The highland chief Rodrigo,

sung with searing intensity
by tenor John Osborn,

and the warrior Malcolm,
Elena's true love,

dazzlingly sung by mezzo
soprano, Daniela Barcellona.

In this opera, the mezzo soprano

gets the mezzo soprano
in the end...

Tough luck for the tenors.

The opera was composed in 1819,

but this is its premiere run
at the Met.

It's conducted by one of today's
leading young maestros,

Michele Mariotti.

He's ready to go to the pit now.

Get ready for some
vocal fireworks...

Here is
"La Donna del Lago."

Dawn, the messenger of day,
already turns the mountaintops rosy.

The great moon already hastens
to flee the bosom of the sky she adores.

As the heavens brighten,
life and strength flow back into us all.

The sun's rays bring life and strength.

Life and strength!

Every living thing
enjoys life and strength.

Life and strength!

Sons of Morvern!

Away to the woods!

Laurels await those who hunt
the wild beasts of Caledonia.

Let us turn to our daily tasks
while the fields glow with green...

while the oaks spread their shade
and the roses raise their heads.

As the shepherd watches,
the plants and flowers flourish.

All flowering things flourish!

Away to the woods!

We'll hunt the swift beasts.

We'll win new laurels of glory.

Oh, the dawning day!

Love has preceded you.

The cherished image of Malcolm, the man I
adore, comes to wake me from my fitful sleep.

His image always awakens me to love!

His image always awakens me to love!

Day flees... but returns on the morrow.

At times,
the brook is hidden in darkness...

but it still ripples
nearby with fresh abundance.

But you, whom I love so,
you do not return to me.

My beloved does not return to me.

What is that sound?

On the crags, the worthy grandsons
of Fingal are already hunting.

Oh, if only Malcolm,
my dearest, were among them!

Vain hope!

Swift as a thunderbolt,
he would have run to my embrace.

It is she! Merciful heaven,
you have brought her within my gaze.

Her fame is well deserved.
She is more beautiful than they say.

Who guided you to this lake's lonely shore?

Who are you?

While hunting, I was separated
from my companions.

On the steep mountain
trails, I lost my way...

and I changed my path
to seek help from you...

you who are not a woman but a goddess!

–(I must not reveal my identity.)
–Let my cottage be your refuge.

If you wish, sir, come with me.

You are the arbiter of my destiny.

Come, board my little boat.
You'll sit by me.

Your heart is filled with kindness.

You are in Scotland and
still do not know...

here we honor simple hospitality.

We still respect the old ways.

Oh, forgive me!

(Good God, what am I feeling?)

–Let your mind be at ease...
–(O love, protect me.)

–...let your heart open to happiness!
–(May she forgive my deception.)

–Let your heart know happiness.
–(May love forgive my deception.)

–Banish your worry!
–(How can I deceive her?)

–Let your heart breathe again!
–(Protect me, god of love.)

–Let happiness be yours!
–(Love, protect me.)

Uberto! Where are you hiding?

Uberto! Uberto!

Where should we search for him?
How will we find him?

We have searched the dark forest,
the heights, the plains – all in vain!

A fearful danger surely
steals him from our sight.


Only the echo replies.
There is no hope!

Which path did he take?

Could he have gone farther on
into the mountains?

We must head to the lake and search.

We must find him.

Whoever spots him, signal the others.

You who read our faithful hearts...

O heaven, lead us to him!


Heaven, who reads our loyal hearts...

direct our steps toward him!


You who read our faithful hearts,
lead us to him, O heaven!

This is my home.

A gilded chamber of luxury
you won't find here.

Here all is simple and humble,
safe and free from envy.

Here is peace, friendship,
filial love and honor.

Happy home! How much beauty
and virtue you shelter!

You are tired. Please, rest.

(This room contains trophies of war!)

(No, I am not mistaken.)

(This bears the coat of arms
of a Scottish knight...)

(...who once served my ancestors!)

(Where am I? Am I in danger?)

Why do you not speak?

Why do you look around with such doubt?

Lovely lady, if you will permit...

tell me to whom I owe this kindness.

I am proud my father is the
nobleman, Duglas. You know him?

By reputation. Who does not?

An uprising drove him from the Court.

Oh, how James still rues that!

Who told you that?


(Impetuous love! Do not betray me!)

