03 Mar 2008
Fetonte: Dramma per musica in three 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.
Fetonte: Dramma per musica in three acts.
Music composed by Niccolò Jommelli (1714-1774). Libretto by Mattia Verazi, after the libretto, Phaéton by Philippe Quinault (written in collaboration with Lully) and Metamorphoses by Ovid.
First Performance: 11 February 1768, Schlosstheater, Ludwigsburg
|Fetonte, son of Il Sole and Climene||Soprano|
|Climene, widow of Merope||Soprano|
|Libia, daughter of Merope and heir to his kingdom||Soprano|
|Orcane, King of the Congo||Tenor|
|Il Sole [Helios]||Soprano|
|Proteo, God of the Sea||Soprano|
|Epafo, King of Egypt||Alto|
Climene and the priests of Teti invoke the sea nymph from her sacred cave. Climene confides her fears regarding the wedding planned by her now deceased husband between his daughter, Libia, and Climene’s son, Fetonte. King Epafo, however, has designs upon Libia. Proteo foretells that Fetonte will threaten humanity.
Libia and Fetonte later learn that Climene has been imprisoned by Epafo, who will not free her unless Libia agrees to marry him. King Orcane, wishing to marry Climene, plots with Epafo to arouse the Queen’s jealousy.
Having discovered their plans, Climene and Libia confuse Orcane about their real feelings. Fetonte, on the other hand, becomes disturbed. Climene announces that she will abdicate the throne in favor of Libia when the girl marries a child of a god in accordance with the oracle’s prophecy. Climene chooses Fetonte and reveals his divine origin. The rivals, however, challenge Fetonte to prove his divine nature.
Climene guides Fetonte to Il Sole. To show his true origins, Fetonte will ask permission to appear in the sky in Il Sole’s chariot and to bring daylight upon the Earth. Libia vainly implores Fetonte to desist.
Il Sole welcomes Fetonte into his palace. Fetonte is instructed of the danger if he proceeds. Fetonte refuses the protection of La Fortuna.
Meanwhile, Climene is seized by Epafo. Libia is taken under the protection of Orcane. The two kings prepare for battle. Epafo flees, taking Climene with him. Fetonte appears in the sky; but, losing control of the chariot, it appears that he will destroy the Earth. Zeus’ intervention is invoked, who directs lightning at Fetonte. He falls into the sea. Climene, who learns that Libia is dead, throws herself into the sea to join her son’s fate.
Phaéton sur le char du soleil