In seinem Garten liebt Don Perlimplin Belisa

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In seinem Garten liebt Don Perlimplin Belisa
Opera by Wolfgang Fortner
Schwetzingen Schlosstheater Blick vom Parkett 1.jpg
Schlosstheater Schwetzingen, for which the opera was commissioned
TranslationThe Love of Don Perlimplín and Belisa in the Garden
Based on García Lorca's Amor de don Perlimplín con Belisa en su jardín
10 May 1962 (1962-05-10)

In seinem Garten liebt Don Perlimplin Belisa (In his garden Don Perlimplín loves 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.

Wolfgang Fortner was a German composer, composition teacher and conductor.

Libretto text used for an extended musical work

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.

Federico García Lorca Spanish poet, dramatist and theatre director

Federico del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús García Lorca, known as Federico García Lorca, was a Spanish poet, playwright, and theatre director.



Wolfgang Fortner composed the opera on a commission of the broadcaster Süddeutscher Rundfunk (SR) for the opening of the 1962 Schwetzingen Festival. The festival has a tradition of opening with a new work, [1] such as Werner Egk's Der Revisor in 1957, Gerhard Wimberger's La Battaglia in 1960, and Hans Werner Henze's Elegie für junge Liebende in 1961. [2] The composer chose again a play by Federico García Lorca, as he had done already in Bluthochzeit . [1] The opera's subtitle alludes to the play's subtitle, "Aleluya erotica en un prologo y tres escenas" ("An erotic lace-paper valentine in a prologue and three scenes"). It is in German "Vier Bilder eines erotischen Bilderbogens in der Art eines Kammerspiels von Federico García Lorca" (Four images of an erotic valentine in the way of a chamber play by F. G. Lorca), characterizing it as a chamber opera. [3]

Schwetzingen Festival music festival

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.

<i>Der Revisor</i> opera by Werner Egk

Der Revisor is a comic opera in five acts by Werner Egk, who was also the librettist. It is based on Nikolai Gogol's play The Government Inspector. The premiere on 9 May 1957 at the Schwetzingen Festival was conducted by the composer.

Gerhard Wimberger was an Austrian composer and conductor.

In seinem Garten liebt Don Perlimplin Belisa premiered at the Schlosstheater Schwetzingen on 10 May 1962 in a production of the Cologne Opera, staged by Oscar Fritz Schuh and with Wolfgang Sawallisch conducting choir and orchestra of the SR. [1] [3] [4]

Schlosstheater Schwetzingen palace theatre in Schwetzingen, Germany

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.

Cologne Opera

The Cologne Opera refers both to the main opera house in Cologne, Germany and to its resident opera company.

Oscar Fritz Schuh was a German playwright, theatre director, opera director, and opera manager.


Role Voice type Premiere cast
Conductor: Wolfgang Sawallisch [1]
Belisa soprano Lia Montoya
The Mother coloratura soprano Maria Kallitsi
Perlimplin baritone Ernst Gutstein


Lorca had described his text as ever-changing between lyric and grotesque elements, and as fragmentary. Fortner focused on the serious aspects of a drama of the soul (Seelendrama), following the interpretation of the translator of the play, Enrique Beck. The sound is coloured by invisible choirs a cappella, celesta, vibraphone, harp, harpsichord, guitar and percussion. [4]

A cappella music is specifically group or solo singing without instrumental accompaniment, or a piece intended to be performed in this way. It contrasts with cantata, which is usually accompanied singing. The term "a cappella" was originally intended to differentiate between Renaissance polyphony and Baroque concertato style. In the 19th century a renewed interest in Renaissance polyphony coupled with an ignorance of the fact that vocal parts were often doubled by instrumentalists led to the term coming to mean unaccompanied vocal music. The term is also used, albeit rarely, as a synonym for alla breve.

Celesta struck idiophone operated by a keyboard

The celesta or celeste is a struck idiophone operated by a keyboard. It looks similar to an upright piano, albeit with smaller keys and a much smaller cabinet, or a large wooden music box (three-octave). The keys connect to hammers that strike a graduated set of metal plates or bars suspended over wooden resonators. Four- or five-octave models usually have a damper pedal that sustains or damps the sound. The three-octave instruments do not have a pedal because of their small "table-top" design. One of the best-known works that uses the celesta is Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" from The Nutcracker.

Vibraphone musical instrument

The vibraphone is a musical instrument in the struck idiophone subfamily of the percussion family. It consists of tuned metal bars, and is usually played by holding two or four soft mallets and striking the bars. A person who plays the vibraphone is called a vibraphonist or vibraharpist.

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  1. 1 2 3 4 Abendroth, Walter (18 May 1962). "Fortners Don Perlimplin". Die Zeit (in German). Retrieved 6 August 2016.
  2. "Schwetzingen: Rokokotheater". Schwetzingen Festival . Retrieved 30 November 2011.
  3. 1 2 "In seinem Garten liebt Don Perlimplin Belisa / Vier Bilder eines erotischen Bilderbogens in der Art eines Kammerspiels von Federico García Lorca" (in German). Schott Music. 1963. Retrieved 6 August 2017.
  4. 1 2 "Schwetzingen / Maske in Rot". Der Spiegel (in German). 23 May 1962. Retrieved 6 August 2016.