(What would happen if
Duglas discovered me here?)

But what makes you so uneasy?

The sweet flash of your eyes...

your enchanting voice....

But who is coming?

These are my dear friends...

who come every morning
to keep me company.

The maid of Inibaca once made
Trenmor fall deeply in love with her...

Trenmor, the Terror of the North.

You, Elena, are more beautiful than she.

Rodrigo the Strong burns
with the same love for you.

(Rodrigo! What am I hearing?)

(What a sad reminder!)

–(I feel the pangs of jealousy.)
–(Will I ever be united with my love?)

–(Is her heart taken?)
–(My Malcolm, is there no hope for us?)

–(I feel the pangs of jealousy.)
–(Will I ever be united with my love?)

You and Rodrigo will make
an inseparable and devoted couple.

In this pair are joined beauty and valor.

From the starry court of heaven...

may the spirits of happy marriage
sing a joyful song of love!

You are betrothed?

Is it Rodrigo's destiny to marry you?

What use is it for you to learn
of my cruel circumstances?

Perhaps he is not the man to whom
you have given your heart.

Is there another man
who makes you sigh and languish?

In an instant,
I lost the freedom to follow my heart.

Perhaps there is another man you sigh for?

In a brief moment,
my heart lost its liberty.

–What words!
–What torment!

–May I nourish hope in my heart?
–Hope, how to harbor you in my heart?

Ah, one glance from your eyes heralds
a world of happiness for me.

In a flash, my happiness vanished.

–Gone in a moment, all my happiness.
–A glance from you means happiness.

Dare I encourage my heart to hope?

What is there to hope for?
Now there is no chance for happiness!

–Gone in a moment, all my happiness.
–A glance from you means happiness.

–Happiness gone!
–Happiness mine!

(If I stay longer, I risk being caught.)

(What a cruel conflict ensnares me!)

Take this cup from my hand.

Drink from it to refresh
your downcast spirit.

May the gods who preside over this house
smile upon you with peace and friendship.

Will your kind heart permit me...

to hurry back to my companions?

My friend Albina...

she will lead you to the other shore.

My beauty!
I could stay here with you forever!

Have you forgotten you are my guest?

Let me kiss you.
Let me kiss your hand.

We have no such strange custom in Morvern.

How can I bring myself to leave her?

How my thoughts fly to my sweet Malcolm!

–How can I leave?
–My sweet love!

O heaven! I feel myself consumed...

by an inexpressibly sweet ecstasy!

The delights of love intoxicate me!

My heart pounds with emotion!

O heaven! What ecstasy I feel...

when I remember Malcolm,
the man I truly love!

Thoughts of my love intoxicate me!

My heart thrills to think of him!

–May heaven protect you!

–Cruel fate, will you never relent?

–How can I leave her?
–I see the image of my love!

Heavens! I feel myself carried away...

by an inexpressibly sweet ecstasy!

Thoughts of my love intoxicate me!

My heart thrills at the sight of her.

Thoughts of my love intoxicate me!

My heart thrills to think of him!

Happy are the walls that look on my love!

After many months, I behold you again.

Ah, but no longer smiling and joyous
as you once were.

Here my innocent passion began and grew.

How sweetly my life ran its course here...

beside the woman who shared my feelings.

Now a cloud hangs over you
and freezes my heart.

A pitiless hand has snatched you from me...

and stolen the mistress of my heart.

Such bitter torture!

Oh, my treasure!


I am calling!

Fly to me for a moment!

Tell me you love me...

and have kept faith with me!

Then, certain you are mine,
my love, I swear...

I would rescue you from
the fiercest of men...

or die for you!

Death would be welcome...

if Elena is not mine.

Death would be welcome
if Elena is not mine.

Oh, how many tears I have shed,
languishing far from your fair eyes!

Everything else is useless, hateful!

The sky no longer glows.
The stars no longer shine for me.

Dear one! Only you can grant me peace.

Only you can grant me mercy!

Oh, how many tears I have shed,
languishing far from your fair eyes!

Everything else is useless, hateful!

The sky no longer glows.
The stars no longer shine for me.

Only you can calm my soul.

Only you can bestow your mercy on me!

Only you can bestow your mercy on me!

Sir, you have arrived at an opportune time.

