|Opera by Dmitri Smirnov|
|Language||English, translated to Russian and German|
|Based on||Poem by William Blake|
28 January 1989
Tiriel, Op. 41, (Russian: Тириэль) is a 1985 opera by the Russian composer Dmitri Smirnov in three acts (9 scenes) with a symphonic prologue to his own English libretto after a poem of the same title by William Blake. It has been translated into Russian and German. It was first performed at the Stadttheater Freiburg on 28 January 1989.
The opera was composed from 1983 until 1985 in Moscow, Russia. The libretto combines the text from Blake's early symbolic work "Tiriel" (c. 1789) with the addition of five of his poems: the "Introduction" and "The Divine Image" from the Songs of Innocence (1789), "The Tyger" and "A Divine Image" from the Songs of Experience (1789-1794), and "A Cradle Song" from his Note-book (Manuscript Rossetti , 1793).
The premiere took place at the Stadttheater Freiburg on 28 January 1989.
Time and Place: at the dawn of time
Duration 113 minutes.
The blind and aged king, Tiriel, calls down curses on his sons whom he has summoned to observe their mother's death. The sons bury their mother, but declare that they have tired of their father's tyranny and now will rebel against it. So Tiriel sets off wandering into the mountains.
Eventually he comes to the ‘pleasant gardens' in the Vales of Har, where he finds his own parents, Har and Heva, who are both quite senile and have become like children again. They invite Tiriel to help them catch birds and listen to Har's singing in the "great cage". In madness and dismay, Tiriel abandons them and sets out further on his wanderings.
Tiriel's wild brother Ijim finds him, captures him and takes him back to his children who are living in what once was his own palace. Tiriel, ever madder and more enraged, curses his children yet more passionately, calling down thunder and pestilence and destroying them. Doing so, he sends his favourite daughter Hela mad. Nonetheless it is Hela who must guide Tiriel back to his parents in the Vales of Har.
On the way through the mountains they pass caves which are the home of another of Tiriel's brothers, Zazel. Zazel, together with his sons, hurls dirt and stones at Tiriel and his daughter. Eventually Tiriel and Hela arrive once more at the tent in the Vales of Har, where Har and Heva live. In a final speech, Tiriel explains how his father's laws and his own wisdom now "end together in a curse". Cursing his parents, he dies. Over Tiriel's body the goddess Mnetha sings a lullaby to the mankind who sleeps forever.
"It is important when presenting works like Tiriel in the West not to apologize for what might seem to be naïve. Russians feel the way they do because they want to, not because they can't do anything else. In this respect, the Freiburgers' musical performance struck me as exemplary..." (Gerard McBurney)
Boosey & Hawkes, London, and Internationale Musikverlage Hans Sikorski, Hamburg
Virgil Thomson was an American composer and critic. He was instrumental in the development of the "American Sound" in classical music. He has been described as a modernist, a neoromantic, a neoclassicist, and a composer of "an Olympian blend of humanity and detachment" whose "expressive voice was always carefully muted" until his late opera Lord Byron which, in contrast to all his previous work, exhibited an emotional content that rises to "moments of real passion".
The Nose, Op. 15,, is Dmitri Shostakovich's first opera, a satirical work completed in 1928 based on Nikolai Gogol's 1836 story of the same name.
Salome, Op. 54, is an opera in one act by Richard Strauss. The libretto is Hedwig Lachmann's German translation of the 1891 French play Salomé by Oscar Wilde, edited by the composer. Strauss dedicated the opera to his friend Sir Edgar Speyer.
Bomarzo is an opera in two acts by the Argentinian composer Alberto Ginastera, his Opus 34. He set a Spanish libretto by Manuel Mujica Laínez, based on his 1962 novel about the 16th-century Italian eccentric Pier Francesco Orsini.
The Book of Thel is a poem by William Blake, dated 1789 and probably composed in the period 1788 to 1790. It is illustrated by his own plates, and compared to his later prophetic books is relatively short and easier to understand. The metre is a fourteen-syllable line. It was preceded by Tiriel, which Blake left in manuscript. A few lines from Tiriel were incorporated into The Book of Thel. Most of the poem is in unrhymed verse.
Jack Hamilton Beeson was an American composer. He was known particularly for his operas, the best known of which are Lizzie Borden, Hello Out There!, and The Sweet Bye and Bye.
Tiriel is the eponymous character in a poem by William Blake written c.1789, and considered the first of his prophetic books. The character of Tiriel is often interpreted as a foreshadowing of Urizen, representative of conventionality and conformity, and one of the major characters in Blake's as yet unrealised mythological system.
In the mythological writings of William Blake, Hela is the youngest of the five daughters of Tiriel. She is the only survivor of his curse. She denounces her blind father for what he has done; he curses her once more, turning her hair to Medusa-style snakes. She guides him to the Vales of Har.
Har is a character in the mythological writings of William Blake, who roughly corresponds to an aged Adam. His wife, Heva, corresponds to Eve. Har appears in Tiriel (1789) and The Song of Los (1795) and is briefly mentioned in The Book of Thel (1790) and Vala, or The Four Zoas (1796-1803).
Dmitri Nikolaevich Smirnov was a Russian-British composer and academic teacher, who also published as Dmitri N. Smirnov and D. Smirnov-Sadovsky. He wrote operas, symphonies, string quartets and other chamber music, and vocal music from song to oratorio. Many of his works were inspired by the art of William Blake.
The Nightingale and the Rose is a chamber opera in one act by Russian composer Elena Firsova written to her own English libretto after Oscar Wilde’s story of the same name together with poetry by Christina Rossetti.
Tiriel is a narrative poem by William Blake, written c.1789. Considered the first of his prophetic books, it is also the first poem in which Blake used free septenaries, which he would go on to use in much of his later verse. Tiriel was unpublished during Blake's lifetime and remained so until 1874, when it appeared in William Michael Rossetti's Poetical Works of William Blake. Although Blake did not engrave the poem, he did make twelve sepia drawings to accompany the rough and unfinished manuscript, although three of them are considered lost as they have not been traced since 1863.
Thel or The Lamentations of Thel is a chamber opera in four scenes with a prologue by the Russian composer Dmitri N. Smirnov to his own libretto in English after William Blake. It was composed in 1985–1986, and was also translated to Russian.
The Devil in Love is an opera in three acts by Alexander Vustin. The libretto was written in Russian by Vladimir Khachaturov, based on the 1732 novel The Devil in Love by Jacques Cazotte. Completed in 1989, it was premiered on 15 February 2019 at the Stanislavski and Nemirovich-Danchenko Theatre in Moscow.
Alexander Kuzmich Vustin, also Voustin or Wustin was a Russian composer. His works, including the opera The Devil in Love, were played and recorded internationally.
The Minotaur is an opera in two acts, with 13 scenes by English composer Harrison Birtwistle to a libretto by poet David Harsent, commissioned by the Royal Opera House in London. The work, a retelling of the Greek myth of the Minotaur, premiered at the Royal Opera House on 15 April 2008 under the stage direction of Stephen Langridge. The score is modernistic, and the scenes fall into three types: bullfights; scenes between Ariadne and Theseus; and dream sequences for the Minotaur, in which the creature has the gift of speech. The opera lasts about 140 minutes.
William Mayer was an American composer, best known for his prize-winning opera A Death in the Family.
The Triple Concerto No. 2, Op. 139, is a concerto for three instruments – violin, harp and double bass – and orchestra by Dmitri Smirnov, composed in 2003. It was premiered in the centenary concert of the London Symphony Orchestra on 26 May 2004, with principal players from the orchestra as soloists.