26 Oct 2008

STRAUSS: Intermezzo — Vienna 1963

Intermezzo: Bürgerliche Komödie with symphonic interludes in two acts.

Music composed by Richard Strauss. Libretto by the composer.

First Performance: 4 November 1924, Sächsisches Staatstheater Opernhaus, Dresden

Principal Roles:
Hofkapellmeister Robert Storch, a composer Baritone
Christine, his wife Soprano
Anna, the chambermaid Soprano
Baron Lummer Tenor
Der Notar [Notary] Baritone
Frau des Notars Soprano
Kapellmeister Stroh, a conductor, and skat partner of Storch Tenor
Ein Kommerzienrat, and skat partner Baritone
Ein Justizrat, and skat partner Baritone
Ein Kammersänger, and skat partner Bass
Franzl, the Storch’s son Spoken Role

Setting: Vienna and Grundlsee during a 1920’s winter


The composer Storch is leaving for a conducting tour, and his wife Christine helps him pack, arguing and nagging along the way. Seeking relief from lonelinesss she goes toboganning and collides with a skier, a young Baron who befriends her. They dance together at a ball and she arranges for him to lodge in the house of her notary. The friendship is soured when the Baron asks Christine for financial assistance. She opens a letter, supposedly for her husband, from a lady arranging an assignation. She immediately telegrams Storch demanding they part for ever. In tears, she seeks solace in her son's bedroom but he defends his father. Storch is playing skat with friends in Vienna when the telegram arrives, and is bewildered by the accusations. Stroh, a conductor friend, admits that he knows the lady and surmises that his and Storch's surnames must have been confused. Christine visits the notary to demand a divorce, but he is unwilling to pursue the matter. She sends the Baron to Vienna to gather evidence of infidelity. Packing to leave, she receives a telegram from her husband saying that Stroh will explain the misunderstanding. Even after Stroh's visit she is reluctant to accept the truth.Storch returns home, and an argument ensues. The Baron arrives with evidence that Stroh rather than Storch had indeed known the lady and Christine dismisses him, assured that her husband is blameless. Storch forgives her anger and teases her about her dalliance with the Baron. Husband and wife declare a renewed love.

[Synopsis Source: Boosey & Hawkes]

Click here for the complete libretto.