A chosen band of warriors
has assembled near the ramparts.

They are led by the chieftain, Rodrigo.

How Duglas exults!

A happy future is assured
for Scotland, Duglas and his daughter.

What a wretched situation!
My soul is torn!

I must pretend.

No response?
Are your eyes brimming with tears?

Friend, leave me to my own fate.

(I pity him. I can guess
the cause of his sorrow.)

She's coming! And with her father, Duglas!
Steady, my heart!

Daughter, quiet!

The sky is calm and smiles on my hopes,
and on the wishes of our comrades.

To make this lonely valley joyful,
a thousand voices cheer!

Oppressed Scotland and the angry shades
of our ancestors...

look to the hero
to whom you will be married.

They entrust the nation's
honor to his sword.

You will crown Rodrigo's exploits
by giving him your hand...

inspiring glory and ensuring
our homeland's victory.

Can I bear this?
Or should I die?

Father, amidst the turmoil of war,
when men of every age...

the tender youth and
the trembling old man...

take up their shields
and all we see is slaughter...

you speak of marriage
and try to rouse feelings of love?

(Ah! She is true to me!)

These are strange thoughts,
coming from your lips.

Let it be the last time I hear them.

Anyone bold enough to oppose me
must learn to obey me.

I am not accustomed to suffering shame.

Be silent! Such is my wish.

Enough now.
You should know your duty.

Show me a daughter worthy of her father.

I pardon your excessive outburst of pride.

Daughter, you know that
you are still dear to me.

Daughter, you know that
you are still dear to me.

The trumpets are sounding!

Rodrigo is coming!
What good fortune!

I will go to him first.
Follow behind.

Offer the homage of your heart to the hero.

At the very sound of those trumpets,
I feel my spirits rising.

My flagging heart has new courage!

In this fatal conflict
between love and duty...

in such distress,
Elena, what will you do?

My dear love!

Malcolm! Heavens, you here?

I am called to battle,
like every patriot in Scotland.

Malcolm, this is a difficult moment.

What? Elena, should I doubt your love?

Cruel man! Why do you insult me?

If your soul is faithful to mine,
I will challenge the stars.

Yes, I will defy the tyrant's power.

I would die to prove my loyalty.

Give me your hand as your pledge.


To be married or die condemned.

I could not live, my love, without you.

To the shades in hell I would descend...

before I would be unfaithful to you.

I could not live without you, my love.

To the shades in hell I would descend...

before I would be unfaithful to you.

I cannot live without you, my love!

To the shades in hell I would descend...

before I would be unfaithful to you.

To the shades in hell I would descend...

before I would be unfaithful to you.

Like a torrent that bursts every confine...

roaring down the mountain cliffs...

so will Rodrigo's
bravery lead us in battle.

James, the unjust
oppressor, will not escape.

Come, fight and conquer!
Fight and gather new laurels!

Love is already preparing your reward.


Your reward is waiting!

Come, fight and conquer!
Fight and gather new laurels!

Love is preparing your reward!

Love is preparing your reward!

Here I stand before you...

my brave comrades...

honor of our homeland.

With you beside me,
I rush to defeat the enemy host.

To crush the oppressor!

When our hearts are filled...

with a sacred love of country...

a single arm can triumph
over a thousand swords.

Yes, love of country!

Here I stand before you!

Yes, lead us to victory!

I am with you!

With you at my side,
I hasten to crush the enemy army!

But where is she who kindles...

such a flame in my breast?

One glance from her eyes...

and my soul rejoices.

My senses are enchanted!

But where is Elena,
who sets my heart aflame?

One glance from her eyes...

and my soul rejoices.

Love is preparing its rewards for you.

Such sweet rewards await you.

If love smiles on my prayer,
my heart can wish for nothing more.

Then, as Hercules did, I will strike
like lightning on the battlefield.

Love smiles upon your prayer!

Come and strike the
enemy on the battlefield!

I will crush the foe on the field!

Love has smiled on my prayer.
I can wish for nothing more!

Now, like Hercules, I will strike
like lightning on the battlefield!

I will crush the foe on the field!

At last it is granted to me,
brave chieftain, to embrace you.

I have longed for this moment...

impatient with the slow hours.

I, too, have been impatient.

Let James come and fight, if he dare!

With Rodrigo in the field,
victory will be ours!

