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The Standard Operaglass - Detailed Plots of One Hundred and Fifty-one Celebrated Operas
by Charles Annesley
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[Transcriber's note: the punctuation in this file is somewhat inconsistent. There are many commas and other punctuation where none appears to be needed, and vice versa. Syntax and grammar are occasionally shaky. Spelling and the use of accented characters are inconsistent. In general, only severe errors have been corrected.]



The

Standard-Operaglass

CONTAINING

THE DETAILED PLOTS

OF

ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY ONE CELEBRATED OPERAS

WITH CRITICAL

AND BIOGRAPHICAL REMARKS, DATES &c. &c.

BY

CHARLES ANNESLEY

THIRTY FIRST TO THIRTY THIRD THOUSAND REVISED

AND ENLARGED EDITION



DEDICATED TO THERESE MALTEN

KOeNIGL. SAeCHS. KAMMERSAeNGERIN

(with 2 portraits of Malten and Scheidemantel).



LONDON. SAMPSON LOW, MARSTON & CO. LIMITED. 17a PATERN0STER ROW. 100 SOUTHWARK STREET.

DRESDEN. PARIS. NEW YORK. CARL TITTMANN. BRENTANO'S. LEMCKE & BUECHNER PRAGERSTRASSE 19. AVENUE DE L'OPERA 37. 11 EAST 17th STREET.

MAYENCE. LONDON. MILAN. PARIS. SAARBACH'S NEWS EXCHANGE.



1911.

COPYRIGHT BY A. TITTMANN.

(Right of translation reserved.)



To

Therese Walten

Koeniglich Saechsische Kammersaengerin

With profound admiration of her Genius

this little work is dedicated

by the Author.



{vii}

INDEX OF THE OPERAS.

Operas. Composers. Fol.

Abu Hassan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Weber . . . . . . . 1 Africaine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Meyerbeer . . . . . 3 Aida . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Verdi . . . . . . . 8 Alessandro Stradella . . . . . . . . . Flotow . . . . . . 10 Armida . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Gluck . . . . . . . 12 Armorer (Waffenschmied) . . . . . . . Lortzing . . . . . 14 Ballo in Maschera . . . . . . . . . . Auler . . . . . . . 15 Barber of Bagdad . . . . . . . . . . . Cornelius . . . . . 18 Barbiere di Seviglia . . . . . . . . . Rossini . . . . . . 22 Benvenuto Cellini . . . . . . . . . . Berlins . . . . . . 25 By Order of His Highness . . . . . . . Keineckt . . . . . 30 Carlo Broschi (Teufel's Antheil) . . . Auber . . . . . . . 33 Carmen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bizet . . . . . . . 36 Cavalleria Rusticana . . . . . . . . . Mascagni . . . . . 39 Cosi fan tutte . . . . . . . . . . . . Mozart . . . . . . 41 Czar and Zimmermann . . . . . . . . . Lortzing . . . . . 43 Dame Blanche . . . . . . . . . . . . . Boieldieu . . . . . 46 Demonio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rubinstein . . . . 49 Domino Noir . . . . . . . . . . . . . Auber . . . . . . . 52 Don Carlos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Verdi . . . . . . . 54 Don Juan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mozart . . . . . . 57 Don Pasquale . . . . . . . . . . . . . Donizetti . . . . . 59 Dragons de Villars . . . . . . . . . . Maillart . . . . . 62 Dusk of the Gods . . . . . . . . . . . Wagner . . . . . . 68 Euryanthe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Weber . . . . . . . 72 Falstaff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Verdi . . . . . . . 75 Fidelio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Beethoven . . . . . 78 Figlia del Reggimento . . . . . . . . Donizetti . . . . . 81

{viii}

Flying Dutchman . . . . . . . . . . . Wagner . . . . . . 84 Folkungs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kretschmer . . . . 87 Fra Diavolo . . . . . . . . . . . . . Auber . . . . . . . 90 Frauenlob . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Becker . . . . . . 94 Freischuetz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Weber . . . . . . . 98 Friend Fritz . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mascagni . . . . . 102 Genoveva . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Schumann . . . . . 105 Golden Cross . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bruell . . . . . . . 108 Two Grenadiers . . . . . . . . . . . . Lortzing . . . . . 110 Hamlet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Thomas . . . . . . 114 Hansel and Gretel . . . . . . . . . . Humperdinck . . . . 116 Hans Heiling . . . . . . . . . . . . . Marschner . . . . . 121 Henry the Lion . . . . . . . . . . . . Kretschmer . . . . 125 Herrat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Draeseke . . . . . 128 Hochzeitsmorgen . . . . . . . . . . . Kaskel . . . . . . 132 Huguenots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Meyerbeer . . . . 134 Idle Hans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ritter . . . . . . 138 Idomeneus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mozart. . . . . . . 141 Jean de Paris . . . . . . . . . . . . Boieldieu . . . . . 145 Jessonda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Spohr . . . . . . . 148 Ingrid . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Grammann . . . . . 149 Iphigenia in Aulis . . . . . . . . . . Gluck . . . . . . . 157 Iphigenia in Tauris . . . . . . . . . Gluck . . . . . . . 153 Josef in Egypt . . . . . . . . . . . . Mehul . . . . . . . 155 Irrlicht (will-o-the Wisp) . . . . . . Grammann . . . . . 158 Juive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Halevy . . . . . . 161 Junker Heinz (Sir Harry) . . . . . . . Perfall . . . . . . 164 King against his will . . . . . . . . Chabrier . . . . . 168 Lohengrin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Wagner . . . . . . 172 Lorle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Foerster . . . . . 176 Love's Battle . . . . . . . . . . . . Meyer-Helmund . . . 181 Lucia die Lammermoor . . . . . . . . . Donizetti . . . . . 183 Lucrezia Borgia . . . . . . . . . . . Donizetti . . . . . 185 Maccabees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rubinstein . . . . 188 Magic Flute . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mozart . . . . . . 191 Maidens of Schilda . . . . . . . . . . Foerster . . . . . 195

{ix}

Marga . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pittrich . . . . . 199 Marguerite . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Gounod . . . . . . 201 Martha . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Flotow . . . . . . 203 Master-Singers of Nueremberg . . . . . Wagner . . . . . . 206 Master-Thief . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lindner . . . . . . 211 Mason . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Auber . . . . . . . 215 Melusine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Grammann . . . . . 217 Merlin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Goldmark . . . . . 222 Merry Wives of Windsor . . . . . . . . Nicolai . . . . . . 225 Mignon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Thomas . . . . . . 228 Muette de Portici . . . . . . . . . . Auber . . . . . . . 230 Nachtlager von Granada (Night's Rest) Kreutzer . . . . . 233 Nibelung's Ring: I. Rhinegold . . . . Wagner . . . . . . 287 II. Walkyrie . . . . " . . . . . . 345 III. Siegfried . . . . " . . . . . . 307 IV. Dusk of the Gods " . . . . . . 68 Norma . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bellini . . . . . . 234 Nozze di Figaro . . . . . . . . . . . Mozart . . . . . . 237 Nueremberg Doll . . . . . . . . . . . . Adam . . . . . . . 241 Oberon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Weber . . . . . . . 244 Orfeo e Eurydice . . . . . . . . . . . Gluck . . . . . . . 248 Othello . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Verdi . . . . . . . 250 Pagliacci . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Leoncavallo . . . . 254 Parsifal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Wagner . . . . . . 258 Philemon and Baucis . . . . . . . . . Gounod . . . . . . 262 Pintos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Weber . . . . . . . 264 Piper of Hameln . . . . . . . . . . . Nessler . . . . . . 268 Poacher (Wildschuetz) . . . . . . . . . Lortzing . . . . . 272 Postilion of Longjumeau . . . . . . . Adam . . . . . . . 274 Preciosa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Weber . . . . . . . 277 Prophete . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Meyerbeer . . . . . 279 Queen of Sheba . . . . . . . . . . . . Goldmark . . . . . 283 Rhinegold . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Wagner . . . . . . 287 Rienzi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Wagner . . . . . . 290 Rigoletto . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Verdi . . . . . . . 292 Robert le Diable . . . . . . . . . . . Meyerbeer . . . . . 295

{x}

Roi l'a dit . . . . . . . . . . . . . Delibes . . . . . . 299 Romeo e Giulietta . . . . . . . . . . Gounod . . . . . . 303 Seraglio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mozart . . . . . . 305 Siegfried . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Wagner . . . . . . 307 Silvana . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Weber . . . . . . . 310 Somnambula . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bellini . . . . . . 313 Taming of the Shrew . . . . . . . . . Goetz . . . . . . . 315 Tannhaeuser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Wagner . . . . . . 316 Tell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rossini . . . . . . 321 Templar and the Jewess . . . . . . . . Marschner . . . . . 323 Traviata . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Verdi . . . . . . . 325 Tristan and Isolda . . . . . . . . . . Wagner . . . . . . 327 Trovatore . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Verdi . . . . . . . 330 Trumpeter of Saekkingen . . . . . . . Nessler . . . . . . 332 Undine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lortzing . . . . . 335 Urvasi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kiensl . . . . . . 338 Vampire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Marschner . . . . . 341 Walkyrie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Wagner . . . . . . 345 Zampa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Herold . . . . . . 348

Newly added.

Operas. Composers. Fol.

Apothecary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Haydn . . . . . . . 350 Djamileh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bizet . . . . . . . 354 Donna Diana . . . . . . . . . . . . . Reznicek . . . . . 357 Sold Bride . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Smetana . . . . . . 363

1897/98:

Ballo in Maschera . . . . . . . . . . Verdi . . . . . . . 368 The Cricket on the Hearth . . . . . . Goldmark . . . . . 372 The Evangelimann . . . . . . . . . . . Kiensl . . . . . . 376 Odysseus' Return . . . . . . . . . . . Bungert . . . . . . 380

1899:

Bearskin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Siegfr. Wagner . . 389 Cid . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Peter Cornelius . . 398 Kirke . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bungert . . . . . . 403

{xi}

Added in 1900.

Delila . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Camille Saint-Saens 420 Departure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Eugene d'Albert 417 Ernani . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Giuseppe Verdi 410 Werther . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . J. E. F. Massenet 413

1901/2.

Nausikaa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . August Bungert 423 Manru . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . J. Paderewski 430 Feuersnot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Richard Strauss 433 Hoffmann's Tales . . . . . . . . . . . Jacques Offenbach 437

1903/4.

Alpine King and the Misanthrope . . . Leo Blech 442 Manon Lescaut . . . . . . . . . . . . J. E. F. Massenet 449 Odysseus' Death . . . . . . . . . . . August Bungert 456 Tosca . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Giacomo Puccini 462

1905/6.

