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Romantic 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 King Against His Will
Abu Hassan
Armida
Ballo In Maschera
Bearskin
Benvenuto Cellini
By Order Of His Highness
Carmen
Cavalleria Rusticana
Cosi Fan Tutte
Delila
Don Carlos
Don Juan
Don Pasquale
Donna Diana
Elektra
Ernani
Eugene Onegin
Falstaff
Fidelio
Flauto Solo
Fra Diavolo
Frauenlob
Friend Fritz
Genoveva
Guglielmo Tell
Gustavus The Third
Hamlet
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
Lorle
Love's Battle
Lucia Di Lammermoor
Lucrezia Borgia
Madame Butterfly
Manon
Manru
Marga
Marguerite
Martha
Merlin
Mignon
Moloch
Nausikaa
Norma
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
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 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 Walkyrie
Tosca
Tristan And Isolda
Urvasi
Wedding's Morning
Werther
Will O' The Wisp
Zampa



Melusine








In three acts by CARL GRAMMANN.

Text after C. CAMP'S poem of the same name.

Tableaux and mise en scene after SCHWIND'S composition.


The composer of this opera is known in the musical world as the author
of many other fine works. He has given us several operas worthy of
mention, "St. Andrew's Night", and "Thusnelda" among others, which were
brought on the stage in Dresden some years ago.--

Melusine was first represented in Wiesbaden in 1874 with but small
success.--Since then the opera has been rewritten and in part
completely changed by the author, and in this new garb has found its
first representation in the Dresden Opera-house, on the 23rd of May
1891.



Neither music nor libretto are strikingly original; both remind vividly
of Wagner.--Nevertheless the opera met with warm applause, the
principal part being splendidly rendered by Teresa Malten, and the mise
en scene justifying the highest expectations. The beauty of the music
lies principally in its coloring which is often very fine. Its best
parts are the tender songs of the nymphs, those parts which lead into
the realm of dream and of fairy-land.--Once only it soars to a higher
dramatic style; it is in the second act (the one which has undergone an
entire revision), when Bertram, the natural son, bewails his father.--

On the whole the weak libretto forbids every deeper impression. It is
neither natural nor dramatic, and leaves our innermost feelings as cold
as the watery element, from which it springs.

The scene is laid in a French Department on the Upper Rhine, where a
Duchy of Lusignan can never have existed, about the time of the first
Crusade.--The first act shows a forest, peopled by water-nymphs and
fairies, who enjoy their dances in the light of the
full-moon.--Melusine, their princess emerges from her grotto. While
they sing and dance, a hunter's bugle is heard and Count Raymond of
Lusignan appears with Bertram, his half-brother, seeking anxiously for
their father.--Both search on opposite sides; Bertram disappears, while
Raymond, hearing a loud outcry for help, rushes into the bushes whence
it comes, not heeding Melusine's warning, who watches the
proceedings half hidden in her grotto. The nymphs, foreseeing what is
going to happen, break out into lamentations, while Melusine sings an
old tale of the bloody strife of two brothers. She is already in love
with Raymond, whose misfortune she bewails. When he hurries back in
wild despair at having slain his father, whose life he tried to save
from the tusks of a wild boar,--his sword piercing the old man instead
of the beast, (a deed decreed by fate,)--he finds the lovely nymph
ready to console him. She presents him with a draught from the magic
well, which instantly brings him forgetfulness of the past (compare
Nibelung's-ring).--The Count drinks it, and immediately glowing with
love for the beautiful maiden wooes her as his wife. Melusine consents
to the union under the condition that he pledges himself by a solemn
oath, never to blame her, nor to spy her out, should she leave him in
the full-moon nights. Raymond promises, and the sun having risen, the
hunters find him in his bride's company. He presents their future
mistress to them, and all render homage; only Bertram, struck to the
heart by Melusine's loveliness, which is not for him, stands scornfully
aside.

The first scene of the second act represents the sepulchral crypt of
the Lusignan family. The old Duke has been found dead in the forest,
and a choir of monks sings the Requiem. Bertram's mournful song and
the lament of the women are of surpassing beauty; also the contrasting
sounds from merry music of Raymond's wedding procession, now and
then heard, cause an excellent musical effect. A hermit, Peter von
Amiens, now entering comforts the widowed Duchess and warns them all of
Melusine. He relates the legend of the water-fairy, who with sweet
voice and mien entices and seduces human beings. The poor mother
implores Heaven to save her son, while Bertram invokes Hell to avenge
his father on the murderer.

The scene changes into the park belonging to Raymond's palace. Raymond
and Melusine enjoy their nuptial bliss, until the rising of the
full-moon awakes in Melusine the irresistible longing for her native
element. Notwithstanding her husband's entreaties, she tears herself
from him, and Raymond, mindful of his oath, retires. But Melusine's
steps are interrupted by Bertram, who has tracked her and now declares
his love. She scornfully rejects him, and he, enraged and jealous,
threatens to betray Raymond, whose bloody sword he has found at the
spot, where their father was murdered. But Melusine escapes to the
gray temple in the garden and she prophesies, that Raymond will be
happy as long as he keeps her faith, and then vanishes into the
interior. Bertram remains motionless and stunned, until he hears
Raymond's voice, who is waiting for his wife.--Spurred by every evil
feeling of hate and envy he peremptorily asks Raymond to surrender all
his possessions, his wife Melusine, even his life, deeming that his
brother has forfeited every right through the murder.--But
Raymond oblivious of the deed through the effect of the magic draught,
draws his sword, when his mother interferes. The Duchess repeats to
her son the suspicion expressed by the hermit in regard to Melusine and
Raymond anxiously calls for her to refuse the accusation.--But instead
of his wife, sweet songs are heard from the temple, he forgets his
oath, spies into its interior through a cleft and perceives the place
of the nixies, with Melusine in their midst. Recognizing his fate,
Raymond sinks back with a despairing cry.

In the third act the fishermen and women assemble on the banks of the
Rhine at day-break, preparing for their daily work. They also know the
Count's wife to be a mer-maid, and they sing a ballad of the
water-nymph. Suddenly Melusine appears and they take flight.
Melusine, finding the gates of her husband's castle closed, vainly
calls for him.--His mother answers in his stead, charging her with
witchcraft and refusing to admit her. Melusine, sure of Raymond's love
undauntedly answers that only Raymond's want of faith could undo
her.--In the meantime a herald announces the arrival of Crusaders with
Peter von Amiens.--The latter exhorts Count Raymond to join the holy
army in order to expiate his father's murder. Raymond is willing to
go, when Melusine entreats him not to leave her. All present press
around to insult her, only Bertram steps forth as her protector, once
more showing Raymond's bloody sword, an act, which she alone
understands. She kneels to him, in order to save her husband,
but Raymond, misunderstanding her movements, accuses her of secret
intercourse with Bertram and in a fit of jealousy disowns her.
Scarcely have the luckless words escaped his lips, than a violent sound
of thunder is heard. Melusine curses the palace, and throws her
husband's ring at his feet. She disappears in the Rhine, Bertram
leaping after her, the stream overflows its banks, and a flash of
lightning destroys the castle. Gradually the scene changes to the one
of sylvan solitude in the first act. Raymond appears in pilgrim's garb
to seek for his lost love (see Tannhaeuser), Melusine once more emerges
from her grotto to comfort him, but also to bring him death. Happy, he
dies in her embrace, she buries him under water-lilies and returns to
her watery domains.





Next: Merlin

Previous: The Master-thief



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