The omens foretell a good outcome.

Your wise counsel strengthens my arm.

Never doubt. Our country is saved.

May heaven grant what is predicted.

Why is your daughter not here?

She will be here shortly.

Perhaps she is unaware
of my ardent impatience.

Here she is!

My friends! Welcome my goddess...

with praise and shouts of joy!

Come, bright shining star
that graces our horizon!

Show your beautiful, serene face
to him who takes pride in it.

Like the frost that each morning...

dampens the parched earth...

so does his heart, at the sight
of your fair eyes, flood with joy!

Come, bright shining star
that streaks the skies!

Show your beauty to the
man who longs for it!

How sweet such a moment will be...

for a lover's heart such as mine.

So sweet, my lips cannot express.

Love is lost for words.

But what is this?
Silent and timid?

Staring at the ground?

Her silence is eloquent.

As you know, a Scottish virgin...

keeps her tender affections...

hidden from view in her modesty.

How can I conceal the torment
that seizes my heart?

Does another man make you forget your duty?
Daughter, fear my anger!

Why does she gasp? Why so pale?

I am torn between hope and fear.

A whirlwind of clashing feelings
assaults my soul.

The darkest thoughts oppress me.

I sense impending horror!

I have lost my peace of mind forever!

I have lost my peace of mind forever!

I offer you my sword
and a band of warriors.

I will go where the danger is greatest...

even to death! Lead me!

Let me prove myself worthy.

A hero to my beloved homeland!

Ah, Malcolm!
I fear my heart is undone!

Wicked daughter!
Now I see who has led you astray!

Let an embrace be a token
of the friendship between us.

My happiness is complete,
standing between my friend and my bride!

Oh, what sweet bonds of
friendship and loyalty!

Your bride!

Who is she?

–Do you not know?
–(He is surprised.)

My beloved is the beautiful Elena.

Ah! It cannot be!

What are you saying?

Do not let cruel fate
conflict with happiness.

He meant to say that at such a moment
his soul rejoices.

Be silent! Oh, God, I fear for you!

Have pity on my suffering!

What I suspected is true! Stay silent!

Now I understand. My fury rises!

Anger and resentment tear at my heart!

He knows. He will threaten us!

I must hide my feelings.
He knows! We are in danger!

The demons of hell burn in my breast!

I will be implacable.
Revenge drives me on.

My soul, now shattered, can find no peace.

The enemy is advancing on Morvern!

I saw their banners cresting the hill!

–Our enemies!
–What boldness!

Let us hurry.
The brash invaders will be destroyed!

Oh, the bloody torches I see before me!

We must put aside our private woes
for the sake of Scotland.

You, holy bards, lift up your voices!

Summon the spirit of war in our breasts!

When the signal calls us to battle...

let each man swear to me now...

he will win or die.

Let each man swear to win or die.

A blazing light, radiant and glorious...

will lead the way to glory and honor!

Oh, sons of heroes!
Rodrigo is with you!

Rush to destroy that band of slaves.

The ghosts of your ancestors
fight at your side.

Take pride in their example.

Rise up! Crush your oppressor!

When the foes are vanquished...

joy and peace will be yours.

Then in happiness, with hearts at ease...

the bridal couple and
their friends will embrace.

Oh, sons of great heroes!

Rodrigo is with you.

The olive will replace the laurel!

Warriors, to arms! Glory awaits us!

The sky shows us an omen.

A sure sign that victory will be ours!

Up! Friends and fighters!

Let us march and fight!

March and destroy our oppressor!

Rise up! Friends and warriors!

Comrades, let us implore heaven
to lead our men to victory!

At the end of the previous act,

Scotland is at civil war.

The King and Rodrigo are both
vying for Elena's love.

But, Elena only has eyes
for Malcolm.

It's a love quartet
in search of a happy ending.

Here is the conclusion
of "La Donna del Lago."

Oh, sweet flame that sets my heart on fire!

Pity a faithful lover.

Pity a faithful lover.

A driven man, I brave danger for you.

I do not care about my safety,
will not listen to advice.

To have one glimpse of you,
to bask in your gaze...

this alone will bring
the contentment my heart seeks.

My heart lives on your love!

Oh, sweet flame!

Oh, sweet flame that sets my heart on fire!

Pity a faithful lover.