Barfuessele . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Richard Heuberger 469 Boheme . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Giacomo Puccini 475 Fledermaus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Johann Strauss 479

1906.

Flauto Solo . . . . . . . . . . . . . Eugene d'Albert 484 Moloch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Max Schillings 490 Salome . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Richard Strauss 496

1907.

Die Schoenen von Fogaras . . . . . . . Alfred Gruenfeld 500 Tiefland . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Eugene d'Albert 506 Madame Butterfly . . . . . . . . . . . Giacomo Puccini 513

1908.

Acte . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Joan Manen 518

1909.

Eugene Onegin . . . . . . . . . . . . P. J. Tschaikowsky 524 Elektra . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Richard Strauss 528 Versiegelt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Leo Blech 533



{xii}

INDEX OF THE COMPOSERS.

Fol.

Adam (Adolphe) b. July 24th 1803 Paris, d. May 3rd 1856 Paris

1. Nuremberg Doll . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 241 2. Postilion of Lonjumeau . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 274

Auber (Daniel Francois Esprit) b. Jan. 29th 1784 Caen (Normandy), d. May 13th 1871 Paris

1. Ballo in Maschera . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 2. Carlo Broschi (Teufels Antheil) . . . . . . . . . . 33 3. Domino Noir . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 4. Fra Diavolo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90 5. Mason . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 215 6. Muette de Portici . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 230

Becker (Reinhold) b. 1842 Adorf i. V. (Saxony)

Frauenlob . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94

Bellini (Vincenzo) b. Nov. 3rd 1802 Catanea, d. Sept. 4th 1835 Puteaux n. Paris

1. Norma . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 234 2. Somnambula . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 313

Beethoven (Ludwig van) b. Dec. 17th 1770 Bonn, d. March 26th 1827 Vienna

Fidelio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78

Berlioz (Hector) b. Dec. 11th 1803 Cote St. Andre (Dep. Isere), d. March 9th 1869 Paris

Benvenuto Cellini . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

Bizet (Georges) b. Oct. 25th 1838 Paris, d. June 3rd 1875 Paris

1. Carmen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 2. Djamileh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 354

{xiii}

Boieldieu (Francois Adrien) b. Dec. 15th 1775 Rouen, d. Oct. 8th 1834 Paris

1. Dame Blanche . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 2. Jean de Paris . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145

Bruell (Ignaz) b. Nor. 7th 1846 Prossnitz (Moravia)

Golden Cross . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108

Chabrier (Emanuel) b. Jan. 18th 1841 Ambert (Puy de Dome)

A King against his will . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 168

Cornelius (Peter) b. Dec. 24th 1824 Mayence, d. Oct. 28th 1874 (Munich)

Barber of Bagdad . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Delibes (Leo) b. 1836 St. German du Val (Sarthe)

Le Roi l'a dit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 299

Donizetti (Gaetano) b. Sept. 25th 1797 Bergamo, d. April 8th 1848 Bergamo

1. Don Pasquale . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 2. Figlia del Reggimento . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81 3. Lucia di Lammermoor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 183 4. Lucrezia Borgia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 185

Draeseke (Felix) b. October 7th 1835 Coburg

Herrat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128

Flotow (Friedrich von) b. April 27th 1812 Teutendorf (Mecklenburg)

1. Alessandro Stradella . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 2. Martha . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 203

Foerster (Alban) b. Oct. 23rd 1849 Reichenbach (Saxony)

1. Lorle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 176 2. Maidens of Schilda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 195

Gluck (Christoph Willibald) b. July 4th 1714 Weidenwang (Palatine) d. Nov. 25th 1787 Vienna

1. Armida . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 2. Iphigenia in Aulis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 158 3. Iphigenia in Tauris . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155 4. Orfeo e Eurydice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 248

{xiv}

Goetz (Hermann) b. Dec. 17th 1840 Konigsberg in Prussia, d. Dec. 3rd 1876 Zurich

Taming of the Shrew . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 315

Goldmark (Karl) b. May 18th 1832 Keszthely (Hungaria)

1. Merlin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 222 2. Queen of Sheba . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 283

Gounod (Charles Francois) b. June 17th 1818 Paris

1. Marguerite . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 201 2. Philemon and Baucis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 262 3. Romeo e Giulietta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 803

Grammann (Karl) b. June 3rd 1844 Luebeck

1. Ingrid . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 149 2. Irrlicht . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 158 3. Melusine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 217

Halevy (Jacques Francois Fromental) b. May 27th 1799 Paris, d. March 17th 1862 Paris

Juive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 161

Haydn (Josef) b. March 31st 1732 Rohrau d. May 31st 1809 Vienna

Apothecary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 350

Herold (Louis Josef Ferdinand) b. Jan. 28th 1791 Paris, d. Jan. 19th 1833 Paris

Zampa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 348

Humperdinck (Engelbert) b. Sept. 1st 1854 Siegburg on the Ahme

Hansel and Gretel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116

Kaskel (Karl) b. Oct. 10th 1866 Dresden

Hochzeitsmorgen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132

Kienzl (Wilhelm) b. Jan. 17th 1857 Weitzenkirchen (Austria)

Urvasi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 338

Kretschmer (Edmund) b. Aug. 31st 1830 Ostritz (Saxony)

1. Folkungs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87 2. Henry the Lion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125

Kreutzer (Conradin) b. Nov. 16th 1782 Moskirch (Baden), d. Jan. 6th 1849 Riga

Nachtlager von Granada (Night's rest) . . . . . . . . . 233

{xv}

Leoncavallo (R.) b. 1859 Bologna

Pagliacci . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 254

Lindner (Eugen) b. Dec. 11th 1858 Leipzig, lives in Weimar

Master-Tief . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 211

Lortzing (Albert) b. Oct. 23rd 1803 Berlin, d. Jan. 20th 1851 Berlin

1. Armorer (Waffenschmied) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 2. Czar and Zimmermann . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 3. Two Grenadiers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110 4. Poacher (Wildschuetz) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 272 5. Undine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 335

Maillart (Louis Aime) b. March 24th 1817 Montpellier, d. May 26th 1871 Moulins

Les Dragons de Villars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62

Marschner (Heinrich) b. Aug. 16th 1795 Zittau, d. Dec. 16th 1861 Hannover

1. Hans Heiling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121 2. Templar and Jewess . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 323 3. The Vampire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 341

Mascagni (Pietro) b. Dec. 7th 1863 Livorno

1. Cavalleria Rusticana . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 2. Friend Fritz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102

Mehul (Etienne Henri) b. June 22nd 1763 Givet, d. Oct. 18th 1817 (Paris)

Joseph in Egypt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157

Meyerbeer (Jacob) b. Sept. 15th 1791 Berlin, d. May 1st 1864 Paris

1. Africaine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 2. Huguenots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134 3. Prophete . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 279 4. Robert le Diable . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 295

Meyer-Helmund (Erik) b. April 25th 1865 St. Petersburg

Love's Battle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 181

Mozart (Wolfgang Amadeus) b. Jan. 27th 1756 Salzburg, d. Dec. 5th 1791 Vienna

1. Cosi fan tutte . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 2. Don Juan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67

{xvi}

3. Idomeneus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141 4. Magic Flute . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 191 5. Nozze di Figaro . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 237 6. Seraglio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 305

Nessler (Victor) b. Jan. 28th 1841 Baldenheim (Alsace), d. May 28th 1890 Strassburg

1. Piper of Hameln . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 268 2. Trumpeter of Saekkingen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 332

Nicolai (Otto) b. June 9th 1810 Koenigsberg, d. 1849 Berlin

Merry Wives of Windsor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 225

Pitrich (Georg) b. Febr. 22nd 1870 Dresden

Marga . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 199

Perfall (Karl Freiherr von) b. Jan. 29th 1824 Munich

Junker Heinz (Sir Harry) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 164

Reinecke (Carl) b. June 23rd 1824 Altona, since 1860 in Leipzig

By Order of His Highness (Auf hohen Befehl) . . . . . . 30

Reznicek (E. N. Freiherr von) b. May 4th 1861 Vienna

Donna Diana . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 857

Ritter (Alexander) b. June 27th 1833 Narva (Russia)

Idle Hans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138

Rossini (Gioacchino Antonio) b. Feb. 29th 1792 Pesaro, d. Nov. 13th 1868 Paris

1. Barbiere di Seviglia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 2. Tell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 321

Rubinstein (Anton) b. Nov. 30th 1830 Wechwotynetz (Moscou) d. Nov. 25th 1894 Petersburgh

1. Demonio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 2. Maccabees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 188

Schumann (Robert) b. June 8th 1810 Zwickau, d. July 29th 1856 Endenich near Bonn

Genoveva . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105

Smetana (Fredr.) b. March 2nd 1824 Leitomischl, d. May 12th 1884 Prague

Sold Bride . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 363

Spohr (Ludwig) b. April 5th 1784 Seesen, d. Nov. 22nd 1859 Kassel

Jessonda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148

{xvii}

Thomas (Charles Louis Ambroise) b. August 5th 1811 Metz

1. Hamlet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114 2. Mignon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 228

Verdi (Giuseppe) b. Oct. 9th 1814 Roncole (Lombardy)

1. Aida . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 2. Don Carlos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 3. Falstaff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75 4. Othello . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 250 5. Rigoletto . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 292 6. Traviata . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 325 7. Trovatore . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 330

Wagner (Richard) b. May 22nd 1813 Leipzig, d. Febr. 13th 1883 Venice

1. Dusk of the Gods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68 2. Flying Dutchman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84 3. Lohengrin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 172 4. Master-Singers of Nuremberg . . . . . . . . . . . . 206 5. Parsifal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 258 6. Rhinegold . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 287 7. Rienzi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 290 8. Siegfried . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 307 9. Tannhaeuser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 316 10. Tristan and Isolda . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 327 11. Walkyrie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 345

Weber (Carl Maria von) b. Dec. 18th 1786 Eutin, d. July 5th 1826 London

1. Abu Hassan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 2. Euryanthe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73 3. Freischuetz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98 4. Oberon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 244 5. Three Pintos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 264 6. Preciosa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 277 7. Silvana . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 310

Bungert (August) b. March 14th 1846 Muehlheim (Ruhr)

Odysseus Return . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 380 Kirke . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 408

{xviii}

Wagner (Siegfried) b. 1871 Bayreuth

Bearskin (Baerenhaeuter) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 389

