On First Discovering Pavarotti’s “Che faro…”

Orpheus, barred from Hades,
Like the lament of angels,
Or Euridice herself, where indeed
Could he go. Unmanned, unvoiced,
Unsaved by Death’s refusal, where
Indeed, without his love, without
Her song, when yearning has her
By the throat. Turn around, turn about,
Where else, indeed, with eyes for
Only her, blind, following only
The longing for her behind him,
How but to call in her own voice
How but in her own could she find him.


(Orpheus’s role is traditionally sing by an Alto, a woman’s voice)


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