Pity a faithful lover.

Madly I would brave any danger!

I do not care about my safety,
will not listen to advice.

To have one glimpse of you,
to bask in your gaze...

this alone will bring
the contentment my heart seeks.

Bring the contentment my heart seeks!

Go. Have no fear.
Albina is with me.

Go search for my father.

He promised to return before the battle.

And he should have been here by now.

The delay makes me anxious.

I am more afraid than ever!

Calm yourself.
I am going to dispel your worries.

Take care of yourself.

How many swords have pierced my heart!

Good God! My prayer is answered!

A man! I must flee!

–Who are you?

–You do not recognize me?
–Who are you?

You were once so kind to me.

Ah, yes! Now I know you.

What do you seek?
Who sent you here?

What do you want?

To tell you that I love you,
or die by your hand.

Please, sir, may reason guide you.

Let love be replaced by true friendship.

Let love be replaced by true friendship.

Why did you not discourage my affections...

when your beauty first captured me?

Now that I am your
captive, ungrateful lady...

why do you try to silence me?

Why did you not discourage my affections?

I did not know you loved me.

Did I not make it clear?

I thought you only meant to be kind.

Love lit a true flame in me.

It kindled an unquenchable fire.

Its blazing torch will devour me.

Love's blazing torch will devour me.

O God, if You cannot grant me peace...

at least calm the
pangs of his suffering.

Am I to be the tyrant of her heart?

God, if You do not hear my prayer...

Am I myself to make her unhappy?

If You cannot give me peace...

Ah, no! Virtue will triumph.

I beg You, let his suffering cease.

–Calm his suffering!
–Virtue will triumph over love!

You have won. Farewell.

I will respect your feelings.

You are leaving?

Why look at eyes that are so severe?

If you truly believe I am the cause
of your discontent...

if you feel I cannot show mercy,
tear out my heart.

No, dear lady, I wish to leave you
a pledge of my loyalty.

A pledge, so you will remember
I am forever devoted to you.

What is it?

I saved the King of Scotland
from certain death.

He gave me this jeweled ring.

Now I give it to you.
If adversity ever threatens you...

or your father or your lover,
go at once to the King.

When you show him this ring,
he will pardon all...

and grant whatever you wish.

You called me severe, but surely,
there must be some way I can help you.

It is enough that my torment
evokes your compassion.

What pain my fatal misfortune brings me!

(What more is there
for my wretched eyes to see?)

(Oh, deadly jealousy!
Wicked mischance!)

It is enough that my torment
arouses your pity.

What pain my fatal misfortune brings me!

I wish only that you be happy.

What anguish my destiny brings me!

Speak! Who are you?


Who are you?

(He! An outrage!)

Cruel destiny!

You do not look like a Highlander.

Are you one of the clan?

I hate that ill-omened name.

Are you perhaps a friend of the King?

I am.

–What do I hear?
–You are too rash!

I do not fear you or any of
the King's wicked adversaries.

–Heavens! What are you saying?

Stop! Ah, what torment!

What brazen ardor!

I feel... oh, God... I am dying!

Nothing can hold me back now!

There is no cowardice in me!

Will you surrender, bold soldier?

Where is your band of henchmen?
Forgetting their duty?

In my presence, they will turn pale.

Come out from your hiding
places, sons of war!

We await your orders!

Now show us your courage, if you can.

Prepare to fear the sword's thrust!

There is no escape for you.
Punish the traitor!

–And are you a warrior, too?

Yield to my tears!

You are the evil commander
of an evil army!

Hold back! I need no help
to tame his pride.

A sword! Give me a weapon!

–Make peace between yourselves!
–To arms!

No! I cannot hold back!
Fury drives me!

Let me die instead!
End my life! I will not defend myself!

If it pleases you to cut short my days,
the torch of horror will be extinguished.

End my life!
I will not defend myself!

Revenge! Let fury burn in my breast!

Let poison run in my veins!

To combat! I do not fear you!
You face your death!

Revenge! Let fury burn in my breast!

Let poison run in my veins!

Let the battle rage! I fear nothing!
This is your last moment on earth!

How can I endure such conflicting emotions?

My soul is reeling!

How can I bear it all?

How many misfortunes an angry
heaven summons to torment the heart!

Poor Elena!