D'Albert (Eugene) b. April 10th 1864 Glasgow

The Departure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 417

Massenet (Jules Emile Frederic) b. May 12th 1842 Saint-Etienne (Dep. Loire)

Werther . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 413

Saint-Saens (Camille) b. October 9th 1835 Paris

Delila . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 420

Verdi (Giuseppe) b. Oct. 9th 1814 Roncole (Lombardy)

Ernani . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 410

Bungert (August) b. March 14th 1846 Muelheim (Ruhr)

Nausikaa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 423

Paderewski (Ignaz, Johann) b. November 6th 1859 Podolien (Poland)

Manru . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 430

Strauss (Richard) b. June 11th 1864 Munich

Feuersnot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 433

Offenbach (Jacques) b. June 21st 1819 Cologne, d. October 5th 1880 Paris

Hoffmann's Tales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 437

Blech (Leo) b. 1871 Aix la Chapelle

Alpine King and the Misanthrope . . . . . . . . . . . . 442

Bungert (August) b. March 14th 1846 Muelheim (Ruhr)

Odysseus' Death . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 456

Massenet (Jules Emile Frederic) b. May 12th 1842 Saint-Etienne (Dep. Loire)

Manon Lescaut . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 449

Puccini (Giacomo) b. December 22nd 1858 Lucca

Tosca . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 462

Heuberger (Richard) b. June 18th 1850 Graz (Styria)

Barfuessele . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 469

Puccini (Giacomo) b. December 22nd 1858 Lucca

La Boheme . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 475

Strauss (Johann, Son) b. October 25th 1825 Vienna, d. June 3rd 1899

Fledermaus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 479

{xix}

D'Albert (Eugene) b. April 10th 1864 Glasgow

Flauto Solo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 484

Schillings (Max, Professor) b. April 19th 1868 Dueren o. Rh.

Moloch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 490

Strauss (Richard) b. June 11th 1864 Munich

Salome . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 496

Gruenfeld (Alfred) b. July 4th 1852 Prague

Die Schoenen von Fogaras . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 500

D'Albert (Eugene) b. April 10th 1864 Glasgow

Tiefland . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 506

Puccini (Giacomo) b. December 22nd 1858 Lucca

Madame Butterfly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 513

Manen (Joan) b. March 14th 1883, Barcelona

Acte . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 518

Tschaikowsky (Peter Iljitsch) b. May 7th 1840 Wotkinsk (Russia), d. November 6th 1893 Petersburg

Eugene Onegin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 624

Strauss (Richard) b. June 11th 1864 Munich

Elektra . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 528

Blech (Leo) b. April 21st 1871 Aix la Chapelle

Versiegelt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 533



{1}

ABU HASSAN.

Comic Opera in one act by WEBER.

Text by HIEMER.

This little opera, composed by Weber in his early youth and first represented at Dresden under the composer's own direction, for a time fell into utter oblivion, but has lately been reproduced.

Though short and unpretending it really deserves to be heard, the music is so full of sweetness, so fresh and pretty.

The text is taken from a tale of the Arabian Thousand and One Nights, and though full of nonsense, it amuses by its lightheartedness and gaiety of spirit.

Abu Hassan, favorite of the Calif of Bagdad, has lived above his means, and is now regaled with bread and water by his wife Fatima, whose only fault is, that she sings better than she cooks. In order to better his fortunes Abu Hassan hits upon a strange plan. He sends his wife to the Calif's wife, Zobeide, to announce his (Hassan's) death, for which she will obtain 50 gold pieces and a piece of brocade. Fatima departs and in the meantime enter Abu Hassan's creditors with the appeal for money. Unable to satisfy them the debtor {2} approaches the eldest and richest among them, and so pacifies him with sweet words which he is given to understand Fatima has sent him, that old Omar consents to pay all the creditors.

When they are gone, Fatima returns with Zobeide's presents, and Abu Hassan prepares to go in his turn to the Calif, in order to repeat a similar death-story about his wife and get a like sum. While he is away Omar reappears. He has bought all Hassan's accounts from his numerous creditors and offers them to Fatima for a kiss. At this moment the husband returns. Omar is shut into the adjoining cabinet, and the wife secretly points out the caged bird to her spouse who begins to storm at finding the door of the next room closed, greatly to the anguish of the old sinner Omar,—anguish, which is enjoyed by his tormentors to the full. In the midst of this scene Mesrur, messenger of the Calif, appears, to find out whether Fatima is really dead. The Calif and his wife having each received news of the death of the other's favorite, want to know, who it was, that died, and—if both are dead—who died first. The Calif affirms, that it is Fatima—his wife, that it is Abu Hassan. They have made a bet, and Mesrur, seeing Fatima lying motionless on the divan, covered with the brocade, and her husband in evident distress beside her, runs away to convey the tidings to the Calif. He is hardly gone, when Zobeide's nurse, Zemrud comes on a similar errand from her mistress. Fatima, who has just covered her husband with {3} the brocade, receives her with tears and laments, and the nurse departs triumphantly.

Hassan presently comes to life again but he and Fatima are not long permitted to congratulate one another on the success of their scheme, for the arrival of the Calif with his wife is pompously announced. Both throw themselves on the divans, covering themselves, and so the august couple finds them dead. The Calif, much afflicted by the sight, offers 1000 gold pieces to anyone, who can tell him, which of the two died first. No sooner does Hassan hear this than tearing aside his cover, he throws himself at the Calif's feet, crying out: "It was I, who died first!" at the same time craving the Calif's pardon together with the gold pieces. Fatima is also speedily resuscitated and the Calif pardons his favorites, Hassan meanwhile asserting, that he only died badly, in order to live better. Omar, who has paid their bills in the hope of winning Fatima's love, is driven away in disgrace.



L'AFRICAINE.

Opera in five acts by MEYERBEER.

Text by E. SCRIBE, translated by GUMPERT.

L'Africaine, one of the Maestro's last operas (1865), unites in itself all the strength and at the same time all the weakness of Meyerbeer's composition.

The music is easy flowing and enthralls us with its delicious melodies; but it only appeals to our senses, and nobler thoughts are altogether {4} wanting. Nevertheless the opera finds favor by reason of these advantages, which are supplemented by an interesting, though rather improbable libretto.

The famous Portuguese navigator Vasco de Gama (born in 1469) is the hero, though he does not appear in the best possible light, and is by no means strictly historical.

The first scene is laid in Lisbon. Donna Ines, Admiral Diego's daughter is to give her hand to Don Pedro, a counsellor of King Emmanuel of Portugal. But she has pledged her faith to Vasco de Gama, who has been sent with Diaz, the navigator, to double the Cape, in order to seek for a new land, containing treasures, similar to those discovered by Columbus. Reports have reached Lisbon, that the whole fleet has been destroyed, when suddenly Vasco de Gama appears before the assembled council of state.

He eloquently describes the dangers of the unknown seas near the Cape and gives an account of the shipwreck, from which he alone has escaped. He then places his maps before the council, endeavouring to prove, that beyond Africa there is another country, yet to be explored and conquered.

Vasco has on his way home picked up a man and a woman of an unknown race. Those slaves however stubbornly refuse to betray the name of their country, and a lively debate ensues between the Grand Inquisitor and the younger more enlightened members of the council, as to the course, which should be adopted with Vasco. At last, owing to {5} the irritation caused by his violent reproaches, fanaticism is victorious, and instead of being furnished with a ship to explore those unknown lands, he is thrown into prison, on the plea of his being a heretic, for having maintained the existence of countries which were not mentioned in the Holy Scriptures.

The second act takes place in a cell of the Inquisition, in which Vasco has been languishing for a month past, in the company of the strange slaves Nelusco and Selica. The latter has lost her heart to the proud Portuguese, who saved her and her companion from a slave-ship. But Vasco is only thinking of Ines, and Nelusco, who honors in Selica not only his Queen, but the woman of his love, tries to stab Vasco—the Christian, whom he hates with a deadly hatred. Selica hinders him and rouses the sleeping Vasco, who has been dreaming of and planning his voyage to the unknown country.

Selica now shows him on the map the way to her native isle, and he vows her eternal gratitude. His liberty is indeed near at hand, for hardly has he given his vow, than Ines steps in to announce that Vasco is free. She has paid dearly for her lover's deliverance however, for she has given her hand to Vasco's rival Don Pedro, who, having got all Vasco's plans and maps, is commissioned by government, to set out on the voyage of discovery.

Ines has been told, that Vasco has forgotten her for Selica the slave. In order to prove his fidelity, our ungrateful hero immediately presents {6} her with the two slaves, and Don Pedro resolves to make use of them for his exploration.

In the third act we are on board of Don Pedro's ship in the Indian seas. Donna Ines is with her husband and Nelusco has been appointed pilot. Don Alvar, a member of the council and Don Pedro's friend, warns the latter, that Nelusco is meditating treason, for they have already lost two ships; but Pedro disregards the warning. A typhoon arises, and Nelusco turns the ship again northward. But Vasco has found means to follow them on a small sailing vessel; he overtakes them and knowing the spot well where Diaz was shipwrecked, he entreats them to change their course, his only thought being Donna Ines' safety. But Pedro, delighted to have his rival in his power, orders him to be bound and shot. Ines hearing his voice, invokes her husband's mercy. Just then the tempest breaks out, the vessel strikes upon a rock and the cannibals inhabiting the neighboring country leap on board to liberate their Queen Selica and to massacre the whole crew, in the fulfilment of which intention they are however arrested by Selica.

In the following acts Selica resides as Queen on the Isle of Madagascar. The people render her homage, but her priests demand the strangers' lives as a sacrifice to their gods, while the women are condemned to inhale the poisoned perfume of the Manzanillo-tree.—In order to save Vasco Selica proclaims him her husband and takes Nelusco {7} as witness, swearing to him that if Vasco is sacrificed she will die with him. Nelusco, whose love for his Queen is greater even than his hatred for Vasco, vouches for their being man and wife, and the people now proceed to celebrate the solemn rites of marriage.

Vasco, at last recognizing Selica's great love, and believing Ines dead, once more vows eternal fidelity to her, but alas, hearing the voice of Ines, who is about to be led to death, he turns pale and Selica but too truly divines the reason.

In the fifth act Selica is resolved to put her rival to death. She sends for her, but perceiving Ines' love, her wrath vanishes, her magnanimity soars above her hatred of the Christians, and she orders Nelusco to bring Ines and Vasco on board of a ship about to sail for Portugal.

Selica herself, unable to endure life without her beloved-one, proceeds to the Cape, where the Manzanillo-tree spreads his poisonous shade.—Her eyes fastened on the vast ocean and on the white sail of the retiring vessel, she inhales the sweet but deadly perfume of the blossoms and the returning Nelusco finds her dying, while an unseen chorus consoles her with the thought that in Love's eternal domain all are equal.



