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Claudio Monteverdi - L'Orfeo

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Published on Jan 10, 2009

music director: René Jacobs, Orfeo: Simon Keenlyside, choreography: Trisha Brown dancers: Kathleen Fisher, Stanford Makishi, Mariah Malohey, Brandi Norton, Stacy Matthew Sencer, Katrina Thonpson, Keith A. Thompson, Abigall Yager, Ming-Lung Yang

ORPHEUS:
See now, I return to you,
dear woods and beloved hills,
made blessed by that sun
through whom alone my darkness is lightened.

FIRST SHEPHERD:
Look, Orpheus, how the shade
of those beech trees invites us,
now that Phoebus darts
burning rays from heaven.

On these grassy banks
let us rest, and let each
in his own way let loose his voice
to the murmur of the waters.

FIRST & SECOND SHEPHERDS:
In this flowery meadow
every sylvan deity
is often wont
to linger for his pleasure.

Here Pan, the shepherds' god,
has sometimes been heard lamenting,
sweetly recalling
his unrequited loves.

CHORUS of NYMPHS & SHEPHERDS:
Here the charming dryads,
a company always decked with flowers,
have been seen gathering roses
with white fingers.

Therefore, Orpheus, make worthy
of the sound of your lyre
these fields, where there blows
a breeze with the perfumes of Araby.

ORPHEUS:
Do you recall, O shady woods,
my long, bitter torments,
when the rocks, their hearts softened,
replied to my laments?

Say, did I not then seem to you
more wretched than any other?
Now Fortune has changed her tune
and turned my woes into rejoicing.

Once I lived in sadness and sorrow;
now I rejoice, and those anxieties
that I have suffered for so many years
make my present happy state more dear.

Through you alone, lovely Eurydice,
I bless my torments;
after sorrow, one is all the more content,
after woe, one is all the happier.

FIRST SHEPHERD:
See, O see, Orpheus, how all around
the woods and the meadow smile.
Then continue, with your golden plectrum,
to sweeten the air on so blessed a day.

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