This text is a bit complicated. It comes from the Queen of Spades by Tchaikovsky. However, it used to be done very often in French. The French called the work either “Dame de Pique” or “Pique Dame”. There have been several translations from Russian to French, and also several from French to English, and, to make it more confusing, from Russian to English. So, what we have here is one of the French translations, and a Russian to English translation. The French and the English will not match 100%, and, as I drove myself crazy trying to find the exact translation that was used in French, I realized that the deviations between translations didn’t really matter. So, here is a French translation. It is not exactly what Rogatchewsky sings, and here is an English translation. This is the best that I can do. I hope that you enjoy the singing.
The story is based on a text by Pushkin. Here is a brief summary of the opera:
A Russian officer of German ancestry named Hermann learns that a fellow officer’s grandmother, an old countess, possesses the secret of winning at faro, a high-stakes card game. Hermann begins a liaison with Lisa, the countess’s impoverished young ward, to gain access to the old woman, but when the countess refuses to reveal the secret, he threatens her with a pistol and she dies of fright. The night of her funeral, he dreams that the countess has told him the winning cards—three, seven, and ace. Hermann then places bets on the three and seven and wins. After betting everything on the ace, which wins, Hermann is horror-stricken to see that he is holding not the ace but the queen of spades, who seems to smile up at him as did the countess from her casket.
The aria begins at 2:58