You tremble for so many
who are dear to you.

There is no light left in heaven to dispel
the cloud that obscures your destiny.

Tell me... where is Elena?

Wasn't she waiting at the cave's entrance?

Is this how she obeys her father?

He wanted to keep her safe from the enemy.

The battle is still raging furiously.

The royal forces have
broken the ranks of the clan.

Rodrigo is in single combat
with an unknown opponent.

I feared for Elena's safety...

and hoped I would find her here.

I wanted to save her or die in her defense.

She left with the loyal Serano and then–

What is it?

Tell me, did the daughter
of Duglas return with you?

She insisted I go in search of her father.

I saw him. Oh, God! He was distraught.

"Go," he said. "Defend my daughter."

"Tell her I am going to
plead with the King."

"If my death can placate his anger..."

"if it can bring
peace to our homeland..."

"tell my daughter I will gladly die!"

What did you say to Elena?

I told her everything, and in despair
she is racing to the palace.

Poor girl! Such sorrow!

Lead me to the unhappy girl.

She vanished from my sight
like a flash of lightning.

Pitiless stars! Why do you fill
my days with such pain?

Ah, let me perish!

Death alone would relieve my grief...

if she, who brought me back to life...

should now be stolen from me!

Oh, my precious love!
I have lost you!

Sweetest hope of my heart!

Sweetest hope of my heart!

I have lost you!

Sweetest hope of my heart!

Sweetest hope of my heart!

Duglas! Save yourself!

Who is approaching?

Where is Duglas? Where?

What has happened?

Ah! No hope remains.

Rodrigo has been killed.

–Ruthless heaven!
–The King of Scotland is victorious.

What are you saying?

The enemy host pursues
us, eager for revenge!

What do I hear? I am distraught!

Elena! My friends! Oh, God!

Cruel, relentless fate, hold your fury!

Who has known more sorrow than I?

Cruel, relentless fate, restrain your fury!

Dark destiny, quell your anger!

Who has known more sorrow than I?

You dare oppose me?

I kneel before you, Sire,
of my own free will.

I ask no mercy for myself.

I hope my death may help
extinguish the torch of war.

But take pity on my daughter
and on those who, out of loyalty...

came to my defense on the battlefield.

You there! Take him away,
to await my wrath!

I deserve this.
I will wait for your decision.

Wait here.
The King will see you soon.

The palace where I was born.
How I shudder to see you again!

The cradle of all my woes!

Far dearer to me was the humble cottage...

where my father and my beloved
would watch over me!

I am here alone.

Where is the King?

Who will take me to the royal presence?

If my generous friend did not deceive me...

I hope to save my father and Malcolm.

What is that?

Such sweet harmony!

Beautiful music-making!

Oh, dawn! Will you always rise to taunt me?

O God, why show me Elena's fair eyes...

only to cruelly snatch away
the very gift you gave me?

Why so cruelly take away this gift?

That sounds like his voice!
How could it be?

He has not forgotten me.

Is it for me he laments?

Dare I hope?

A propitious fate has sent you to me,
the answer to my prayers...

O generous heart!

What do you want of me?

Do you not remember your gift?

Ah, yes, it is you who
will guide me to the King.

You will see him.

Forgive my impatience.

Do not delay for an instant.

A daughter's sacred duty
brings me to this throne.

If you so wish.
Who could deny your desires?

Let the King command.

We are the servants of his will.

We acclaim His Highness...

our father and protector.

Ah! What magnificence!

But which one is the King?

Everyone bowed...

but among them all
I cannot see the sovereign.

Yet he is here.

Which one?

Everyone is staring.
I don't understand.

The royal crown!

Could it be?

Good God!
Does this mean you...?

You seek the King?
He is standing before you.

You yourself? I am overcome!

I bow to you.

Rise. I am your friend.

The faithful keeper of my promises.

Tell me why you have come.

Surely you know. My father...

Ah, well... your father is guilty.

But I give him to his daughter.

Duglas, she may embrace you.

I pardon you.

Bring in Malcolm.


Let no one dare ask mercy for him.

How can I save him?

Elena! Oh, my cruel destiny!

Rash young man!

I am bound to punish a traitor.

Prince, my crime–

Deserves no mercy.

You will suffer a punishment
worthy of your deeds.

Rise! Let this be a sign of my favor.

