"Il Dolce Suono" Lyrics and Text Translation

The "Mad Scene" aria from Donizetti's opera "Lucia di Lammermoor"

Based on the novel "The Bride of Lammermoor"  by Sir Walter Scott, Gaetano Donizetti's 1835 opera "Lucia di Lammermoor" tells the story of a woman forced to marry a man she does not love in order to improve her family's fortunes. 

The Mad Scene from 'Lucia di Lammermoor'

The aria "Il Dolce Suono" (translation: "the sweet sound") is a challenging piece to sing. It is usually performed by a coloratura soprano, that is, a female singer who can add flourishes such as trills, runs and cadenzas to a song beyond its composed melody.

Several notable sopranos have given their interpretation of the role of Lucia and "Il Dolce Suono," including Joan Sutherland, who became famous for this part. Other sopranos, such as Maria Callas, preferred to sing the part as written, without the coloratura's ornamentation.

The song occurs in Act 3, on Lucia and Arturo's wedding night, after she stabs him while they are alone in their bridal suite. The wedding party continues nearby, as Lucia retreats into madness, not fully aware of what she's done. She imagines what it would be like to marry her true love, Edgardo, and fondly remembers the time they spent together. 

Italian Text of 'Il Dolce Suono'

Il dolce suono mi colpi di sua voce!
Ah, quella voce m'e qui nel cor discesa!
Edgardo! io ti son resa, Edgardo, mio!
fuggita io son de tuoi nemici.
Un gelo me serpeggia nel sen!
trema ogni fibra!
vacilla il pie!
Presso la fonte meco t'assidi al quanto!
Ohime, sorge il tremendo fantasma e ne separa!
Qui ricovriamo, Edgardo, a pie dell'ara.
Sparsa e di rose!
Un armonia celeste, di, non ascolti?
Ah, l'inno suona di nozze!
Il rito per noi s'appresta! Oh, me felice!
Oh gioia che si sente, e non si dice!
Ardon gl'incensi!
Splendon le sacre faci, splendon intorno!
Ecco il ministro!
Porgime la destra!
Oh lieto giorno!
Al fin son tua, al fin sei mia,
a me ti dona un Dio.
Ogni piacer piu grato,
mi fia con te diviso
Del ciel clemente un riso
la vita a noi sara.

English Translation of "Il dolce suono"

The sweet sound, hits me, his voice!
Ah, that voice into my heart decends!
Edgardo, I surrender to you
A chill creeps into my breast!
trembles every fiber!
falters my foot!
Near the fountain next to me sit a while!
Alas! arises a tremendous phantom and separates us!
Here let us take refuge, by the foot of the alter.
Strewn is it with roses!
A harmony celestial, do you not hear?
Ah, the marrige hymn plays!
The ceremony for us draws near! Happiness!
Oh, joy that one feels and does not speak of!
The incense burns!
Brilliant the sacred torches, shining all around!
Here is the minister!
Give me your right hand!
Oh, joyous day!
At last, I am your, at last you are mine,
to me you have been given by God.
Every pleasure is more grateful,
(it is) to me, with you, more sweet
From peaceful heaven a smile
life to us will be.

Translation by Ilya Speranza (ISperanza@aol.com)