|Elegy for Young Lovers|
Elegie für junge Liebende
|Opera by Hans Werner Henze|
The composer in 1960
20 May 1961
Elegy for Young Lovers (in German, Elegie für junge Liebende) is an opera in three acts by Hans Werner Henze to an English libretto by W. H. Auden and Chester Kallman.
Hans Werner Henze was a German composer. His large oeuvre of works is extremely varied in style, having been influenced by serialism, atonality, Stravinsky, Italian music, Arabic music and jazz, as well as traditional schools of German composition. In particular, his stage works reflect "his consistent cultivation of music for the theatre throughout his life".
A libretto is the text used in, or intended for, an extended musical work such as an opera, operetta, masque, oratorio, cantata or musical. The term libretto is also sometimes used to refer to the text of major liturgical works, such as the Mass, requiem and sacred cantata, or the story line of a ballet.
Wystan Hugh Auden was an English-American poet. Auden's poetry was noted for its stylistic and technical achievement, its engagement with politics, morals, love, and religion, and its variety in tone, form and content. He is best known for love poems such as "Funeral Blues", poems on political and social themes such as "September 1, 1939" and "The Shield of Achilles", poems on cultural and psychological themes such as The Age of Anxiety, and poems on religious themes such as "For the Time Being" and "Horae Canonicae".
The opera was first performed in a German translation by Louis, Prince of Hesse and by Rhine at the Schlosstheater Schwetzingen at the Schwetzingen Festival on 20 May 1961, conducted by Heinrich Bender. The first performance using the original English text was in Glyndebourne, also in 1961. The Juilliard Opera Theater produced the opera in New York City in 1965, with the composer conducting.Henze revised the opera in 1987, and this revised version received its first performance on 28 October 1988 at the La Fenice Theatre, Venice, with Markus Stenz conducting.
Louis, Prince of Hesse and by Rhine was the youngest son of Ernest Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse by his second wife, Princess Eleonore of Solms-Hohensolms-Lich.
Schlosstheater Schwetzingen is a court theater in Schwetzingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. The historic building, opened in 1753, is part of Schloss Schwetzingen and since 1952 the principal venue of the Schwetzingen Festival. It is also called Hoftheater, Hofoper, and Comoedienhaus. The frequently applied name Rokokotheater is misleading, because it shows also neoclassical elements, added in 1762.
The Schwetzingen Festival is an early summer festival of opera and other classical music presented each year from May to early June in Schwetzingen, Germany.
According to Ann Saddlemyer in her book "Becoming George", the poet is partially based on W. B. Yeats, and his wife "George" (Georgie Hyde-Lees) was the inspiration for both the secretary and the woman with visions. David Anderson has noted that the poet also portrays Auden as well.Robert Henderson has summarised the thesis of the opera as follows:
William Butler Yeats was an Irish poet and one of the foremost figures of 20th-century literature. A pillar of the Irish literary establishment, he helped to found the Abbey Theatre, and in his later years served as a Senator of the Irish Free State for two terms. He was a driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival along with Lady Gregory, Edward Martyn and others.
Elegy for Young Lovers....is a bitter indictment of the Romantic notion of the artist as hero, feeding remorselessly on those around him both in the name of art and to satisfy his own monstrous and inhumanely egotistical appetites.
Auden and Kallman described this opera as their equivalent of Richard Strauss' opera Arabella .The dedication of the opera is to the memory of Hugo von Hofmannsthal.
Richard Georg Strauss was a leading German composer of the late Romantic and early modern eras. He is known for his operas, which include Der Rosenkavalier, Elektra, Die Frau ohne Schatten and Salome; his Lieder, especially his Four Last Songs; his tone poems, including Don Juan, Death and Transfiguration, Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks, Also sprach Zarathustra, Ein Heldenleben, Symphonia Domestica, and An Alpine Symphony; and other instrumental works such as Metamorphosen and his Oboe Concerto. Strauss was also a prominent conductor in Western Europe and the Americas, enjoying quasi-celebrity status as his compositions became standards of orchestral and operatic repertoire.
Arabella, Op. 79, is a lyric comedy, or opera, in three acts by Richard Strauss to a German libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal, their sixth and last operatic collaboration.
Hugo Laurenz August Hofmann von Hofmannsthal was an Austrian prodigy, a novelist, librettist, poet, dramatist, narrator, and essayist.
Henze quoted material from the aria My own, my own in his Fifth Symphony, completed in 1962.
In music, an aria is a self-contained piece for one voice, with or without instrumental or orchestral accompaniment, normally part of a larger work.
Symphony No. 5 by Hans Werner Henze was written in 1962.
|Role||Voice type||Premiere Cast, 20 May 1961 |
(Conductor: Heinrich Bender)
|Hilde Mack, a widow||coloratura soprano||Eva Maria Rogner|
|Elizabeth Zimmer||soprano||Ingeborg Bremert|
|Carolina, Countess of Kirchstätten, secretary to Mittenhofer||contralto||Lilian Benningsen|
|Toni Reischmann||tenor||Friedrich Lenz|
|Gregor Mittenhofer, a poet||baritone||Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau|
|Dr. Wilhelm Reischmann, a physician||bass||Karl-Christian Kohn|
|Josef Mauer, a mountain climb leader||spoken||Hubert Hilten|
The opera is set in an inn called Der Schwarze Adler in the Austrian Alps in 1910. The plot is centred on a poet, Gregor Mittenhofer, who manipulates the people in the inn to provide inspiration to his work, his faithful secretary, his doctor, his young "muse" Elisabeth and a hysterical woman who lost her husband to the mountains decades before and has visions.When a young man arrives who attracts Elisabeth, Mittenhofer lets her go but doesn't act to prevent the young lovers' death in a snowstorm in the mountains, using the tragedy as the inspiration for a final "Elegie" of pure music, sung without words.
