In two acts.
Music and Text by ERIK MEYER-HELMUND.
This young composer, whose first opera was brought on the stage in
Dresden in the spring of 1892, has been known for several years to the
musical world by his most charming and effective songs. That he has
talent, even genius is a fact which this opera again demonstrates, but
the "making" is somewhat too easy not to say negligent, and it reminds
us of Mascagni, whose laurels are an inducement to all our young
genius' to "go and do likewise". Even the plot with its Corsican
scenery has a strong resemblance to Cavalleria Rusticana. Its brevity,
both acts last but fifty minutes, is a decided advantage, for the
easy-flowing melodies, which come quite naturally to the composer
cannot fail to attract the public, without being able to tire
them.--One of the most delightful, a really exquisite piece of music is
the duet between Giulietta and Giovanni.
The text, which is likewise written by the musician himself, has a very
Pietro, a sailor returns from a long voyage, only to find his promised
bride Maritana the wife of another.--
After having waited three years for his return, she fell into dire
distress, which was still augmented by the report, that Pietro's ship
"Elena" had been wrecked and her lover drowned. An innkeeper Arrigo
came to her aid, and not only rescued her from misery, but also adopted
her child, the offspring of Maritana's love for Pietro, after which she
promised him her hand in gratitude.
Not long after their marriage the "Elena" returns with Pietro, who
never doubts his sweetheart's constancy. Great is his dismay, when he
hears from Arrigo and his father, that Maritana is lost to him. Pietro
endeavours to persuade Maritana to fly with him, but the young wife,
although conscious of her affections for him, denies that she ever
The second act begins with the wedding festival of Giovanni and
Giulietta, Arrigo's niece. After the charming love-duet above
mentioned, Pietro once more offers his love to Maritana, but in vain.
In the midst of the turmoil of frolic, in which Pietro seems one of the
wildest and gayest, Arrigo takes him aside, whispering: "There is no
room here for both of us, unless you leave Maritana in peace. Quit
this place; there are more girls in the world to suit you."--Pietro
promises, and in his passion he at once turns to the bride Giulietta,
whom he embraces.--Of course her bridegroom Giovanni is not
willing to put up with this piece of folly; a violent quarrel ensues,
in which the men rush upon Pietro with daggers drawn.
Maritana, willing to sacrifice herself in a quarrel, for which she
feels herself alone responsible, rushes between the combatants. Then
Pietro, fully awake to her love, but seeing that she is lost to him,
quickly ascends a rock and calling out "O Sea eternal, I am thine,
farewell Maritana, we shall meet in Heaven" he precipitates himself
into the waves, while Maritana falls back in a faint.
Next: Lucia Di Lammermoor