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Comic Opera

A King Against His Will
A Night's Rest At Granada
Abu Hassan
Aida
Alessandro Stradella
Armida
Ballo In Maschera
Bearskin
Benvenuto Cellini
By Order Of His Highness
Carmen
Cavalleria Rusticana
Cosi Fan Tutte
Delila
Der Freischuetz
Djamileh
Don Carlos
Don Juan
Don Pasquale
Donna Diana
Elektra
Ernani
Eugene Onegin
Euryanthe
Falstaff
Fidelio
Flauto Solo
Fra Diavolo
Frauenlob
Friend Fritz
Genoveva
Guglielmo Tell
Gustavus The Third
Hamlet
Hans Heiling
Hansel And Gretel
Henry The Lion
Herrat
Hoffmann's Tales
Idle Hans
Idomeneus
Il Barbiere Di Seviglia
Il Demonio
Il Seraglio
Il Trovatore
Ingrid
Iphigenia In Aulis
Iphigenia In Tauris
Jean De Paris
Jessonda
Joseph In Egypt
Junker Heinz Sir Harry
Kirke Circe
L'africaine
La Boheme
La Dame Blanche
La Figlia Del Reggimento
La Juive The Jewess
La Muette De Portici
La Somnambula
La Traviata
Le Domino Noir
Le Nozze Di Figaro
Le Prophete
Les Huguenots
Little Bare Foot
Lohengrin
Lorle
Love's Battle
Lucia Di Lammermoor
Lucrezia Borgia
Madame Butterfly
Manon
Manru
Marga
Marguerite
Martha
Melusine
Merlin
Mignon
Moloch
Nausikaa
Norma
Oberon
Odysseus' Death
Odysseus' Return
Orfeo E Eurydice
Othello
Pagliacci
Philemon And Baucis
Preciosa
Rienzi The Last Of The Tribunes
Rigoletto
Robert Le Diable
Romeo E Giulietta
Salome
Sealed
Siegfried
Silvana
Tannhaeuser
The Alpine King And The Misanthrope
The Apothecary
The Armorer
The Barber Of Bagdad
The Beauties Of Fogaras
The Bell Of The Hermit
The Cid
The Cricket On The Hearth
The Departure
The Devil's Part
The Dusk Of The Gods
The Evangelimann
The Fledermaus The Bat
The Flying Dutchman
The Folkungs
The Golden Cross
The King Has Said It
The Lowlands
The Maccabees
The Magic Flute
The Maidens Of Schilda
The Master-singers Of Nueremberg
The Master-thief
The Merry Wives Of Windsor
The Nibelungen Ring
The Nuremberg Doll
The Piper Of Hameln
The Plague Of Darkness
The Poacher
The Postilion Of Longjumeau
The Queen Of Sheba
The Sold Bride
The Taming Of The Shrew
The Templar And The Jewess
The Three Pintos
The Trumpeter Of Saekkingen
The Two Grenadiers
The Two Peters
The Vampire
The Walkyrie
Tosca
Tristan And Isolda
Undine
Urvasi
Wedding's Morning
Werther
Will O' The Wisp
Zampa