{8}

AIDA.

Grand romantic Opera in four acts by GIUSEPPE VERDI.

Text by ANTONIO GHISLANZONI. Translated into German by S. SCHANZ. English version by KENNEY.

This opera owes its great popularity not only to its brilliant music and skilful instrumentation, but also to its really magnificent outfit and decorations. Aida ranks among the best operas of Verdi. The plot is taken from old Egypt; and the music, with its eastern and somewhat sensuous coloring is exquisitely adapted to the scenery.

The scene of action is alternately Memphis and Thebes and the story belongs to the period when the Pharaohs sat on the throne.

In the first act we see the King's palace at Memphis. Ramphis, the Highpriest of Pharaoh announces to the Egyptian General Radames, that the Ethiopians are in revolt and that the goddess Isis has decided who shall be leader of the army sent out against them. Radames secretly hopes to be the elected, in order to win the Ethiopian slave Aida, whom he loves, not knowing that she is a King's daughter.

Enter Amneris, daughter of Pharaoh. She loves Radames without his knowledge and so does Aida. Amneris, suspecting this, swears to avenge herself, should her suspicion prove correct.

The King's messenger announces, that Amonasro, the Ethiopian King (Aida's father), is marching to the capital, and that Radames is chosen to conquer the foe. Radames goes to the temple {9} to invoke the benediction of the goddess and to receive the sacred arms.

In the second act Amneris, in order to test Aida's feelings, tells her, that Radames fell in battle, and finds her doubts confirmed by Aida's terror. Amneris openly threatens her rival, and both hasten to receive the soldiers, who return victorious. In Radames' suite walks King Amonasro, who has been taken prisoner, disguised as a simple officer. Aida recognizes her father, and Amonasro telling his conqueror, that the Ethiopian King has fallen, implores his clemency. Radames, seeing Aida in tears, adds his entreaties to those of the Ethiopian; and Pharaoh decides to set the prisoners free, with the exception of Aida's father, who is to stay with his daughter. Pharaoh then gives Amneris to Radames as a recompense for his services.

In the third act Amonasro has discovered the mutual love of his daughter and Radames and resolves to make use of it. While Amneris prays in the temple that her bridegroom may give his whole heart to her, Amonasro bids his daughter discover the secret of the Egyptian warplans from her lover. Amonasro hides himself, and Aida has an interview with Radames, in which he reveals all to her. She persuades him to fly with her, when Amonasro shows himself, telling him that he has heard all and confessing that he is the Ethiopian King. While they are speaking, Amneris overtakes and denounces them. Amonasro {10} escapes with his daughter, Radames remains in the hand of Ramphis, the Highpriest.

In the fourth act Radames is visited in his cell by Amneris, who promises to save him from the awful death of being buried alive, if he renounces Aida. But Radames refuses, though she tells him, that Aida has fled into her country, her father being slain on their flight.

Amneris at length regrets her jealousy and repents, but too late! Nothing can save Radames, and she is obliged to see him led into his living tomb. Amneris curses the priests, who close the subterranean vaults with a rock. Radames, preparing himself for death, discovers Aida by his side. She has found means to penetrate into his tomb, resolved to die with her lover.

While she sinks into his arms, Amneris prays outside for Radames' peace and eternal happiness.



ALESSANDRO STRADELLA.

Romantic Opera in three acts by FLOTOW.

Text after the French by W. FRIEDRICH.

Flotow, who composed this little opera when at Paris in the year 1844, that is long before his Martha, had the satisfaction of scoring a great success on the evening of its first representation in Hamburg. The pleasant impression then made by its agreeable and lovely melodies has not faded the less that, after hearing many of our stormy and exciting modern operas, one often and ardently {11} longs for the restful charm and guileless pleasure of a piece like this.

The libretto is interesting and touching, without being over-sensational.

Stradella, the celebrated Venetian singer has fallen in love with Leonore, ward of a rich Venetian citizen named Bassi. She returns his love, but is strictly guarded by her uncle, who wants to marry her himself. Stradella succeeds in deceiving Bassi and aided by his friend carries her off during the Carnival. In the second act we find the lovers in a little village near Rome, where a priest unites them for ever and gives them his benediction.

But Malvolio, a bandit, has sought them by Bassi's orders, and discovers their refuge. Entering the villa, where he finds open doors but no people, he meets with another bandit, in whom he recognizes his friend Barbarino, also sent as it turns out on the same errand.

They decide to do the business together, that is to say: to kill Stradella, and to carry his wife back to her guardian. Under the mask of pilgrims going to a sacred festival, they find a kindly shelter in Stradella's house and are won by the latter's fine voice, as well as by the charm of his noble behaviour, so that they wholly abandon their evil purpose.

But in the third act Bassi appears, and not finding his order executed, offers such a large sum of gold to the banditti, that they at length promise to stab Stradella during his next singing performance. While they lie-in-wait for him, Stradella sings the {12} hymn of the Holy Virgin's clemency towards sinners so touchingly, that his pursuers cast their swords away and sink on their knees, joining in the refrain. Full of astonishment Stradella learns of the danger in which he had been, but in the end he willingly pardons not only the banditti but also his wife's uncle, who, won over like the ruffians by the power of Stradella's song, humbly asks for the Singer's friendship, which is granted to him.

The people lead their favorite in triumph to the festival, which he helps to glorify with his wondrous voice.



ARMIDA.

Grand heroic Opera in five acts by GLUCK.

Text by PHIL. QUINAULT.

The poet Quinault wrote the libretto of this opera for another composer, Lully, but almost one hundred years later, Gluck, recognizing the genuine richness of this French production, availed himself of it for an opera, the music of which is so sublime, that it will for ever be considered classic.

The libretto is founded on an episode of Tasso's "Gerusalemme liberata".

The scene is laid in Damascus, where during the Crusade of the year 1099, the Crusaders have arrived at the place and gardens of Armida, the Queen and enchantress. Rinaldo, the greatest hero in Godfrey of Bouillon's army, is the only one, who not only does not stoop [Transcriber's note: stop?] to adore the beautiful Armida, but on the contrary pursues and hates her. {13} He has been banished from Bouillon's presence charged with the rash deed of another knight, who has not dared to confess his guilt and he now wanders lonely in the forest.

Warned by a fellow-warrior, Artemidor, to avoid Armida's enchanting presence he scorns the warning, saying that love for a woman is to him a thing unknown. In reality however Armida is already ensnaring him with her sorcery, he presently hears exquisitely sweet and dreamy melodies and finding himself in a soft, green valley, he lies down and falls asleep.

Armida's opportunity has come and she means to stab him, but love conquers hatred and the dagger sinks from her hand. She vainly invokes the furies of hate; none can change her passion for the hero and at last, ceasing to strive against her tender feelings, she surrenders herself entirely to him and even succeeds by her charms and her devotion in enthralling him. Meanwhile Bouillon has sent two of his knights, Ubalt and a Danish warrior, to recall Rinaldo to his duty. They are detained by Armida's witchery; the Danish knight meets a demon, who has taken his bride's face and tenderly calls him to her, but Ubalt destroys the charm and both succeed in approaching Rinaldo, who, his love-dream dissipated by the call of honor, resolves to return to the army with his companions. In vain Armida tries to change his resolution. In despair she curses him and her love, but being unable to kill the man she loves, she suffers him to go away and turns her beautiful place and gardens into a desert.



{14}

DER WAFFENSCHMIED.

(THE ARMORER.)

Comic Opera in three acts by ALBERT LORTZING.

Text by himself.

Though this opera does not equal in value Lortzing's "Czar and Zimmermann", it has nevertheless proved an admirable addition to the operatic repertory. It is attractive both on account of the freshness of its melodies and the popular character of its music and text.

The scene is located in Worms, in the 16th century. The Count of Liebenau has fallen in love with Mary, the daughter of a celebrated armorer, named Stadinger, and in order to win her, he woos her at first in his own rank as Count, then in the guise of a smith-journeyman, named Conrad. Mary, who cannot permit herself to think of love in connection with a person of such a position as a Count, nevertheless pities him and at last confesses blushing, that she loves the poor smith Conrad. Inwardly triumphant, the Count pretends to be jealous. But father Stadinger, who more than once showed the door to the Count, will not accept either of the suitors, the Count standing too high above him, and his journeyman, Conrad, being too bad a laborer, though he has once saved Mary's life.

In order to withdraw her from the reach of her lovers, the armorer resolves to wed his daughter to his second journeyman George, who is no other than the Count's valet. Stadinger is determined to {15} present him as Mary's bridegroom on the occasion of a festival, which is to take place in the course of the afternoon, and on which Stadinger's jubilee as master of armorers is to be celebrated. In vain George refuses his consent to this proposal. He is at length obliged to inform the Count and the latter feigns to assault Stadinger's house. But it is of no avail; the old citizen, more firm than ever, denies him his child again, and as George decidedly refuses to marry his daughter, he gives her at last to Conrad. Great is Mary's surprise and her father's wrath, when they discover that the Count and simple Conrad are one and the same person, but at last the old father yields, and the lovers receive his benediction.



BALLO IN MASCHERA

or

GUSTAVUS THE THIRD.

Grand historic Opera in five acts by AUBER.

Text by SCRIBE.

This opera has had a curious fate, its historical background having excited resistance and given rise to scruples. The murder of a king was not thought a fit subject for an opera, and so the libretto was altered and spoilt.

The Italians simply changed the names and the scene of action; Verdi composed a new opera from the same matter and succeeded admirably; nevertheless Auber's composition is preferred in Germany, Scribe's libretto being by far the better, {16} while the music is original and vivacious as well as full of pleasant harmony and fine instrumentation.

The scene is laid in Stockholm in the year 1792. Gustavus the Third, King of Sweden, loves the wife of his friend and counsellor Ankarstroem, and is loved in return, both struggling vainly against this sinful passion. Ankarstroem has detected a plot against the King's life, and warning him, asks that the traitor be punished, but Gustavus refuses to listen, trusting in his people and in his friend's fidelity. His minister Kaulbart desires him to condemn a sorceress named Arvedson, who is said to be able at will by means of certain herbs and potions to cause persons to love or hate each other. The king refuses to banish the woman unheard and decides to visit her. Ankarstroem tries to dissuade, but the King insists, and accordingly goes to Arvedson in disguise. During the witch's conjuration Malwina, his lady-love appears, who seeks help from the sorceress against her forbidden passion. The concealed King hears Arvedson tell her to go at midnight and gather a herb, which grows on the graves of criminals, and triumphant in his knowledge of Malwina's confessed love, Gustavus decides to follow her there.

