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The online guide to Donizetti’s aria TU CHE A DIO SPIEGASTI L’ALI

Read Interesting facts and hear great YouTube Videos about the famous Aria “TU CHE A DIO SPIEGASTI L’ALI”.



If you want to hear more about the opera Lucia di Lammermoor, click on the link to the online guide



The Aria – Synopsis and Background

Synopsis: Edgardo on his way back learns about it and hurries to the castle. Before he arrives at the castle, the death bell rings – Lucia is dead. Then Edgardo kills himself to be united with Lucia in death.


This aria is written in a melancholic and sensual mood. The accompaniment is reservedly orchestrated and gives the tenor the opportunity to unfold his voice in a melancholic piano.

tu che a dio spiegasti le ali, aria, lucia di lammermoor


The Aria – the text of TU CHE A DIO SPIEGASTI L’ALI


Tu che a Dio spiegasti l’ali,
o bell’alma innamorata,
ti rivolgi a me placata,
teco ascenda il tuo fedel.
Ah! Se l’ira dei mortali
fece a noi sì cruda guerra,
se divisi fummo in terra,
ne congiunga il Nume in ciel.
O bell’alma innamorata
ne congiunga il Nume in ciel.
Che facesti!…
Quale orror!
Ahi tremendo!… ahi crudo fato!…
Dio, perdona un tanto error.
O bell’alma innamorata,
Ti rivolgi a me placata…
Teco ascenda il tuo fedel.
Ah se l’ira dei mortali
Fece a noi sì lunga guerra,
Se divisi fummo in terra,
Ne congiunga il Nume in ciel.


You who spread your wings to God,
O beautiful soul in love,
you turn to me placated,
Let thy faithful one ascend with thee.
Ah! If the wrath of mortals
made such cruel war against us
if we were divided on earth
may the Nume in heaven unite us.
O beautiful soul in love
unite the Nume in heaven.
What have you done!
What horror!
How terrible!… how cruel fate!…
God, forgive such an error.
O beautiful soul in love,
You turn to me in peace…
Let your faithful friend rise with you.
Ah, if the wrath of mortals
Made such a long war against us
If we were divided on earth,
May our Lord in heaven unite us.




Written for a lyric tenor


The role of Edgardo is written for a lyric tenor. The lyric tenor has a soft, melting voice. The voice must be rich and agile in melodic creation. He can reach the high notes with ease and create a beautiful sound. The lyrical tenor must be able to sing both intimate pieces and more exciting pieces convincingly.




Famous interpretations of TU CHE A DIO SPIEGASTI L’ALI


Let us start with Luciano Pavarotti.

Tu che a Dio spiegasti  l’ali (1)  –  Pavarotti


Giuseppe di Stefano was a classical lyrical tenor and “at a young age had a beautiful sounding, soft timbre and sensual voice, certainly the most seductive sensual tenor since the time of the young Gigli” (Kesting). This sensuousness is particularly evident in this aria.

Tu che a Dio spiegasti  l’ali (2)  –  di Stefano


Here the above mentioned comparison to Gigli. This interpretation is moving (up to the pain threshold) and shows Gigli as a master of elegiac singing. “Every phrase, every word, every vowel and every syllable are modulated and caressed by a master of vocal colour and emphasis” (Paul Morby).

Tu che a Dio spiegasti  l’ali (3)  –  Gigli


Another interpretation by Carlo Bergonzi. His phrasing and his lines are beautiful.

Tu che a Dio spiegasti  l’ali (4)  –   Bergonzi


Don’t miss the recording with Tito Schipa from the twenties. No one can bring so much emotion into his voice.

Tu che a Dio spiegasti l’ali (5)  –  Tito Schipa


You hear another version in a historical recording with the Irish tenor John Mc Cormack (1884-1945). This singer was a celebrity in his day, none of his records sold less than 100,000 copies. Kesting writes about Mc Cormack: «Mc Cormack, who, like Tauber or Gigli, enjoyed the bath in the crowd and afforded himself an extravagant, even excessive lifestyle. He resided in luxurious country houses and apartments in Ireland, California, New York City and London, temporarily owned a dozen Rolls-Royces and drank only champagne in one life, as rich in wine as in song. Although he did not play the violin, he owned a Stradivarius and a Guarneri and spent a fortune on race horses.»

Listen to Mc Cormack, who brings in his high voice expressively with great vocal artistry.

Tu che a Dio spiegasti  l’ali (6)  –  Mc Cormack





Peter Lutz, opera-inside, the online opera guide to the Aria “TU CHE A DIO SPIEGASTI L’ALI” from the opera Lucia di Lammermoor.



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