Subscribe to
Opera Today

Receive articles and news via RSS feeds or email subscription.







Recently in Repertoire

Erich Wolfgang Korngold: Die Tote Stadt

Die Tote Stadt, an opera in three acts.

Music composed by Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897-1957). Libretto by Paul Schott (Julius and E. W. Korngold) after the novel Bruges la morte by Georges Rodenbach.

Stendhal on the Rossini Revolution

Some Details concerning the Revolution inaugurated by Rossini

PUCCINI: Manon Lescaut

Manon Lescaut, dramma lirico in quattro atti

STRAUSS : Elektra

Elektra: Tragedy in one act.

Lyric Opera of Chicago’s 2020 Ring Cycle

Lyric Opera of Chicago has announced both schedules and cast-lists for is Spring 2020 performances of Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle. Given the series of individual productions already staged by the company since Fall 2016, that pave the way for the complete cycle, Lyric Opera of Chicago’s complete production should affirm the artistic might of the great composer.

Carlo Diacono: L’Alpino

“Diacono himself does not know what musical talent he possesses” – Mascagni

The Nibelungen-Myth. As Sketch for a Drama

From the womb of Night and Death was spawned a race that dwells in Nibelheim (Nebelheim), i.e. in gloomy subterranean clefts and caverns: Nibelungen are they called; with restless nimbleness they burrow through the bowels of the earth, like worms in a dead body; they smelt and smith hard metals.

Martín y Soler: Una cosa rara

Una cosa rara, ossia Bellezza ed onestà. Dramma giocoso in two acts.

Music composed by Vicente Martín y Soler (1754–1806). Libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte from the comedy La luna de la Sierra by Luis Vélez de Guevara.

Mefistofele at Orange’s Chorégies

This is the one where a very personable devil tells God that mankind is so far gone it isn’t worth his time to bother corrupting it further.

A culinary coupling from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama

What a treat the London Music Conservatoires serve up for opera-goers each season. After the Royal Academy’s Bizet double-bill of Le docteur Miracle and La tragédie de Carmen, and in advance of the Royal College’s forthcoming pairing of Huw Watkins’ new opera, In the Locked Room, based on a short story by Thomas Hardy, and The Lighthouse by Peter Maxwell Davies, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama have delivered a culinary coupling of Paul Hindemith’s The Long Christmas Dinner and Sir Lennox Berkeley’s The Dinner Engagement which the Conservatoire last presented for our delectation in November 2006.

THOMAS: Hamlet, Moscow 2015

Hamlet: Opéra in five acts. Music composed by Ambroise Thomas. Libretto by Michel Carré and Jules Barbier after The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark by William Shakespeare.

La Púrpura de la Rosa

Advertised in the program as the first opera written in the New World, La Púrpura de la Rosa (PR) was premiered in 1701 in Lima (Peru), but more than the historical feat, true or not, accounts for the piece’s interest.

Das Liebesverbot, Vienna 1962

Das Liebesverbot: Grosse komische Oper in two acts.

Lohengrin, Bayreuth 2010 Live

Opera in three acts. Words and music by Richard Wagner.

Parsifal, Bayreuth 2012 Live

Parsifal. Bühnenweihfestspiel (“stage dedication play”) in three acts.

Music from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“German poet, dramatist and novelist. One of the most important literary and cultural figures of his age, he was recognized during his lifetime for his accomplishments of almost universal breadth. However, it is his literary works that have most consistently sustained his reputation, and that also serve to demonstrate most clearly his many-faceted relationship to music. . . .

Operas Based on French Literature

Here are operas based on French literature from Balzac, Hugo and beyond:

Jules Massenet: Le Cid

Le Cid, Opéra in 4 acts

Vincenzo Bellini: I puritani

I puritani, opera seria in three acts

Vincenzo Bellini: Zaira

Zaira, Tragedia lirica in two acts.



Heinrich Marschner (1795-1861)
19 Nov 2006


Der Vampyr, romantic opera in two acts in the version by Hans Pfitzner (1924).

Heinrich Marschner (1795-1861): Der Vampyr

Leo Heppe (Sir Humphrey), Liane Synek (Malwina), Fritz Sperlbauer (Edgar Aubry), Georg Oeggl (Lord Ruthwen), Peter Lagger (Sir Berkley and Robert Green), Gisela Rathauscher (Janthe), Kurt Equiluz (Georg Dibdin and James Gadshill), Traute Skladal (Emmy), Johannes Blaha (Toms Blunt), Erich Kuchar (Richard Scrop), Maria Nussbaumer (Suse), Das Grosse Wiener Rundfundorchester, Kurt Tenner (cond.)
Live performance, 1951, Vienna


Music composed by Heinrich August Marschner (1795-1861). Libretto by Wilhelm August Wohlbrück after the play Der Vampir oder die Totenbraut by Heinrich Ludwig Ritter.

First Performance: 29 March 1828, Theater der Stadt Leipzig, Leipzig

Principal Characters:
Lord Ruthven, the vampire Baritone
Sir John Berkley Bass
Janthe, his daughter Soprano
Sir Humphrey Davenaut Bass
Malwina, his daughter Soprano
Edgar Aubry, employee of Davenaut's Tenor
The Vampire Master Spoken role
John Perth, Lord Ruthven's steward Spoken role
Emmy, his daughter and Dibdin's fiancee Soprano
George Dibdin, servant of Davenaut's Tenor
Berkley's manservant Bass
James Gadshil Tenor
Richard Scrop Tenor
Robert Green Bass
Toms Blunt Bass
Suse Blunt, Toms's wife Mezzo-Soprano

Setting: Sir Humphrey Davenaut's Estate in Scotland, 18th century


The vampire Lord Ruthven appeals to his Vampire Master to grant him another year of life on earth before being condemned to hell. The Vampire Master agrees provided Ruthven can bring three more victims to him before midnight. Almost instantly, Janthe, daughter of Lord Berkley, falls into Ruthven's clutches and is despatched in the vampires' cave. Her father's rescue party comes belatedly onto the scene and Ruthven is accused of her murder. He is stabbed and left for dead. Aubry, a member of the house of Davenant, comes upon Ruthven's near-lifeless body, however, and helps him recover in the moonlight. Horrified at realising that Ruthven is a vampire, Aubry is nevertheless sworn to secrecy because Ruthven had once saved his life. At a wedding party among the local peasantry shortly afterwards, Ruthven sets his sights on the bride, Emma, lures her away and murders her. Finally, Malwina Davenant prepares to marry Ruthven himself according to her father's wishes (she would prefer Aubry), but Aubry reveals the vampire's true nature and Ruthven is straightaway dragged down to hell by a demonic crew. Davenant awards Malwina's hand to Aubry.

[Synopsis Source: Boosey & Hawkes]

Click here for the complete libretto (original 4-act version)

Send to a friend

Send a link to this article to a friend with an optional message.

Friend's Email Address: (required)

Your Email Address: (required)

Message (optional):