"Ritorna vincitor" Lyrics and Text Translation

Aida's Aria from Verdi's Opera, Aida

Verdi’s Opera, Aida
US opera singers Guang Yang (left; Amneris) and Indra Thomas (right; Aida) perform on stage during the rehearsal of Verdi’s opera ‘Aida’ on the Bregenz festival floating stage on July 18, 2009, in Bregenz, Austria. Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images

Ritorna Vincitor in the Context of the Opera

Sung in the first act of Giuseppe Verdi’s famous opera, Aida, (read the synopsis of Verdi’s Aida) by the Ethiopian king’s daughter, Aida, “Ritorna vincitor” is a moving aria that expresses Aida’s conflicting feelings. Aida, a captured and captive prisoner of the Egyptians forced to serve the Egyptian princess Amneris, fell in love with an Egyptian warrior named Radames, doesn't know of her royal lineage.

When the Egyptian High Priest commands him to fight against the approaching Ethiopian armies that have come to Aida's rescue, she is overwhelmed. Should she choose between the love of Radames or the love of her homeland and family?

Ritorna Vincitor​ Italian Lyrics

Ritorna vincitor!
E dal mio labbro uscì l'empia parola!
Vincitor del padre mio di lui
Che impugna l'armi per me
Per ridonarmi una patria,
Una reggia e il nome illustre
Che qui celar m'è forza!
Vincitor de'miei fratelli ond'io lo vegga,
Tinto del sangue amato,
Trionfar nel plauso dell'Egizie coorti!
E dietro il carro,
Un Re, mio padre di catene avvinto!

L'insana parola o Numi sperdete!
Al seno d'un padre la figlia rendete,
Struggete le squadre dei nostri oppressor!
Ah! sventurata! Che dissi?
E l'amor mio?
Dunque scordar poss'io questo fervido amore
Che, oppressa e schiava,
Come raggio di sol qui mi beava?
Imprecherò la morte a Radamès
a lui ch'amo pur tanto!


Ah! non fu interra mai da più crudeli
Angoscie un core affranto!

I sacri nomi di padre d'amante,
Nè profferir poss'io nè ricordar
Per l'un per l'altro confusa tremante
Io piangere vorrei pregar.
Ma la mia prece in bestemmia si muta
Delitto è il pianto a me colpa il sospir
In notte cupa la mente è perduta
E nell’ansia crudel vorrei morir

Numi, pietà del mio soffrir!
Speme non v'ha pel mio dolor
Amor fatal tremendo amore
Spezzami il cor, fammi morir!

Ritorna Vincitor English Translation

Return victorious!
And from my lips came the impious word!
Victorious over my father
And his troops wielding their weapons for me
To rescue me and tack me back to my homeland,
My royal palace and my illustrious name
That here I am forced to conceal!
Victorious over my brothers I may see him,
Blood stained loved,
Triumph in the acclamation by Egypt’s forces!
And behind his chariot,
A King, my father in chains!

These insane words, oh gods, please forget!
Let the daughter return to her father’s breast,
Destroy the squadrons of our oppressor!
Ah! unfortunate! What did I say?
And my love?
Can I then forget this ardent love
That, oppressed and enslaved,
is like the blessed rays of the sun?
I curse the death of Radames
to him whom I love so much though!
Ah! there has never been anything as cruel as this
Anguish of a broken heart!

The sacred names of my father and my lover,
Neither of which I can call upon
I am confused for each one, I am trembling
I cry, I pray.
But my prayer changes to cursing
Crime is the fault of my tears and sighs
In the dark night, my mind is lost
And I would die in this cruel world.

Gods, have pity on my suffering!
There is no hope for my sorrow
Fatal love, tremendous love
Break my heart and let me die!

Notable Performances of Ritorna Vincitor

If you're not familiar with this aria, I've picked out a few of my favorite YouTube recordings for you to listen to and watch. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

More Arias from Aida