http://www.operavivra.com/features/focu ... mmai-mamo/
Ella giammai m’amò (from Don Carlo) is perhaps the most moving and poignant aria that Verdi, or for that matter, anyone except possibly Mussorgsky, ever wrote for a bass. King Philip controls half the world, but his family and his church defy him. He’s made one of life’s greater mistakes – he’s married a much younger woman. And he’s surprised that she doesn’t love him? The scene in the king’s apartment which starts with this aria is arguably the greatest in all opera. It’s a world unto itself. Ironically all the opera’s principal characters are in it except for Don Carlo, opera’s most screwed up tenor. That’s saying a lot. A flotilla of psychiatrists couldn’t even start Carlo on a rational course.
Below are 11 interpretations of the aria by 10 basses. Also below are the Italian and English lyrics. Of course, Don Carlos was written to a French libretto, but it sounds better as Don Carlo in Italian. Verdi thought both linguistically and musically in Italian which his why his French operas are usually, outside of France, given in their Italian versions. When available I’ve included the beautiful introduction to the aria