03 Feb 2008
Ermione: Azione tragica in two acts.
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.
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: Grosse komische Oper in two acts.
Opera in three acts. Words and music by Richard Wagner.
Parsifal. Bühnenweihfestspiel (“stage dedication play”) in three acts.
“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. . . .
This theme relates to operas based on the works of Friedrich von Schiller.
Here are operas based on French literature from Balzac, Hugo and beyond:
Le Cid, Opéra in 4 acts
I puritani, opera seria in three acts
Zaira, Tragedia lirica in two acts.
Athalia: Oratorio (sacred drama) in 3 acts
Lucrezia Borgia: Melodramma in a prologue and two acts.
La Esmeralda: Opéra in four acts.
Ernani: Dramma lirico in four parts.
Oberst Chabert (Colonel Chabert): Tragic opera in 3 acts.
Otello: Dramma lirico in four acts.
Music composed by Giuseppe Verdi. Libretto by Arrigo Boito after The Tragedie of Othello, the Moore of Venice by William Shakespeare.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a comedy in five acts with incidental music.
Le Marchand de Venise (“The Merchant of Venice”): Opéra in three acts.
Gli Equivoci (The Comedy of Errors): Opera in two acts.
Ermione: Azione tragica in two acts.
Music composed by Gioachino Rossini. Libretto by Andrea Leone Tottola after Jean Racine’s Andromaque.
First Performance: 27 March 1819, Teatro San Carlo, Naples
|Ermione [Hermione], daughter of Menelaus and Hélène, promised to Pyrrhus||Soprano|
|Andromaca [Andromaque], widow of Hector and captive of Pyrrhus||Contralto|
|Astianatte [Astyanax], son of Andromaque||Silent|
|Pirro [Pyrrhus], son of Achille, king of Épire (Ipiros)||Tenor|
|Oreste, son of Agamemnon||Tenor|
|Pilade [Pylade], friend of Oreste||Tenor|
|Fenicio [Phoenix], tutor to Achille and then to Pyrrhus||Bass|
|Cleone [Cléone], confidante of Hermione||Mezzo-Soprano|
|Cefisa [Céphise], confidante of Andromaque||Mezzo-Soprano|
|Attalo [Attalus], servant of Pyrrhus||Tenor|
Setting: Buthrot, city of Épire (Ipiros), in a room of Pirro’s palace.
After having defeated the Trojans, Pirro returns to his country with numerous prisoners among which there is Andromaca and her child, Astianatte. Pirro breaks his promise to Ermione because of his love for Andromaca. Remaining faithful to the memory of Hector, Andromaca rejects his advances. Oreste, who has been sent to Buthrote by the Greek kings to demand that Pirro fulfill his duty, declares his love to Ermione. Yet Ermione, tormented by jealousy, seeks to regain the heart of Pirro. Ermione rejects Oreste and his demand for the death of Astianatte (so as to avoid inevitable revenge). But, Pirro, in the presence of the court and Ermione, asks Andromaca to marry him. Andromaca falsely consents to the wedding, but in reality she wants only to save her child. Humiliated, Ermione induces Oreste to kill Pirro. When Oreste shows her the bloody dagger, Ermione is horrified and calls the Furies upon him. Oreste, stunned and delirious, is dragged away by his companions to a ship.