The Standard Operaglass

A Night's Rest At Granada
Aida
Alessandro Stradella
Armida
Bearskin
Benvenuto Cellini
Carmen
Cavalleria Rusticana
Delila
Der Freischuetz
Djamileh
Don Carlos
Don Juan
Elektra
Ernani
Eugene Onegin
Euryanthe
Fidelio
Flauto Solo
Frauenlob
Friend Fritz
Genoveva
Guglielmo Tell
Gustavus The Third
Hamlet
Hans Heiling
Hansel And Gretel
Henry The Lion
Herrat
Hoffmann's Tales
Idle Hans
Idomeneus
Il Demonio
Il Seraglio
Il Trovatore
Ingrid
Iphigenia In Aulis
Iphigenia In Tauris
Jessonda
Joseph In Egypt
Junker Heinz Sir Harry
Kirke Circe
L'africaine
La Boheme
La Juive The Jewess
La Muette De Portici
La Somnambula
La Traviata
Le Prophete
Les Huguenots
Little Bare Foot
Lohengrin
Lorle
Love's Battle
Lucia Di Lammermoor
Lucrezia Borgia
Madame Butterfly
Manon
Manru
Marga
Marguerite
Melusine
Merlin
Mignon
Moloch
Nausikaa
Norma
Oberon
Odysseus' Death
Odysseus' Return
Orfeo E Eurydice
Othello
Pagliacci
Philemon And Baucis
Preciosa
Rienzi The Last Of The Tribunes
Rigoletto
Robert Le Diable
Romeo E Giulietta
Salome
Siegfried
Silvana
Tannhaeuser
The Alpine King And The Misanthrope
The Cid
The Cricket On The Hearth
The Dusk Of The Gods
The Evangelimann
The Fledermaus The Bat
The Flying Dutchman
The Folkungs
The Golden Cross
The Lowlands
The Maccabees
The Magic Flute
The Master-singers Of Nueremberg
The Master-thief
The Nibelungen Ring
The Piper Of Hameln
The Plague Of Darkness
The Queen Of Sheba
The Templar And The Jewess
The Trumpeter Of Saekkingen
The Vampire
The Walkyrie
Tosca
Tristan And Isolda
Undine
Urvasi
Wedding's Morning
Werther
Will O' The Wisp
Zampa



Donna Diana








In three acts by E. VON REZNICEK.

Text after a free translation of MORETO'S comedy of the same name.


Many are the authors, who have dramatized this old, but ever young and
fresh comedy, but yet none have so nearly reached the ideal, as this
young composer. His manner of interweaving Spanish national airs is
particularly successful, because they tinge the piece with peculiar
local colouring.

The Spanish melodies are chosen with exquisite elegance and skill.

Reznicek's manner of composing is thoroughly modern; he has learnt much
from Wagner and Liszt and not least from Verdi's "Falstaff";
nevertheless he is always original, fresh and so amusing, so
sparkling with wit and genius, that I am tempted to call Donna Diana
the modern comic opera par excellence. Sometimes the orchestra is
almost too rich for Moreto's playful subject, but this is also quite
modern, and besides it offers coloristic surprises very rare in comic
operas.

In the first act the waltz is particularly charming; in the second the
ballet music and Floretta's song (im Volkston) are so beautiful that
once heard they can never be forgotten. The bolero-rythme and the 3/8
measure are typical of the Spanish style, which flows through almost
all the songs and recitations giving sparkling piquancy to the opera.
In the last act, where love conquers intrigue and gaiety the music
reaches its culminating point.

The scene is laid in Don Diego's palace at Barcelona at the time of
Catalonia's independence, Don Cesar, Prince of Urgel is resting in
Diego's Hall after having won the first prize in a tournament. He
muses sadly on Donna Diana's coldness, which all his victories fail to
overcome. Perrin the clown takes pity on him, and after having won his
confidence, gives him the advice to return coldness for coldness. Don
Cesar promises to try this cure, though it seems hard to hide his deep
love.--Floretta, Donna Diana's foster-sister enters to announce the
issue of the tournament. She fain would flirt with Perrin to whom she
is sincerely attached, but he turns a cold shoulder to her and lets her
depart in a rage, though he is over head and ears in love with the
pretty damsel.--The next scene opens on a brilliant crowd, all
welcoming Count Sovereign of Barcelona and his daughter Donna Diana.
The Count accosts them graciously, and making sign to the three gallant
Princes, Don Cesar of Urgel, Don Louis of Bearne and Gaston Count de
Foie, they advance to receive their laurels on bended knee from the
fair hands of the Princess, who crowns Cesar with a golden wreath,
while the two other princes each win a silver price.--When the ceremony
is ended, Don Diego turns to his daughter, beseeching her to give an
heir to the country by selecting a husband, but Diana declares, that
though she is willing to bend to her father's will, love seems poison
to her, and marriage death. Gaston and Louis, nothing daunted,
determine to try their luck even against the fair lady's will, and
while the father prays to God, to soften his daughter's heart, Cesar's
courage sinks ever lower, though Perrin encourages him to begin the
farce at once. Donna Diana alone is cool and calm, inwardly resolved
to keep her hand and heart free, she is deeply envied by her two
cousins Fenisa and Laura, who would gladly choose one of the gallant
warriors.--Perrin now advises the Princes to try their wit and
gallantry on the Princess, and Don Diego, consenting to his daughter's
wish, that she need only suffer their courtship for a short time, she
cooly accepts this proposal. Gaston begins to plead his cause,
declaring, that he will not leave Barcelona without a bride and Louis
follows his example; both are greatly admired and applauded by the
assistants, only Diana finds their compliments ridiculous and
their wit shallow. Cesar without a word retires to the background, and
when asked by the Princess, why he does not compete with his rivals,
answers "Because I will not love, nor ever wish to be loved; I only woo
you, to show you my regard." Greatly mortified Diana resolves to
punish such pride, by subjugating him to her charms.

