Die Hochzeit

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Die Hochzeit
Opera (unfinished) by Richard Wagner
Young richard wagner.jpg ]]
The composer, c. 1830
LibrettistRichard Wagner

Die Hochzeit (The Wedding, WWV 31) is an unfinished opera by Richard Wagner which predates his completed works in the genre. Wagner completed the libretto, then started composing the music in the second half of 1832 when he was just nineteen. He abandoned the project and destroyed the libretto after his sister Rosalie, who was the main supporter and the spokesman of the family, expressed her disgust at the story. Today, only three pieces survive from the opera. [1]

The Wagner-Werk-Verzeichnis, usually shortened to WWV, is an index and musicological guide to the 113 musical compositions and works for the stage of Richard Wagner compiled by John Deathridge, Martin Geck, and Egon Voss.

Opera Artform combining sung text and musical score in a theatrical setting

Opera is a form of theatre in which music has a leading role and the parts are taken by singers, but is distinct from musical theater. Such a "work" is typically a collaboration between a composer and a librettist and incorporates a number of the performing arts, such as acting, scenery, costume, and sometimes dance or ballet. The performance is typically given in an opera house, accompanied by an orchestra or smaller musical ensemble, which since the early 19th century has been led by a conductor.

Richard Wagner German composer

Wilhelm Richard Wagner was a German composer, theatre director, polemicist, and conductor who is chiefly known for his operas. Unlike most opera composers, Wagner wrote both the libretto and the music for each of his stage works. Initially establishing his reputation as a composer of works in the romantic vein of Carl Maria von Weber and Giacomo Meyerbeer, Wagner revolutionised opera through his concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk, by which he sought to synthesise the poetic, visual, musical and dramatic arts, with music subsidiary to drama. He described this vision in a series of essays published between 1849 and 1852. Wagner realised these ideas most fully in the first half of the four-opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen.



What is still known of the story is that it concerns the events surrounding the intended marriage of a young woman, Ada, to Arindal. This is a political marriage, not one of love. On the eve of the wedding, Ada's lover, Cadolt, comes to see her. She rejects his advances, preferring to defend her honour but, in the process, pushes him over the balcony to his death. Ada still loves Cadolt and collapses and dies at the funeral next to his body.


The only printed version of the surviving musical score (Introduction, Chorus and Septet) is the edition by Michael Balling (1866–1925). [2]

Very little musicological study has been carried out relating to Die Hochzeit. 'Ada' and 'Arindal' were later used as the names of the two principal characters in Die Feen (The Fairies) (1833), Wagner's first completed opera. As there appear to be some textual parallels with Die Feen, it is possible that substantial parts of this unfinished work may have been reused there.

<i>Die Feen</i> opera by Richard Wagner

Die Feen is an opera in three acts by Richard Wagner. The German libretto was written by the composer after Carlo Gozzi's La donna serpente. Die Feen was Wagner's first completed opera, but remained unperformed in his lifetime. It has never established itself firmly in the operatic repertory although it receives occasional performances, on stage or in concert, most often in Germany. The opera is available on CD and in a heavily cut, adapted-for-children version, DVD.

Notes and references

  1. Entry for "Wagner, Richard" The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Opera. John Warrack and Ewan West. Oxford University Press, 1996. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press.
  2. Wagner (1912).

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