When she has gone, he mockingly orders the witch to tell him his fortune, and hears from her that he shall be killed by the man, who first tenders him his hand. Just then Ankarstroem who comes to protect the King against his enemy, enters and they shake hands.

{17}

In the third act Malwina meets the King on the dismal spot, to which she had been directed, but Ankarstroem, whose watchful fidelity never suffers him to be far from the King, and who is utterly ignorant of the deception being practised upon him, saves the lovers from further guilt. After a severe conflict with himself, Gustavus consents to fly in his friend's cloak, Ankarstroem having pledged his honor not to ask the veiled lady's secret, and to conduct her safely back to the city. This plan is frustrated by the conspirators, who rush in and are about to attack the Count. Malwina throws herself between him and the combatants, and the husband then recognizes in the King's companion his own wife. Full of indignation he turns from her and joins the conspirators, promising to be one of them.

He swears to kill his unhappy wife, but not until another has first fallen.

In the fourth act the conspirators have a meeting in Ankarstroem's house, where they decide to murder the King. The lots being cast, the duty to strike the death-blow falls on Ankarstroem, and Malwina herself draws the fatal paper. At this moment an invitation to a masked ball is brought by the King's page Oscar, and the conspirators resolve to take advantage of this opportunity for the execution of their design.

In the last act the King, happy to know Malwina safe from discovery, resolves to sacrifice his love to honor and friendship. He is about to give Ankarstroem the proof of his friendship, by naming {18} him governor of Finland, and the minister is to depart with his wife on the morning after the ball. Meanwhile the King is warned by a missive from an unknown hand, not to appear at the ball, but he disregards it. He meets Malwina at the ball. His page, thinking to do the King a service, has betrayed his mask to Ankarstroem. Malwina warns the prince, but in vain, for while he presents her with the paper, which is to send her and her husband to their own beloved country, Ankarstroem shoots him through the heart. Gustavus dies, pardoning his murderer.



THE BARBER OF BAGDAD.

Comic Opera in two acts by PETER CORNELIUS.

It took a long time, before this charming little Opera took its place amongst so many fellow operas much less entitled to notice. The composer had died 15 years previously, without having gained the success he so fully deserved, as poet as well as composer.

Liszt, the great redeemer of many a tried genius brought the opera upon the stage on the 15th of December 1858 in Weimar.

But the Intendant Dingelstedt was against him, the opera proved an entire failure, though it was meant more as demonstration against Liszt than against the opera. Liszt, tired of these disgraceful intrigues, quitted Weimar, only to return there from time to time in private. With his abdication {19} Weimar's glorious time was passed. In 1889 at last the Barber of Bagdad took its rightful place after many years of oblivion.

Munich, Mannheim and Vienna came first and the music having been enthusiastically applauded, Dresden followed the good example in October 1890. The music is full of sweet melody, the composition masterfully set. Its comic parts are not quite natural, but the lyric is almost classical and the text, written by the composer himself, though lacking in action, shows, that Cornelius was a true poet as well as a true musician.

The scene takes place in Bagdad, in the house of a wealthy young Mussulman, called Nurredin. He is lying on a couch, surrounded by his servants, who think him dying. But it is only the flame of love which devours his strength and deprives him of all energy.—As soon as Bostana, an old relative and companion of his ladylove, appears, in order to tell him that Margiana, his adored, is willing to receive him, Nurredin forgets his illness and only longs for the promised interview. The ensuing duet between him and Bostana, wherein she gives instruction about time and hour of the rendez-vous, is delightfully fresh and piquant.

As Nurredin has neglected his personal appearance during his malady, his first wish is for a barber, who is speedily sent to him by Bostana.—This old worthy Abul Hassan Ali Ebe Bekar the barber makes him desperate by his vain prattle. Having solemnly saluted to Nurredin, he warns him not to {20} leave the house to-day, as his horoscope tells him that his life is in danger. The young man not heeding him, Abul Hassan begins to enumerate all his talents as astrologer, philologer, philosopher, &c., in short he is everything and knows everything. When Nurredin orders him to begin his shaving he relates the fate of his six brothers, who all died before him and always of love. At last Nurredin's patience giving way, he calls his servants in to throw the old dotard out of doors. But Abul drives them all back and Nurredin tries to pacify him with flattery and finally succeeds.

Now Abul is curious as all barbers are, and having heard Nurredin's sighs, he determines to find out all about the young man's love. This scene is most ludicrous, when Abul sings his air "Margiana", which name he has heard from Nurredin's lips, and the latter is in despair at being left with only one side of his head shaved. This great work done at last, Abul wants to accompany the young lover to the house of the Cadi Baba Mustapha, Margiana's father. Nurredin again summons his servants, who begin to surround Abul, pretending to doctor him. Nurredin escapes, but Abul after having shaken off the servants, runs after him.

The second act takes place in the Cadi's house.

Margiana is full of sweet anticipation, while her father, who has already chosen a husband for his daughter in the person of an old friend of his youth, shows her a large trunk full of gifts from the old bridegroom. Margiana admires them {21} obediently. A musical scene of surpassing beauty follows, where we hear the call of the Muezzin summoning the faithful to prayer. It is also the sign for Nurredin to appear. The Cadi hurries to the Mosque and Bostana introduces the lover. Here ensues a charming love-duet, accompanied, originally enough, by a song from the old barber, who watches before the house. Suddenly they are interrupted by cries of alarm, and with dismay they learn from Bostana, that the Cadi has returned to punish a slave, who has broken a precious vase.

Nurredin, unable to escape unobserved, is hidden in the big trunk. Meanwhile Abul, having heard the slave's cries and mistaking them for Nurredin's, summons the latter's servants and breaks into the Cadi's house to avenge his young friend, whom he believes to be murdered. Bostana angrily bids him carry away the trunk signifying to him whom she has hidden in it, but the Cadi intervenes, believing the servants to be thieves who want to rob his daughter's treasure. The rumor of the murder gradually penetrates the whole town; its inhabitants gather before the house, and the appointed wailing-women mingle their doleful lamentations with the general uproar. At last the Calif himself appears in order to settle the quarrel.

The Cadi accuses the barber of theft, while Abul calls the Cadi a murderer.—To throw light upon the matter, the Calif orders the trunk to be opened, which is done with great hesitation by {22} Margiana. When the lid gives way Nurredin is lying in it in a deep swoon. All are terrified believing him to be murdered, but Abul, caressing him, declares that his heart still throbs. The Calif bids the barber show his art, and Abul wakens Nurredin by the love-song to Margiana. The young man revives and the truth dawns upon the deceived father's mind. The Calif, a very humane and clement prince, feels great sympathy with the beautiful young couple, and advises the Cadi to let his daughter have her treasure, because he had told them himself, that it was Margiana's treasure, kept hidden in the trunk.

The Cadi consents, while the Calif bids the funny barber come to his palace to entertain him with his stories, and invites all present to the wedding of the betrothed pair, to the great satisfaction of the people, who sing their Salam Aleikum in praise of their Prince,—a brilliant finale, full of energy and melody.—



IL BARBIERE DI SEVIGLIA.

Comic Opera in two acts by ROSSINI.

This opera may be called a miracle of Rossini's creation, as it not only is his best work, but was written by him in a fortnight, a performance nearly incredible, for the music is so finely worked out, and so elegant, that the opera has grown to be a favorite with all nations.

The subject, taken from Beaumarchais' witty trilogy of "Figaros" had ere this lent inspiration {23} to more than one composer; Mozart's "Figaro", though done before the "Barbiere" is in a certain sense the continuation of Rossini's opera.

The Barbiere had the peculiar misfortune, to experience an utter reverse on the occasion of its first representation. It was composed for the Duke Cesarini, proprietor of the Argentina theatre in Rome, and the cabals and intrigues of Paesiello's partisans (who had composed the same subject) turned the balance in Rossini's disfavor. But on the second evening good taste prevailed, and since then the opera has been a universal favorite.

Beaumarchais' tale was worked out anew by the Roman poet, Sterbini; in our opera it runs as follows:

Count Almaviva is enamoured of Rosina, the ward of Doctor Bartolo. She is most jealously guarded by the old man, who wishes to make her his own wife. In vain the Count serenades her; she does not appear, and he must needs invent some other means of obtaining his object. Making the acquaintance of the lighthearted and cunning barber Figaro, the latter advises him to get entrance into Bartolo's house in the guise of a soldier possessing a billet of quartering for his lodgings. Rosina herself has not failed to hear the sweet love-songs of the Count, known to her only under the simple name of Lindoro; and with southern passion, and the lightheartedness, which characterizes all the persons who figure in this opera, but which is not to be mistaken for frivolity, Rosina loves her nice lover {24} and is willing to be his own. Figaro has told her of Almaviva's love, and in return she gives him a note, which she has written in secret. But the old Doctor is a sly fox, he has seen the inky little finger, and determines to keep his eyes open.

When the Count appears in the guise of a half-drunken dragoon, the Doctor sends Rosina away, and tries to put the soldier out of the house, pretending to have a license against all billets. The Count resists, and while Bartolo seeks for his license, makes love to Rosina, but after the Doctor's return there arises such an uproar, that all the neighbors and finally the guards appear, who counsel the Count to retire for once.

In the second act the Count gains entrance to Bartolo's house as a singing-master who is deputed to give a lesson instead of the feverstricken Basilio. Of course the music-lesson is turned into a love-lesson.

When all seems to be going well, the real Maestro, Basilio, enters and all but frustrates their plans. With gold and promises Figaro bribes him to retreat, and the lovers agree to flee on the coming night.

Almost at the last moment the cunning of Bartolo hinders the projected elopement, he shows a letter, which Rosina has written, and makes Rosina believe that her lover, whom she only knows as Lindoro, in concert with Figaro is betraying her to the Count. Great is her joy, when she detects, that Lindoro and Count Almaviva are one and the {25} same person, and that he loves her as truly as ever.—They bribe the old notary, who has been sent for by Bartolo to arrange his own (Bartolo's) wedding with Rosina. Bartolo signs the contract of marriage, with Figaro as witness, and detects too late that he has been duped, and that he has himself united the lovers. At last he submits with pretty good grace to the inevitable, and contents himself with Rosina's dowry, which the Count generously transfers to him.



BENVENUTO CELLINI.

Opera in three acts by HECTOR BERLIOZ.

Text by de WAILLY and BARRIER, translated into German by PETER CORNELIUS.

