|Opera (unfinished) by Richard Wagner|
The composer, c. 1830
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.
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 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.
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).
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.
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.
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, WWV 96, is a music drama in three acts, written and composed by Richard Wagner. It is among the longest operas commonly performed, usually taking around four and a half hours. It was first performed at the Königliches Hof- und National-Theater, today the home of the Bavarian State Opera, in Munich, on 21 June 1868. The conductor at the premiere was Hans von Bülow.
The Flying Dutchman, WWV 63, is a German-language opera, with libretto and music by Richard Wagner. The central theme is redemption through love. Wagner conducted the premiere at the Königliches Hoftheater in Dresden in 1843.
Tristan und Isolde, WWV 90, is an opera in three acts by Richard Wagner to a German libretto by the composer, based largely on the 12th-century romance Tristan by Gottfried von Strassburg. It was composed between 1857 and 1859 and premiered at the Königliches Hof- und Nationaltheater in Munich on 10 June 1865 with Hans von Bülow conducting. Wagner referred to the work not as an opera, but called it "eine Handlung", which was the equivalent of the term used by the Spanish playwright Calderón for his dramas.
Pelléas et Mélisande is an opera in five acts with music by Claude Debussy. The French libretto was adapted from Maurice Maeterlinck's symbolist play Pelléas et Mélisande. It was premiered at the Salle Favart in Paris by the Opéra-Comique on 30 April 1902 with Jean Périer as Pelléas and Mary Garden as Mélisande in a performance conducted by André Messager, who was instrumental in getting the Opéra-Comique to stage the work. The only opera Debussy ever completed, it is considered a landmark in 20th-century music.
Tannhäuser is an 1845 opera in three acts, music and text by Richard Wagner, based on two German legends: Tannhäuser, the legendary medieval German Minnesänger and poet, and the tale of the Wartburg Song Contest. The story centers on the struggle between sacred and profane love, and redemption through love, a theme running through much of Wagner's mature work.
Der beglückte Florindo is an opera composed by Handel at the request of Reinhard Keiser, the manager of the Hamburg Opera. It was first performed at the Theater am Gänsemarkt in January 1708. It was probably directed from the harpsichord by Christoph Graupner.
Der Vampyr is a Romantic opera in two acts by Heinrich Marschner. The German libretto by Wilhelm August Wohlbrück is based on the play Der Vampir oder die Totenbraut (1821) by Heinrich Ludwig Ritter, which itself was based on the short story The Vampyre (1819) by John Polidori. The first performance took place on 29 March 1828 in Leipzig, where it was a hit.
Pauline Maria de Ahna (also known as Pauline Strauss was a German operatic soprano and the wife of composer Richard Strauss. Her singing career was closely tied to her husband's career as a conductor and composer. From 1890-1894 she was committed to the Staatskapelle Weimar and from 1894-1897 she was committed to the Bavarian State Opera, during which times her husband was the principal conductor of those theaters. She also sang under her husband's baton at the Bayreuth Festival and in the world premiere of his first opera Guntram. Other houses at which performed included the Berlin State Opera, La Monnaie, and the Liceu. Her repertoire included leading roles in the operas of Beethoven, Humperdinck, Mozart, von Weber, and Wagner. After she gave birth to their son, Franz Strauss in 1897, she retired from the opera stage. She thereafter continued to periodically perform in concerts of her husband's music, particularly lieder. Strauss credited her as his muse for many of his compositions, including the title role in Salome, the Countess Madeleine in Capriccio, and the Four Last Songs among others.
Koanga is an opera with music by Frederick Delius, his third opera, written between 1896 and 1897, and a libretto by Charles Francis Keary, inspired partly by the 1880 book The Grandissimes: A Story of Creole Life by George Washington Cable. Inspiration also came from Delius's own experiences as a young man when his family sent him to work in Florida. Delius himself thought well of the opera compared to its predecessors, Irmelin and The Magic Fountain, because of the incorporation of dance scenes and his treatment of the choruses. Koanga is reputed to be the first opera in the European tradition to base much of its melodic material on African-American music.
Bianca e Falliero, ossia Il consiglio dei tre is a two-act operatic melodramma by Gioachino Rossini to an Italian libretto by Felice Romani. The libretto was based on Antoine-Vincent Arnault's play Les Vénitiens, ou Blanche et Montcassin.
Die Königin von Saba is an opera in four acts by Karl Goldmark. The German libretto by Hermann Salomon Mosenthal sets a love triangle into the context of the Queen of Sheba's visit to the court of King Solomon, recorded in First Kings 10:1-13. The plot centres on a love triangle not found in the Bible between the Queen of Sheba, Assad, and Sulamith.
Die Hochzeit des Camacho is a Singspiel in two acts by Felix Mendelssohn, to a libretto probably written largely by Friedrich Voigt, based on an episode in Cervantes's Don Quixote. The opera is listed as Mendelssohn's op. 10. It was written between 1824 and 1825, and first performed publicly at the Berlin Schauspielhaus on 29 April 1827.
Le diable dans le beffroi is an unfinished comic opera in one act by Claude Debussy to his own libretto, based on Edgar Allan Poe's short story The Devil in the Belfry.
The Italian composer Claudio Monteverdi (1567–1643), in addition to a large output of church music and madrigals, wrote prolifically for the stage. His theatrical works were written between 1604 and 1643 and included ten operas, of which three—L'Orfeo (1607), Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria (1640) and L'incoronazione di Poppea (1643)—have survived with their music and librettos intact. In the case of the other seven operas, the music has disappeared almost entirely, although some of the librettos exist. The loss of these works, written during a critical period of early opera history, has been much regretted by commentators and musicologists.
Nephté is an opera by the French composer Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, first performed at the Académie Royale de Musique on 15 December 1789. It takes the form of a tragédie lyrique in three acts. The libretto, by François-Benoît Hoffman, is set in Ancient Egypt but is based on the story of Camma, Queen of Galatia taken from the ancient historian Plutarch.
La donna serpente is a fable by Carlo Gozzi which premiered at the Teatro Sant'Angelo, Venice, in 1762. The plot concerns a fairy princess, Cherestani, whose marriage to a mortal Farruscad was opposed and given a curse-like condition by her father the fairy king Demogorgon. Farruscad is made to swear never to curse his wife Cherestani, no matter what she does. If he does, she will be transformed into a snake.