Give me your hand.

May you both be happy.

May heaven smile upon you.

Merciful God!

Oh, merciful King!

Is there any more you wish?

I... Sire....

What happiness!

What joy!

So many emotions at such a moment...

well up in my heart.

My immense happiness...

cannot be properly expressed.

Let silence be my eloquence.

Let all be said in my halting words.

Ah, Sire!

You have brought me peace at last!

You have given me peace at last!

You have given me peace at last!

Yes, peace is yours once more.

You can breathe freely,
at peace once more.

You can breathe freely,
at peace once more.

Here beside my father and my beloved...

oh, what a moment of bliss!

Who could have hoped for so much happiness!

May the evil star of hostility
be forever vanquished.

Here beside my father
and my beloved... blessed moment!

Who could have hoped for so much happiness!

Here beside my father
and my beloved... blessed moment!

Who could have hoped for so much happiness!

What a feast of
bel canto singing!

Incredible! It must be
incredibly difficult,

but you sound and look like

you're just so enjoying
yourself... are you?

Oh, uh, you know,
I'm having the time of my life.

There's something really
special, first of all,

being surrounded by a cast of
everybody, who just excels,

you know, top of the world
of what they do.

But also, bringing a piece like
this to the Metropolitan Opera

and to a worldwide audience
for the first time...

It's really overwhelming,
and I think it's...

It gives me such a thrill
to give Rossini

a different kind of voice here,
give him his due.

Amazing. You have been
instrumental, as you're saying,

in bringing this opera to
the world stage in recent years.

What... what draws you to it?

Well, you know,
I think, first of all,

it's a platform for incredible

vocalizing... acrobatic,
sort of sportive...

- I'll say.
- Athletic singing,

which is kind of fun...
I mean, the...

I'm not going to lie,
it's a thrill to do that.

But it also, you know,
through all those notes

and all that craziness,

and even kind of a plot that's
a little bit, "Whoa-kay..."

it gives a landscape for really,
really deep emotion.

And I think it paints something
not too complicated,

just so that we can
explore emotions

through the voice,
through the words,

through the textures that
Rossini gives us.

It's a rich palette
for expression.

- Yes! Absolutely.
- Yeah, exactly.

Well, you said that even when
the plot of this opera

is a little improbable,
there's always

that emotional truth
you're talking about,

with, with the characters.

How does that apply to
your character, specifically?

Well, you know, the thing is,

she's constantly striving
for peace

throughout the entire opera.

Here, she's just saying,

"I can't find peace,
I can't find peace,"

trying to find peace
with the father,

with the few lovers
that there are,

with her clans,
the politics of it.

And finally,
coming up in the end,

she's going to thank the king,

although she doesn't know it
at the time...

But she's going to thank
the king for bringing peace.

And it's, for me,

one of the most sublime moments
in all of opera,

because he had the power
to still choose conflict,

and he gives peace,
even against his heart,

which is something
really special.

Were it only the case
more today, right?

- Yes, indeed.
- Right.

You seem to be moving away from
comic Rossini roles

like "Cenerentola,"

and moving towards
more dramatic.

What's prompting this shift?

Is it this expression
you're speaking of?

I look at Elena really as,
she's sort of the big sister

- of Rosina and Cenerentola.
- Sure, sure.

And, yeah, you know,
it's not that

I want to move away from
those girls,

but there's still
so much rich repertoire

to explore with Rossini,
and I feel like

the voice has grown into

something a bit more dramatic
here in the...

In the trio we're going to hear;
it gets almost...

- Awesome.
- Almost Verdian, not quite.

Well, we're lucky to have you.
You're a rock star.

Thank you, Pat, and hello to
everyone in the world!

- Thanks Pat.
- Joyce, thanks for speaking with me.

- Toi toi for the second half.
- Whoo!

Now, I'm going to speak with
another bel canto virtuoso,

our leading man,
Juan Diego Flórez.

- Hello, Juan Diego.
- How are you?

So beautiful! Mwah! Mwah!

You are beautiful.
- You... aww, go on!

You and Joyce have been
champions of "La Donna del Lago"

on some of the world's
leading stages...

Paris, Milan, London,
and now, the Met.

What makes you feel
so strongly about it?

Well, um, I can sing it,
which is, you know?