This opera by the spirited French musician has had a singular fate. Composed more than forty years ago it never had the success it merited in France; a "succes d'estime" was the only result. Liszt, who was the saviour of many a talented struggler was the first to recognize the genius of the French composer. He brought the opera out upon the stage at Weimar, but without much success. Berlioz was not understood by the public. Devrient in Carlsruhe tried a similar experiment and failed, and so the opera was almost forgotten, until Germany, remembering the duty owed to genius of whatever nationality it may be, placed it upon the stage in Dresden, on the 4th of Nov. 1888 under the leadership of one of the ablest of modern interpreters of music, Director Schuch.—Its representation was {26} a triumph. Though Berlioz can in nowise be compared with Wagner, whose music is much more realistic and sensuous Wagner may nevertheless be said to have opened a path for Berlioz' style, which, though melodious differs widely from that of the easy flowing Italian school, being more serious as well as more difficult for the musical novice to understand. This explains, why Berlioz' compatriots esteemed, but never liked him; he was too scientific. To-day our ears and understanding are better prepared for striking intervals and complicated orchestration, which latter is the most brilliant feature in the opera.

Indeed the instrumentation is simply perfect, the choruses are master-pieces of originality, life and melody, and the rythm with its syncopes, is so remarkable, that one is more than justified in calling the style unique; it is Berlioz and no other.

The text is far less good than the music, though the hero, whose life Goethe found worthy of description in the 24th and 25th volume of his works, might well interest.—The libretto is by no means strictly historical, and suffers from improbabilities, which can only be excused in an opera.

The tale is laid in Rome in the year 1532 under Pope Clement VII, and comprises the events of three days, Monday before Shrove-tide, Shrove-Tuesday and Ash-Wednesday.—Benvenuto Cellini, the Tuscan goldsmith has been called to Rome by the Pope, in order to embellish the city with his {27} masterpieces. He loves Teresa, the daughter of the old papal treasurer Balducci, and the love is mutual.—At the same time another suitor, Fieramosca, the Pope's sculptor, is favored by her father. Old Balducci grumbles in the first scene at the Pope's predilection for Cellini, declaring that such an excellent sculptor as Fieramosca ought to suffice. He goes for a walk and Cellini finds Teresa alone. To save her from Fieramosca he plans an elopement, selecting the close of the Carnival as the time best suited for carrying out their design. The rendez-vous is to be the Piazza di Colonna, where he will wait for her, disguised as a monk in white, accompanied by a Capuchin, his pupil Ascanio.—Unhappily the rival Fieramosca has entered unseen, and overheard all. The ensuing terzetto is a masterpiece. While the lovers are bidding each-other farewell Balducci returns; and Cellini has scarcely time to hide behind the window-curtain before he enters. The father is surprised to find his daughter still up and Teresa, seeking for an excuse to send him away, feigns to be frightened by a thief in her chamber. There Balducci finds the hapless Fieramosca hidden and Cellini meanwhile escapes. Balducci and his daughter calling for help, all the female servants and women of the neighborhood appear armed with brooms and wooden spoons. They fall upon the hapless lover and finally force him to escape through the window.

In the second act we find Cellini in a tavern with his pupils and friends. They have no money {28} left to pay for their wine, when Ascanio brings gold from the Pope, which however he only delivers after Cellini has given a solemn promise to finish at once the statue of Perseus he is engaged upon. Great is the general wrath, when they find the money consist of but a paltry sum, and they resolve to avenge themselves on the avaricious treasurer Balducci, by personating him in the theatre. Fieramosca, who has again been eaves-dropping turns for help to his friend Pompeo, a bravo.—And they decide to outwit Cellini, by adopting the same costumes as he and his pupil.

The scene changes; we see the Piazza di Colonna and the theatre, in which the pantomime of King Midas is acted. Balducci who is there with his daughter among the spectators recognizes in the snoring King a portrait of himself and furiously advances to grapple with him. Cellini profits by the ensuing tumult to approach Teresa, but at the same time Fieramosca comes up with Pompeo, and Teresa cannot discern which is the true lover, owing to the masks.—A fight ensues, in which Cellini stabs Pompeo. He is arrested and Teresa flies with the Capuchin Ascanio to Cellini's atelier. The enraged people are about to lynch the murderer, when three cannon shots are fired announcing that it is Ash-Wednesday; the lights are extinguished and Cellini escapes in the darkness.

The third act represents Cellini's atelier with the workmen in it. Teresa, not finding her lover is in great distress. Ascanio consoles her, and {29} when the Miserere of the Penitents is heard, both join in the prayer to the Holy Virgin.

Suddenly Cellini rushes in, and embracing Teresa, relates that he fled the night before into a house. A procession of penitent monks passing by in the morning, he joined them, as their white cowls were similar to his own disguise. He decides to escape at once to Florence with Teresa, but is already pursued by Balducci, who appears with Fieramosca and insists on his daughter's returning and marrying the latter. At this moment the Cardinal Salviati steps in to look for the statue. He is highly indignant, that Cellini, thoughtless like all artists, has not kept his promise. Hearing him moreover accused by Balducci, he threatens severe punishment and finally declares that Perseus shall be cast by another.—Cellini in the pride of genius and full of rage seizes a hammer, and, surrounded by his workmen declares, that he will rather destroy his work than see it finished by another.

The Cardinal, overcome by fear of the loss, changes his tactics, and in compliance with Cellini's request promises him full pardon and Teresa's hand, if he finishes Perseus in an hour's time, as Cellini offers to do.—Should he fail in his gigantic task, his life will be forfeit.

All set to work at once; even Fieramosca at the Cardinal's request assists. More and more metal is demanded; Cellini sacrifices all his masterpieces in gold and silver. At last the casting is completed, Cellini breaks the mould and the statue {30} of Perseus shines faultlessly forth, a wonder of art, a thing of glory bringing immortality to its maker. All present bend before the greatness of genius and Fieramosca, the rival in art and love is the first to kiss and embrace Cellini, who obtains full pardon and the hand of Teresa along with her father's blessing.



BY ORDER OF HIS HIGHNESS

(AUF HOHEN BEFEHL.)

Comic Opera in three acts by CARL REINECKE.

Text by the composer after RIEHL's novel: "Ovidius at Court."

Reinecke of Leipzig is known both as excellent pianist and composer of no ordinary talent. The Dresden theatre has been one of the first to put the new opera upon its boards and with regard to the music, the expectations entertained have been fully realised.

It is true music, melodious and beautiful. Reinecke's musical language free, untrammelled and suggestive, only assumes decided form in the character of a song, or when several voices are united. The instrumentation is very interesting and the popular melody remarkably well characterized.

So he introduces for instance the wellknown popular song: "Kein Feuer, keine Kohle" (no fire, no coal can burn) with the most exquisite variations.

The libretto is not as perfect as the music, being rather improbable.

A little German Residential Capital of the last century forms the background to the picture.

{31}

Franz, the son of the Organist Ignaz Laemml, introduces himself to Dal Segno, the celebrated Italian singing-master as the Bohemian singer Howora. He obtains lessons from the capricious old man, who however fails to recognize in him the long-absent son of his old enemy. Cornelia, Dal Segno's daughter however is not so slow in recognizing the friend of her childhood, who loves her and has all her love, as we presently learn. Franz has only taken the name of Howora, in order to get into favor with the maiden's father, an endeavour in which he easily succeeds owing to his musical talents.

Meanwhile the Prince is determined to have an opera composed from Ovid's metamorphoses. He has chosen Pyramus and Thisbe, but as the Princess is of a very gay disposition, a request is made that the tragedy have a happy solution, a whim which puts old pedantic Laemml quite out of sorts.

In the second act Louis, one of the princely lackeys, brings a large cracknel and huge paper-cornet of sweets for Cornelia, whom he courts and whose favor he hopes in this way to win.

When he is gone, Dal Segno's sister Julia, lady's maid to the Princess, enters with birthday-presents for her niece Cornelia, and among the things which attract her attentions sees the cracknel, beside which she finds a note from her own faithless lover Louis. Filled with righteous indignation she takes it away.

Cornelia stepping out to admire her {32} birthday-presents, meets Franz, and after a tender scene, the young man tells his lady-love, that he has been fortunate enough to invent for his father a happy issue to the tragedy of Pyramus and Thisbe, and that they may now hope the best from the grateful old master.

Meanwhile good old Laemml himself appears to ask his old enemy Dal Segno to give singing-lessons to his dear son. The Italian teacher is very rude and ungracious, Laemml's blood rises also and a fierce quarrel ensues, which is interrupted by the arrival of the Prince. Having heard their complaints, he decides that the quarrel is to be settled by a singing competition in which Howora, Dal Segno's new and greatly praised pupil, and Franz, Laemml's son, are to contest for the laurels. Both masters are content and decide on a duet for tenor and soprano. This is a happy choice and Franz, who with Cornelia has heard everything, causes his lady-love to disguise herself, in order to play the part of Franz, while he decides to appear as Howora.

In the third act the Princess receives old Laemml, who comes to tell her, that he has complied with her wishes as to the happy issue of the tale and confides to her his son's secret, that Franz and Howora are one and the same person.—The gracious Princess promises her assistance, and Laemml leaves her very happy, dancing and merry-making with the Prince's fool.—

In the evening Louis finds Julia attired in {33} Cornelia's dress, and believing her to be her niece, he places a ring on her finger and once more pledges his faith to his old love.

The two singers perform their duet so perfectly, that Laemml, uncertain who will obtain the prize begs for a solo. Each-one then sings a popular song (Volkslied), and all agree that Howora has triumphed. The happy victor is crowned with the laurels. But the Princess, touched by the sweet voice of the other singer puts a rose-wreath on his brow. When the cap is taken off, Dal Segno perceives that the pretended Franz has the curls of his own daughter.—Howora being presented to him as Laemml's son, he can do no other than yield. He embraces old Laemml and gives his benediction to the lovers.



CARLO BROSCHI

or

THE DEVIL'S PART.

Comic Opera in three acts by AUBER.

Text by SCRIBE.

This composition might rather be called a Vaudeville with musical accompaniment, than an opera. The music is not above mediocrity, though we find many pleasing and even exquisite melodies in it. That it has held its present place on the stage for the past forty years is due principally to its excellent libretto, which is full of comical and ingenious situations. The principal role is given to Carlo Broschi. He is no other than the famous {34} singer Farinelli, who as a matter of fact did heal a Spanish King from madness, though it was not Ferdinand IV, but his predecessor Philip V, the husband of Elizabeth of Ferrara. Notwithstanding these anachronisms the libretto ranks with the best.

