I gaze on you, I rejoice in you/ I embrace you, I chain you to me,/ I suffer no more, I die no more,/ Oh my life, oh my treasure.

One of the most beautiful love songs ever written, Pur ti miro (I gaze on you), from Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea. 

In this version Mireille Delunsch sings the part of Poppea and Anne Sofie von Otter sings Nerone. Though the opera is originally written for a man and a woman it’s not rare for two women to play the parts (especially because the male parts were written for castratti with a very high vocal range). The gender reversal in Nerone’s character, of course, turns the story into something else.

The video above is one of my all time favorite versions though this one, with Philippe Jaroussky as Nerone is a close second (to enjoy it better I’d suggest averting your eyes from, as one commenter put it, the awesome Liza Minelli style caftan he is wearing).

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