Luci mie traditrici

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Luci mie traditrici
Opera by Salvatore Sciarrino


The composer in 2016
TranslationOh My Betraying Eyes
Other titleDie tödliche Blume
Language Italian
Based onIl tradimento per l'onore
by Giacinto Andrea Cicognini
Premiere19 May 1998 (1998-05-19) (in German)
Schwetzingen Festival

Luci mie traditrici (Oh My Betraying Eyes) is an opera in two acts by Salvatore Sciarrino, who also wrote the libretto. It was first performed under the German title Die tödliche Blume (The Deadly Flower) on 19 May 1998 in the Schlosstheater Schwetzingen at the Schwetzingen Festival.

Salvatore Sciarrino Italian composer

Salvatore Sciarrino is an Italian composer of contemporary classical music.

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.

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.


Composition history

Sciarrino started composing the opera in 1996. He based the libretto on the 1590 murder by the composer Carlo Gesualdo of his wife and her lover, but while working on it he discovered that Alfred Schnittke was also composing an opera (Gesualdo) on the same story. Deleting the references to Gesualdo, Sciarrino turned to a play, Il tradimento per l'onore, by Giacinto Andrea Cicognini, and also used an elegy of Claude Le Jeune, based on a text by Pierre de Ronsard. [1]

Carlo Gesualdo Prince of Venosa and Count of Conza, Italian composer, lutenist and murderer

Carlo Gesualdo da Venosa was Prince of Venosa and Count of Conza. As a composer he is best known for writing intensely expressive madrigals and pieces of sacred music that use a chromatic language not heard again until the late 19th century. The best known fact of his life is his brutal and violent killing of his first wife and her aristocratic lover upon finding them in flagrante delicto. The fascination for his music and for his crimes have gone hand in hand.

Alfred Schnittke Soviet composer

Alfred Garrievich Schnittke was a Soviet and German composer. Schnittke's early music shows the strong influence of Dmitri Shostakovich. He developed a polystylistic technique in works such as the epic Symphony No. 1 (1969–1972) and his first concerto grosso (1977). In the 1980s, Schnittke's music began to become more widely known abroad with the publication of his second (1980) and third (1983) string quartets and the String Trio (1985); the ballet Peer Gynt (1985–1987); the third (1981), fourth (1984), and fifth (1988) symphonies; and the viola concerto (1985) and first cello concerto (1985–1986). As his health deteriorated, Schnittke's music started to abandon much of the extroversion of his polystylism and retreated into a more withdrawn, bleak style.

Giacinto Andrea Cicognini (1606–1651) was an Italian playwright and librettist, the son of poet and playwright Jacopo Cicognini.


RoleVoice typePremiere Cast, 19 May 1998 [2]

Conductor: Pascal Rophé)

La Malaspina (Countess Malaspina) soprano Sharon Spinetti
Il Malaspina (Count Malaspina) baritone Paul Armin Edelmann
L'Ospite (The Guest) countertenor Kai Wessel
Un servo della casa (The Servant) tenor Georg Nigl
Voce dietro il sipario (The voice behind the scene)countertenorKai Wessel


Place: The home of the Count and Countess
Time: Late sixteenth century

Act 1

In the Prologue, a backstage voice sings Le Jeune's chanson. It is morning, and the Count and Countess declare their eternal love. The Servant announces the arrival of the Guest. After a short intermezzo, it is now mid-day. The Countess and the Guest make love. As darkness descends, the Guest leaves and the Countess is alone with the Servant.

A chanson is in general any lyric-driven French song, usually polyphonic and secular. A singer specializing in chansons is known as a "chanteur" (male) or "chanteuse" (female); a collection of chansons, especially from the late Middle Ages and Renaissance, is also known as a chansonnier.

Act 2

In the evening, the Count forgives the Countess. Later that night, the Countess opens the curtains of her bed, discovering the dead body of the Guest. The Count stabs the Countess and she collapses on the body of the Guest.

Performance history

Following the Schwetzingen premiere, the opera has been performed at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels and in New York with choreography by Trisha Brown (2001), [3] as well as by the Ensemble Risognanze (2003) and at the Salzburg Festival (2008), the Berlin Festival of Contemporary Music (2010), a co-production between the Festival of Contemporary Art in Montepulciano (2010) and Oper Frankfurt (2011) as well as at the Staatsoper Berlin (2016).

Brussels Capital region of Belgium

Brussels, officially the Brussels-Capital Region, is a region of Belgium comprising 19 municipalities, including the City of Brussels, which is the capital of Belgium. The Brussels-Capital Region is located in the central portion of the country and is a part of both the French Community of Belgium and the Flemish Community, but is separate from the Flemish Region and the Walloon Region. Brussels is the most densely populated and the richest region in Belgium in terms of GDP per capita. It covers 161 km2 (62 sq mi), a relatively small area compared to the two other regions, and has a population of 1.2 million. The metropolitan area of Brussels counts over 2.1 million people, which makes it the largest in Belgium. It is also part of a large conurbation extending towards Ghent, Antwerp, Leuven and Walloon Brabant, home to over 5 million people.

Trisha Brown artist

Trisha Brown was an American choreographer and dancer, and one of the founders of the Judson Dance Theater and the postmodern dance movement.

Salzburg Festival music festival

The Salzburg Festival is a prominent festival of music and drama established in 1920. It is held each summer in the Austrian town of Salzburg, the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. One highlight is the annual performance of the play Jedermann (Everyman) by Hugo von Hofmannsthal.


La Malaspina,
Il Malaspina,
Un servo
Opera House and Orchestra
2002 Anette Stricker,
Otto Katzameier,
Kai Wessel,
Simon Jaunin
Beat Furrer,
Klangforum Wien
CD: Kairos
Cat: KAI0012222
2003 Junko Saito,
Timothy Sharp,
Galina Tchernova,
Ralph Heiligtag
Tito Ceccherini,
ensemble Risognanze
CD: Stradivarius
Cat: STR33645
2010 Nina Tarandek,
Christian Miedl,
Roland Schneider,
Simon Bode
Marco Angius,
Ensemble Algoritmo
DVD Video: EuroArts
Cat: 2059038
(2011) CD: Stradivarius
Cat: STR33900

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  1. David Patmore: Salvatore Sciarrino: Luci mie traditrici (liner notes in the EuroArts DVD of the opera).
  2. Salvatore Sciarrino (1947) Luci mie traditrici (1996-1998) opéra en deux actes
  3. Trisha Brown Dance Company - Luci mie traditrici (2001)