Carlo Broschi has placed his only sister Casilda in a convent near Madrid, to save her from the persecutions of the clergy, who have been trying for reasons of their own to give the beautiful maiden to the King. Casilda confesses to her brother that she is in love with an unknown cavalier, who entertains a like passion for her, but Carlo, a poor minstrel, considers that his sister, a milliner, does not stand high enough in the social scale to permit a lawful union with a nobleman.

Carlo meets the King accidentally. He has fallen into deep melancholy, and Carlo succeeds in cheering him by singing an old romance, which he learnt from his mother. Both King and Queen are full of gratitude, and Carlo soon finds himself at court and loaded with honors. In his new position he meets with Raphael d'Estuniga, Casilda's lover.

In despair at having lost his lady-love he is about to appeal to the Devil for help, when Carlo appears, presenting himself as Satan. He promises his help on condition that Raphael shall give him one half of all his winnings. This is a condition easily accepted, and Raphael is made a Court Official through Carlo's influence.

Meanwhile the clergy vainly try to ensnare the King again; Carlo is like his better self; he {35} disperses his Sire's melancholy by singing to him and rekindles his interest in government.

Raphael, feeling quite secure in his league with the Devil, begins to play; he is fortunate, but Carlo never fails to claim the share, which is willingly surrendered to him.

All at once Casilda appears on the scene to put herself under the protection of her brother, the priests having found out her refuge. She recognizes the King, and tells her brother that it was he, to whom she was taken against her will. The King believes her to be a ghost and his reason threatens to give way, but Carlo assures him that the girl is living. The Queen, who knows nothing of her husband's secret, here interrupts the conversation and bids Carlo follow her.

Meanwhile Raphael and Casilda have an interview, but the King comes suddenly upon them and at once orders Raphael to be put to death, the latter having failed in the reverence due to his Sovereign. Raphael however trusting in the Devil's help does not let his spirits sink and Carlo actually saves him by telling the King, that Casilda is Raphael's wife.

But the Grand-Inquisitor succeeds in discovering this untruth, and in exciting the King's anger against his favorite. Carlo, much embarrassed, obtains an interview with the King, and confessing the whole truth assures him, that the Queen knows as yet nothing and implores him to give his thoughts and his affections once more to her and to his country. {36} The King, touched to generosity, gives his benediction to the lovers, together with a new title for Raphael, who is henceforth to be called Count of Puycerda. Now at last Raphael learns that the so-called Devil is his bride's brother, who tells him that this time his share lies in making two lovers happy, a share which gives him both pleasure and content.



CARMEN.

Opera in four acts by GEORGE BIZET.

This opera is essentially Spanish. The music throughout has a southern character and is passionate and original to a high degree.

Carmen, the heroine is a Spanish gipsy, fickle and wayward, but endowed with all the wild graces of her nation. She is adored by her people, and so it is not to be wondered at, that she has many of the stronger sex at her feet. She is betrothed to Don Jose, a brigadier of the Spanish army; of course he is one out of many; she soon grows tired of him, and awakens his jealousy by a thousand caprices and cruelties.

Don Jose has another bride, sweet and lovely, Micaela, waiting for him at home, but she is forgotten as soon as he sees the proud gipsy.

Micaela seeks him out, bringing to him the portrait and the benediction of his mother, ay, even her kiss, which she gives him with blushes. His tenderness is gone, however, so far as Micaela is concerned, as soon as he casts one look into the {37} lustrous eyes of Carmen. This passionate creature has involved herself in a quarrel and wounded one of her companions, a laborer in a cigarette manufactory. She is to be taken to prison, but Don Jose lets her off, promising to meet her in the evening at an inn kept by a man named Lillas Pastia, where they are to dance the Seguedilla.

In the second act we find them there together, with the whole band of gipsies. Don Jose, more and more infatuated by Carmen's charms, is willing to join the vagabonds, who are at the same time smugglers. He accompanies them in a dangerous enterprise of this kind, but no sooner has he submitted to sacrifice love and honor for the gipsy, than she begins to tire of his attentions. Jose has pangs of conscience, he belongs to another sphere of society and his feelings are of a softer kind than those of nature's unruly child. She transfers her affections to a bull-fighter named Escamillo, another of her suitors, who returns her love more passionately. A quarrel ensues between the two rivals. Escamillo's knife breaks and he is about to be killed by Don Jose, when Carmen intervenes, holding back his arm. Don Jose, seeing that she has duped him, now becomes her deadly foe, filled with undying hatred and longing for revenge.

Micaela, the tender-hearted maiden, who follows him everywhere like a guardian-angel, reminds him of his lonely mother, everybody advises him to let the fickle Carmen alone,—Carmen who never loved the same man for more than six weeks. But {38} in vain, till Micaela tells him of the dying mother, asking incessantly for her son; then at last he consents to go with her, but not without wild imprecations on his rival and his faithless love.

In the fourth act we find ourselves in Madrid. There is to be a bull-fight; Escamillo, its hero, has invited the whole company to be present in the circus.

Don Jose appears there too, trying for the last time to regain his bride. Carmen, though warned by a fellow gipsy, Frasquita, knows no fear. She meets her old lover outside the arena, where he tries hard to touch her heart. He kneels at her feet, vowing never to forsake her and to be one of her own people, but Carmen, though wayward, is neither a coward nor a liar, and boldly declares that her affections are given to the bull-fighter, whose triumphs are borne to their ears on the shouts of the multitude. Almost beside himself with love and rage Jose seizes her hand and attempts to drag her away, but she escapes from him, and throwing the ring, Jose's gift, at his feet, rushes to the door of the arena.—He overtakes her however and just as the trumpets announce Escamillo's victory, in a perfect fury of despair he stabs her through the heart, and the victorious bull-fighter finds his beautiful bride a corpse.



{39}

CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA.

(SICILIAN RUSTIC CHIVALRY).

Opera in one act by PIETRO MASCAGNI.

Text after Verga's drama of the same name by TARGIONI-TOZZETTI and MENASCI.

The composer of this very brief opera is a young man, who has had a most adventurous life notwithstanding his youth. Son of a baker in Livorno, he was destined for the bar. But his love for music made him enter clandestinely into the Institute Luigi Cherubini, founded by Alfreddo Soffredini. When his father heard of this, he confined him in his chamber, until Pietro's uncle, Steffano, promised to care for him in future. Pietro now was enabled to study diligently. He composed at the age of 13 years a small Opera "In filanda", which was put on the stage by Soffredini. Another composition, on Schiller's poem "An die Freude" (To Joy), brought him money and Count Larderell's favor, who allowed him to study at his expense at the Conservatory at Milan. But Mascagni's ambition suffered no restraint, so he suddenly disappeared from Milan and turned up as musical Director of a wandering troupe. In Naples he grew ill, a young lady nursed him, both fell in love and she became his wife.—Hearing that Sonzogno offered a prize for the best opera, he procured himself a libretto, and composed the Cavalleria Rusticana in little more than a week, and—gained the prize.

Henceforward all of course were anxious to {40} hear the music of the unknown artist, and lo—the opera was an immense success.

It cannot be called a masterpiece, yet it is certainly the offspring of genius, as fresh and as absolutely original, as it is highly dramatic.

The text, though retaining little of the exquisite beauty of the original drama, which ought to be read before hearing its fragments in the opera, assists the music a good deal. The wave of human passion sweeps over it, passion as it occurs in daily life, for the composition belongs to the realistic style, as far as it is based on truth and reality alone.

The true local color makes it doubly attractive.

The following are the very simple facts of the story, which takes place in a Sicilian village.

Turridu, a young peasant has loved and wooed Lola before entering military service. At his return he finds the flighty damsel married to the wealthy carrier Alfio, who glories in his pretty wife and treats her very well.—Turridu tries to console himself with another young peasant-girl, Santuzza, who loves him ardently, and to whom he has promised marriage.

The opera only begins at this point.

Lola, the coquette however cannot bear to know, that her former sweet-heart should love another woman. She flirts with him, and before the curtain has been raised after the overture, Turridu's love-song is heard for Lola, who grants him a rendez-vous in her own house.

This excites Santuzza's wildest jealousy. She {41} complains to Turridu's mother, who vainly tries to soothe her. Then she has a last interview with Turridu, who is just entering the church. She reproaches him first with his treachery, then implores him, not to forsake her and leave her dishonored.

But Turridu remains deaf to all entreaty, and flings her from him. At last, half mad through her lover's stubbornness Santuzza betrays him and Lola to Alfio, warning the latter, that his wife has proved false.—After church Alfio and Turridu meet in mother Lucia's tavern.—Alfio refusing to drink of Turridu's wine, the latter divines that the husband knows all. The men and women leave while the two adversaries after Sicilian custom embrace each-other, Alfio biting Turridu in the ear, which indicates mortal challenge.—Turridu, deeply repenting his folly, as well as his falsehood towards poor Santuzza, recommends her to his mother.—He hurries into the garden, where Alfio expects him;—a few minutes later his death is announced by the peasants, and Santuzza falls back in a dead swoon; with which the curtain closes over the tragedy.—



COSI FAN TUTTE.

Comic Opera in two acts by MOZART.

Text by DA PONTE, newly arranged by L. SCHNEIDER and ED. DEVRIENT.

This opera, though lovely in its way, has never had the success, which the preceding Figaro and Don Juan attained, and this is due for the most {42} part to the libretto. In the original text it really shows female fickleness, and justifies its title. But the more Mozart's music was admired, the less could one be satisfied with such a libretto. Schneider and Devrient therefore altered it and in their version the two female lovers are put to the test, but midway in the plot it is revealed to them that they are being tried—, with the result that they feign faithlessness, play the part out and at the close declare their knowledge, turning the sting against the authors of the unworthy comedy. The contents may be told shortly.

Don Fernando and Don Alvar are betrothed to two Andalusian ladies, Rosaura and Isabella.

They loudly praise their ladies' fidelity, when an old bachelor, named Onofrio, pretends that their sweet-hearts are not better than other women and accessible to temptation. The lovers agree to make the trial and promise to do everything which Onofrio dictates. Thereupon they announce to the ladies, that they are ordered to Havannah with their regiment, and after a tender leavetaking, they depart to appear again in another guise, as officers of a strange regiment. Onofrio has won the ladies-maid, Dolores, to aid in the furtherance of his schemes and the officers enter, beginning at once to make love to Isabella and Rosaura, but each, as was before agreed, to the other's affianced.

Of course the ladies reject them, and the lovers begin to triumph, when Onofrio prompts them to try another temptation. The strangers, mad with {43} love, pretend to drink poison in the young ladies' presence. Of course these tenderhearted maidens are much aggrieved; they call Dolores, who bids her mistresses hold the patients in their arms; then coming disguised as a physician, she gives them an antidote. By this clumsy subterfuge they excite the ladies' pity and are nearly successful in their foolish endeavours, when Dolores, pitying the cruelly tested women, reveals the whole plot to them.