The Rake's Progress is an English-language opera in three acts and an epilogue by Igor Stravinsky. The libretto, written by W. H. Auden and Chester Kallman, is based loosely on the eight paintings and engravings A Rake's Progress (1733–1735) of William Hogarth, which Stravinsky had seen on 2 May 1947, in a Chicago exhibition.
Chester Simon Kallman was an American poet, librettist, and translator, best known for his collaborations with W. H. Auden and Igor Stravinsky.
John Stanton Shirley-Quirk CBE was an English bass-baritone. A member of the English Opera Group during 1964–76, he gave premiere performances of several operatic and vocal works by Benjamin Britten, recording these and other works under the composer's direction. He also sang and recorded a wide range of works by other composers, ranging from Handel through Tchaikovsky to Henze.
The Duino Elegies are a collection of ten elegies written by the Bohemian-Austrian poet Rainer Maria Rilke (1875–1926). Rilke, who is "widely recognized as one of the most lyrically intense German-language poets," began writing the elegies in 1912 while a guest of Princess Marie von Thurn und Taxis (1855–1934) at Duino Castle, near Trieste on the Adriatic Sea. The poems, 859 lines long in total, were dedicated to the Princess upon their publication in 1923. During this ten-year period, the elegies languished incomplete for long stretches of time as Rilke suffered frequently from severe depression—some of which was caused by the events of World War I and being conscripted into military service. Aside from brief episodes of writing in 1913 and 1915, Rilke did not return to the work until a few years after the war ended. With a sudden, renewed inspiration—writing in a frantic pace he described as a "boundless storm, a hurricane of the spirit"—he completed the collection in February 1922 while staying at Château de Muzot in Veyras, in Switzerland's Rhone Valley. After their publication in 1923 and Rilke's death in 1926, the Duino Elegies were quickly recognized by critics and scholars as his most important work.
The Bassarids is an opera in one act and an intermezzo, with music by Hans Werner Henze to an English libretto by W. H. Auden and Chester Kallman, after Euripides's The Bacchae.
Barry McDaniel was an American operatic baritone who spent his career almost exclusively in Germany, including 37 years at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. He appeared internationally at major opera houses and festivals, and created roles in several new operas, including Henze's Der junge Lord, Nabokov's Love's Labour's Lost, and Reimann's Melusine. He was also a celebrated concert singer and recitalist, focused on German Lied and French mélodie. He was the first singer of Wilhelm Killmayer's song cycle Tre Canti di Leopardi. He recorded both operatic and concert repertory.
This is a bibliography of books, plays, films, and libretti written, edited, or translated by the Anglo-American poet W. H. Auden (1907–1973). See the main entry for a list of biographical and critical studies and external links.
Love's Labour's Lost is an opera by Nicolas Nabokov, written by W. H. Auden and Chester Kallman, based on Shakespeare's play of the same name. It was first performed in Brussels on 7 February 1973.
Adalbert Kraus is a German tenor in opera and concert, known for singing the works of Johann Sebastian Bach.
Noam Zur is an Israeli conductor. the New Chief conductor in Argentinian State orchestra of Salta
Since July 2015 he is the artistic director of the Tino Pattiera Opera Arias Festival in Dubrovnik, Croatia and from 2016 the Principal Guest Conductor of the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra
Between 2011 and 2015 he was the principal conductor and artistic associate of the Kammerphilharmonie Frankfurt.
Martina Koppelstetter is a German mezzo-soprano in opera and concert. She is particularly interested in contemporary music.
Martin Petzold is a German classical tenor who performs in opera and in concert. A former member of the Thomanerchor, he is particularly known for the part of the Evangelist in oratorios and Passions of Johann Sebastian Bach.
Melusine is a 1971 German-language opera by Aribert Reimann, on a libretto by Claus H. Henneberg after Melusine, a 1920 play in four acts by Yvan Goll which transposes the legendary water-spirit to Goll's time. The opera was written for the Schwetzingen Festival, where it premiered in May 1971. It was recorded in 2010.
In seinem Garten liebt Don Perlimplin Belisa is an opera in two acts by Wolfgang Fortner. The libretto, also by Fortner, is based on Federico García Lorca's play Amor de don Perlimplín con Belisa en su jardín. It premiered at the opening of the 1962 Schwetzingen Festival.
Caroline Stein is a German operatic coloratura soprano and an academic voice teacher. She has appeared internationally, including contemporary opera, creating the Angel in Dusapin's Faustus, the Last Night at the Berlin State Opera.
Catherine Gayer is an American coloratura soprano, violinist, musicologist, and academic voice teacher. She made a career in Germany. A member of the Deutsche Oper Berlin for more than four decades, she is known for her performance in premieres of contemporary operas, such as Luigi Nono's Intolleranza 1960 at La Fenice in Venice, the title role in Aribert Reimann's Melusine at the Schwetzingen Festival, and Josef Tal's Die Versuchung at the Bavarian State Opera.