La Rondine (The Swallow) is a wonderful Puccini opera that really should be performed more often. In mid-19th century Paris, Magda, the mistress of Rambaldo, holds a social evening, where the poet Prunier declares that love is in the air. He begins to sing his latest song, Chi il bel sogno di Doretta, which Magda completes.
She explains that as the kept woman of Rambaldo, she does not know true love; she wistfully recalls in song her youth and a young student she loved briefly, declaring that she has never known real love.
Because there are no subtitles for this video, the lyrics appear below:
Who could guess the beautiful dream Doretta had?
Why her mystery came to an end
One day a student kissed her on the mouth
And that kiss was the revelation:
It was the passion!
Who will ever be able again
To describe the light caress
Of a kiss so burning?
Oh! My dream!
Oh! My life!
Who cares for wealth
If at last happiness flourishes!
Oh golden dream
To be able to love in this way!