There's no hope in the music, no hope in the words. Painful, victimizing love. In this aria, Federico invokes peaceful sleep but he wants to be punished, he wants to suffer. The only imaginable sleep would be death.
Alagna has a strong voice, sometimes too strong for me, so I've tried to find something soft in his 1995 recital. His voice is sad and beautiful, his passion is self-consuming. You don't need to know the whole opera to guess he'll kill himself soon.
Composer: Francesco Cilea
Work: L'Arlesiana, "Ela solita storia del pastore..."
Recording: Roberto Alagna, The London Philharmonic, Richard Armstrong