Isabella and Rosaura now resolve to enter into the play. They accept the disguised suitors, and even consent to a marriage. Dolores appears in the shape of a notary, without being recognized by the men. The marriage-contract is signed, and the lovers disappear to return in their true characters, full of righteous contempt. Isabella and Rosaura make believe to be conscience-stricken, and for a long while torment and deceive their angry bridegrooms. But at last they grow tired of teasing, they present the disguised Dolores, and they put their lovers to shame by showing that all was a farce. Of course the gentlemen humbly ask their pardon, and old Onofrio is obliged to own himself beaten.



CZAR AND ZIMMERMANN

THE TWO PETERS.

Comic Opera in three acts by LORTZING.

This charming little opera had even more success than Lortzing's other compositions; it is {44} a popular opera in the best sense of the word. Lortzing ought to have made his fortune by it, for it was soon claimed by every stage. He had composed it for Christmas 1837 and in the year 1838 every street-organ played its principal melodies. But the directors paid miserable sums to the lucky composer. (F. e. a copy of the work cost him 25 thalers, while he did not get more than 30 to 50 thalers from the directors.)

The libretto was composed by Lortzing himself; he took it out of an old comedy.

Peter, Emperor of Russia, has taken service on the wharfs of Saardam as simple ship-carpenter under the assumed name of Peter Michaelow. Among his companions is another Peter, named Ivanow, a Russian renegade, who has fallen in love with Mary, the niece of the burgomaster Van Bett.

The two Peters being countrymen and fearing discovery, have become friendly, but Ivanow instinctively feeling his friend's superiority, is jealous of him, and Mary, a little coquette, nourishes his passion.

Meanwhile the ambassadors of France and England, each of whom wishes for a special connection with the Czar of Russia, have discovered where he must be, and both bribe the conceited simpleton Van Bett, who tries to find out the real Peter.

He assembles the people, but there are many Peters amongst them, though only two strangers. He asks them whence they come, then takes aside Peter Ivanow, cross-questioning him in vain as to what he wishes to know.

{45}

At last, being aware of Peter's love for Mary, he gives him some hope of gaining her hand, and obtains in exchange a promise from the young man, to confess his secret in presence of the foreign nobleman.—The cunning French ambassador, the Marquis de Chateauneuf, has easily found out the Czar and gained his purpose, while the phlegmatic English Lord, falsely directed by the burgomaster, is still in transaction with Ivanow. All this takes place during a rural festivity, where the Marquis notwithstanding the claims upon his attention finds time to court yet pretty Mary, exciting Ivanow's hate and jealousy. Ivanow with difficulty plays the role of Czar, which personage he is supposed to be as well by Lord Syndham as by Van Bett. He well knows that he deserves punishment, if he is found out on either side. The burgomaster, getting more and more confused, and fearing himself surrounded by spies and cheats, examines one of the strangers after the other, and is of course confounded to hear their high-flown names; at last he seizes the two Peters, but is deterred from his purpose by the two ambassadors. They are now joined by a third, the Russian General Lefort, who comes to call back his Sovereign to his own country. In the third act Van Bett has prepared a solemn demonstration of fealty for the supposed Czar, whom he still mistakes for the real one, while the real Czar has found means to go on board of his ship with the Marquis and Lefort.—Before taking farewell, he promises a pass-port to Ivanow, who is very dubious as to what will become of {46} him. Meanwhile Van Bett approaches him with his procession to do homage, but during his long and confused speech cannon-shots are heard and an usher announces, that Peter Michaelow is about to sail away with a large crew. The back-ground opens and shows the port with the Czar's ship. Everybody bursts into shouts "Long live the Czar!" and Ivanow, opening the paper, which his high-born friend left to him, reads that the Czar grants him pardon for his desertion and bestows upon him a considerable sum of money.



LA DAME BLANCHE.

Comic Opera in three acts by BOIELDIEU.

Text by SCRIBE.

Boieldieu is for the French almost what Mozart was for the German. This opera especially may be called classic, so deliberate and careful is its execution.

The "Lady in white" is the chef-d'oeuvre of all comic operas in French, as Mozart's Figaro is in German. The success of this opera, whose composer and whose poet were equally liked and esteemed in Paris was enormous, and since then it has never lost its attraction.

The scene is laid in Scotland, the subject being taken from Walter Scott's romance: "Guy Mannering".

George Brown, the hero of the opera, a young lieutenant in English service, visits Scotland. He is hospitably received by a tenant of the late Count Avenel, who has been dead for some years. When {47} he arrives, the baptism of the tenant's youngest child is just being celebrated, and seeing that they lack a godfather, he good-naturedly consents to take the vacant place.

Seeing the old castle of the Avenels, he asks for its history, and the young wife Jenny tells him that according to the traditions of the place it is haunted by a ghost, as is the case in almost every old castle. This apparition is called the "White Lady", but unlike other ghosts she is good, protecting her sex against fickle men. All the people around believe firmly in her and pretend to have seen her themselves. In the castle there exists a statue which bears the name of this benevolent genius, and in it the old Lord has hidden treasures. His steward Gaveston, a rogue, who has taken away the only son of the Count in the child's earliest days, brings the castle with all its acres to public sale, hoping to gain it for himself.

He has a charming ward, named Anna. It is she, who sometimes plays the part of the white Lady. She has summoned the young tenant Dickson, who is sincerely devoted to her, into the castle, and the young man though full of fear, yet dare not disobey the ghostly commands.

George Brown, thirsting for a good adventure, and disbelieving in the ghost-story, declares that he will go in Dickson's place.

In the second act George, who has found entrance into the castle, calls for the white Lady, who appears in the shape of Anna. She believes that {48} Dickson is before her and she reveals her secret to him, imploring his help against her false guardian Gaveston, who means to rob the true and only heir of his property. She knows that the missing son of the Avenels is living, and she has given a promise to the dying Countess, to defend his rights against the rapacious Gaveston. George gives his hand to the pretended ghost in token of fidelity, and the warm and soft hand which clasps his, awakes tender feelings in him. On the following morning Dickson and his wife Jenny are full of curiosity about George's visit, but he does not breathe a word of his secret.

The sale of the castle as previously announced is to begin, and Dickson has been empowered beforehand by all the neighboring farmers, to bid the highest price, in order not to let it fall into the hands of the hateful Gaveston. They bid higher and higher, but at length Dickson stops, unable to go farther. Gaveston feels assured of his triumph, when George Brown, recalling his vow to the white Lady, advances boldly, bidding one thousand pounds more. Anna is beside him, in the shape of the spectre, and George obediently bids on, till the castle is his for the price of three hundred thousand pounds. Gaveston in a perfect fury, swears avenge himself on the adventurer, who is to pay the sum in the afternoon. Should he prove unable to do so, he shall be put into prison. George, who firmly believes in the help of his genius, is quietly confident, and meanwhile makes an inspection of the castle. {49} Wandering through the vast rooms, dim recollections arise in him, and hearing the minstrel's song of the Avenels, he all at once remembers and finishes the romance, which he heard in his childhood.

The afternoon comes and with it Mac-Irton, the justice of peace. He wants the money, and George begs to await the white Lady, who promised her help. Anna appears, bringing the treasure of the Avenels hidden in the statue, and with them some documents, which prove the just claims of Edwin Count Avenel. This long lost Count she recognizes in George Brown, whose identity with the playmate of her youth she had found out the night before. Gaveston approaches full of wrath to tear aside the ghost's white veil, and sees his own ward, Anna.

The happy owner of castle and country holds firm to the promise which he gave the white Lady, and offers hand and heart to the faithful Anna, who has loved him from her childhood.



IL DEMONIO.

Fantastic Opera in three acts by ANTON RUBINSTEIN

Text after the Russian of ALFRED OFFERMANN.

This opera of the great Russian musician has an entirely national character. The great features of Rubinstein's work are most fertile imagination and an immense power of expression, which however sometimes almost passes the permitted bounds, although the forms are perfectly mastered and the fanciful subject is well calculated to afford it room {50} for play. It is taken from the celebrated poem of Lermontoff, and it treats of the devices, by which Satan seeks to ensnare the immortal souls on earth.

The plot is laid in Grusia in the Caucasus.

The first scene represents a wild and lonely country, in the raging storm voices are heard of good and bad spirits alternately. The Arch-Fiend appears, weary of everything, even of his power. He curses the world; in vain he is warned by the Angel of Light to cease his strife against Heaven; the Demon's only satisfaction lies in opposition to and battle with all that is loving and good.

He sees Tamara, daughter of Prince Gudal, who expects her bridegroom, the Prince of Sinodal, and full of admiration for her loveliness he wooes her. Tamara, frightened calls her companions and they all return to the castle, but the words of the stranger, whom she has recognized by the halo of light surrounding him, as a being from a higher world, vibrate in her ears: "Queen of my love, thou shalt be the Empress of Worlds."

The following scene shows Prince Sinodal, encamping for the night with his suite; the roughness of the way has delayed his coming to Tamara. Near the camp is a chapel, erected in memory of one of his ancestors, who was slain there by a ruffian and the Prince's old servant admonishes him to pray for his soul. To his destruction he postpones it till morning, for during his sleep the Demon brings up his enemies, the Tartars, and the Prince's caravan is robbed and he himself killed.

{51}

In the second act Tamara stands ready to receive her bridegroom, whose coming has been announced to her by a messenger.

Tamara's thoughts are with the stranger, though against her will, when an escort brings the dead body of Sinodal. While the poor bride is giving vent to her sorrow and her father seeks to comfort her by offering religious consolation, she again hears the voice of the Demon, whispering soft seductions to her. At last she feels that her strength is failing before a supernatural power, and so she begs her father to let her enter a monastery. After offering many objections he finally consents, for in truth his thoughts are only of avenging his children.

In the third act the Demon, who really loves Tamara, and regrets his wickedness, seeks to see her. The Angel of Light denies him the entrance, which however he finally forces. Passionately he invokes Tamara's pity and her love and she, rent by unutterable feelings implores Heaven's aid, but her strength gives way, and the Demon embraces and kisses her. At this moment the Angel of Light appears, and Tamara is about to hasten to him, when with a loud cry she sinks down lifeless. Satan has lost; despairing and cursing all, he vanishes and a thunder-bolt destroys the cloister, from amid the ruins of which the Angels bear the poor love-tortured Tamara to Heaven.

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