Yes, yeah, you can sing it, yes.

It's very difficult music,

and you have to be always
under control.

But also,
you have to be expressive.

This music is about expression,

and "La Donna del Lago"
is all about that.

So, um, you know,

I love the aria that is coming,
which is, uh, so ethereal, yeah?

It's a different aria
than other Rossini arias.

It's beautiful.
And I love the opera.

I think it's such
a complete piece of art.

Yes, yes. What do you like best

about singing
the part of the king?

Well, what do I like the best?
It's that I'm the king.


No, I like it, that, you know,

it has some of the best music
ever written by Rossini.

This was written for
Giovanni David,

the best tenor of his time.

And, yeah, I love...
I love everything about it.

I sung it so many times,
almost all the time with Joyce,

which is wonderful.

Wonderful... you can really
build a relationship then, yes.

Well, you kind of disappeared

after the first
couple of scenes, so...

- Ah, that's nice, also.
- But you're...

But you'll be back in
the next act, in a big way.

And, and you know, you already
mentioned your...

Your beautiful aria
that opens Act II.

Can you say more about that?

Well, Rossini knew
how to pace his singers,

so now, he gave me a big rest,
and now I have to work.

And then, the audience is in for
a wild trio

with high-Cs flying
back and forth

- between you and John Osborn.
- Watch out, you have to...

Who plays, uh... John, who plays
your rival, Rodrigo.

Does it make you
feel like you're in

a little bit of
a vocal competition?

No, I mean, in opera seria,
you have two types of tenor...

The baritenore... that high...

That have high notes.

Yeah, it was more baritonal.

And the high tenor.

So, they are two... two voices.

Of course, both are tenors,
but two different voices.

But two different colors, right.

- Juan Diego, thank you so much.
- Thank you.

Now, I'm going to
speak with Malcolm,

sung by mezzo soprano
Daniela Barcellona,

and Rodrigo, played by tenor
John Osborn.

- Hello.
- Hello, Patricia.

I've already told you...
Bravo, bravissima.

- Thank you.
- Or bravissimo, I don't know.

I have no way of telling...
I don't know.

We've been saying

Yeah, exactly, exactly, exactly.
Uh, Daniela,

you play Elena's
male love interest.

What are your mezzo secrets
for playing a man,

both dramatically and vocally?

Yeah, vocally,
it's very different to play

an... a women's role
than a man's role,

because there are little
difference, musical differences

that you...
To be a real man on stage.

And also, it's very difficult
to be a man on stage

with a kilt, especially...
It's very difficult.

How very confusing?

Yes, absolutely, yes.

I'm confused too, yes!

It's difficult.

Because, if I wear pants,
it's easier.

Yeah, you're right.

You've got to remember it's not
a dainty skirt, exactly.

John, Rodrigo's music
is quite heroic,

with all those wild leaps
up to the high notes.

What did you think

when you first looked at
the score and this role?

When I first look at it,

I looked at all the low notes
and said,

"No, no, no, I'm going to have
to find a way to change those."


I love high notes,
as you can probably tell.

- Well, they love you, too.
- Thank you.

Thank you for Rossini for
writing so many for me.

And I've done so much Rossini,
that it just...

It just looked like another
fantastic, great role

that has, really,
some fantastic moments.

Yes, I'll say.

Daniela, I know you also like to
sing heavier roles,

like Amneris in Verdi's "Aida."

Is singing Rossini
good for your voice?

Yeah, it's very good.

It's very good because
I balance my voice between, uh,

Verdi and Rossini,

and Rossini is very healthy
for the voice.

You have to think
what are you doing.

In Verdi,
it's easier because just...

You have just sing,
you just sing.

He cleans house.
Cleans house, yes.

Yes, yes, absolutely.

John, what about your views on
the value of singing Rossini?

It has been a tool for me

to develop my skills
as a bel canto singer.

And I've been able to
use Rossini,

and now, working into these
heroic Rossini parts,

to be a wonderful transition
into lyric French roles.

So I've been doing
"Romeo and Juliet,"

"Werther" and "Hoffmann,"
and things like that.

It's really helped you
expand and explore those?

Yeah, well, the king of Rossini
was "William Tell."

And that was a perfect
transition into those roles,

so it's been great.

Daniela, John, thank you both.

A pleasure to be with you.