In one act by GEORG PITTRICH.
Text by ARNO SPIESS.
The first performance of this highly interesting little opera took
place in Dresden in February 1894 and awakened the interest of every
music lover in the hitherto quite unknown composer. Scenery and Music
are of the colouring now common to modern composers, for whom
unfortunately Mascagni is still the God, at whose shrine they worship.
The scene is laid in a Bulgarian village at the foot of the
Schipka-Pass. Marga the heroine, a Roumanian peasant-girl has had a
sister Petrissa, who, suffering cruel wrong at the hands of Vasil
Kiselow, has cursed her seducer and sought death in the waves.
Marga, who had vowed to avenge her sister, is wandering through the
world in vain search of Vasil. When the curtain opens she has just
reached the village, where Vasil occupies the most auspicious position
of Judge. Thoroughly exhausted she sinks down at the foot of a cross
and falls asleep.
Vasil's son Manal, finding her thus, detects a wonderful likeness
between the sleeping beauty and a picture, which he had found some time
ago in the miraculous Sabor Cave, and which for him is the ideal of
love and beauty.--This picture, a likeness of Petrissa had been hung
there by Vasil in order to exorcise the curse of the unhappy virgin,
but Manal has no knowledge of his father's misdeed.
When Marga awakes, the young people of course fall in love with each
other, and Marga discovers too late, that Manal is the son of her
sister's destroyer. Hesitating between love and her vow of vengeance
she wildly reproaches Vasil who falls at her feet in deep contrition
beseeching her forgiveness, which she grants at last.--Full of
penitence he relinquishes his property to the young people, and
exhorting Manal to be a just and clement Judge, he betakes himself to
the mountains, resolved to join in the war against the Turks.
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