In the second act a fancy ball is going on in the Prince's gardens.
Each of the ladies has a bunch of different coloured ribbons, and
decides to get the man she loves for her own. Diana now explains, that
each knight is to choose a colour, which entitles him to own the lady
who wears the same colours as long as the masquerade lasts. Don Louis
choosing green gets Donna Laura, Don Gaston wearing red is chosen by
Fenisa; Perrin loudly asserting that, abhorring love he chooses the
obscure colour black, wins Floretta, and Don Cesar choosing white,
finds himself Donna Diana's champion. She takes his arm, and soon her
beauty so inflames him, that forgetting good advice and prudence he
thrown himself at her feet, confessing his love. Triumphant, but
mockingly she turns from him, and thereby suddenly recalls his pride.
In a bantering tone he asks her, if she really believed, that his love
making, to which duty compelled him for the evening, was true? Hot
with wrath and shame at being so easily duped she bids him leave her,
and when alone resolves to have her revenge. She calls Perrin to
fetch her cousins, and charges him to let Cesar know, that he can hear
her sing in the gardens. Then she is adorned with the most bewitching
garments and surrounded by her attendants begins to play and sing most
sweetly as soon as she hears Don Cesar's steps.--The latter would have
succumbed to the temptation, if he had not been warned by Perrin, not
to listen to the siren. So they philander in the grounds, admiring the
plants, and to all appearance deaf to beauty and song. Impatiently
Diana signs Floretta, to let Cesar know, that he is in the presence of
his Princess, at which our hero like one awaking from a dream turns,
and bowing to the Princess and excusing himself gravely, disappears,
leaving Diana almost despairing.

In the third act Perrin gives vent to his happy feelings about his love
for Floretta, and about the Princess, whose state of mind he guesses.
He is delighted to see his scheme successful, and sings a merry air,
which is heard by Diana. Behind the scene Don Louis is heard, bringing
a serenade to Donna Laura, with whom he has fallen in love, and on the
other side Don Gaston sings Fenisa's praise, so that poor Diana sinking
back on a sopha is all at once surrounded by loving couples, who
shamelessly carry on their courting before her very eyes, and then
retire casting mischievous glances at their disgusted mistress. Diana
who sees Cesar approaching, determines to try a last expedient, in
order to humble his pride. Cooly she explains to him, that she has
resolved to yield to her father's wish, and to bestow her hand on
Prince Louis. For a moment Cesar stands petrified, but his guardian
angel in the guise of Perrin whispers from behind the screen, to hold
out, and not to believe in women's wiles. So he controls himself once
more, and congratulates her, wishing the same courtesy from the
Princess, because, as he calmly adds, he has got betrothed to Donna
Laura.

That is the last stroke for Diana, her pride is humbled to the dust.
All her reserve vanishes, when her secret love for the hero, which she
has not even owned to herself, is in danger. She altogether breaks
down, and so she is found by her father, who enters, loudly
acknowledging Don Louis as his son-in-law, and sanctioning Don Cesar's
choice of Donna Laura. But Cesar begs to receive his bride from
Diana's own hands, at which the latter rising slowly, asks her father,
if he is still willing to leave to her alone the selection of a
husband. Don Diego granting this, she answers: "Then I choose him who
conquered pride through pride." "And who may this happy mortal be?"
says Cesar. "You ask? It's you my tyrant," she replies, and with
these words sinks into her lover's open arms.





Next: The Sold Bride

Previous: Djamileh



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