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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
A Night's Rest At Granada
Abu Hassan
Aida
Alessandro Stradella
Armida
Ballo In Maschera
By Order Of His Highness
Cosi Fan Tutte
Der Freischuetz
Djamileh
Don Pasquale
Donna Diana
Elektra
Ernani
Eugene Onegin
Euryanthe
Falstaff
Fra Diavolo
Friend Fritz
Guglielmo Tell
Gustavus The Third
Hamlet
Hans Heiling
Hansel And Gretel
Herrat
Hoffmann's Tales
Il Barbiere Di Seviglia
Il Demonio
Iphigenia In Aulis
Jean De Paris
Kirke Circe
La Dame Blanche
La Figlia Del Reggimento
La Juive The Jewess
La Muette De Portici
Le Domino Noir
Le Nozze Di Figaro
Les Huguenots
Lohengrin
Lucia Di Lammermoor
Lucrezia Borgia
Martha
Melusine
Moloch
Norma
Oberon
Odysseus' Return
Pagliacci
Preciosa
Rienzi The Last Of The Tribunes
Romeo E Giulietta
Sealed
Siegfried
Silvana
Tannhaeuser
The Apothecary
The Armorer
The Barber Of Bagdad
The Beauties Of Fogaras
The Bell Of The Hermit
The Cid
The Departure
The Devil's Part
The Evangelimann
The Fledermaus The Bat
The Flying Dutchman
The Folkungs
The King Has Said It
The Lowlands
The Maidens Of Schilda
The Merry Wives Of Windsor
The Nibelungen Ring
The Nuremberg Doll
The Plague Of Darkness
The Poacher
The Postilion Of Longjumeau
The Queen Of Sheba
The Sold Bride
The Taming Of The Shrew
The Three Pintos
The Two Grenadiers
The Two Peters
The Vampire
Tosca
Tristan And Isolda
Undine
Werther



Odysseus' Death








Fourth Part of the Odyssey in three acts by AUGUST BUNGERT.


This last part of the Tetralogy bears more decided indications of
Wagner's influence than the others do; and though strikingly beautiful
in many ways it fails to excite quite the same interest as the others,
because it reminds us too much of the Nibelungen Ring, especially of
Siegfried; nevertheless it deserves attention as the conclusion of the
whole series and also on account of Bungert's adopting a later version
of the story of Odysseus, whom Bungert does not suffer to die
peacefully in his old age, but makes him fight as a hero to the very
last.

The prelude opens in Kirke's gardens. The nymphs of the spring are
singing to her, while her son Telegonos, a youth of 15 is playing with
a lion. Kirke has often spoken to her son of his glorious father, whom
he never saw and now his curiosity is awakened, and he asks his mother,
why his father never comes home to her. Kirke now thinks that the time
is come when she should reveal the story of her love to her son. He
hears that his father is no god, but a human hero who after a short
time of bliss remembered his earthly wife Penelopeia, and
returned to her, leaving the goddess alone and broken
hearted.--Telegonos determines to go forth in search of the hero of
Troy and hopes to bring him back to his mother's arms. Kirke presents
him with the golden cup, from which Odysseus once drank the magic
draught of forgetfulness; she hopes to remind him thereby of their past
bliss and thus to win him back.

The first act takes place in Thesprotia. Odysseus has just returned
from a victory over the friends and relations of the insolent suitors
he had slain on his return home; he has conquered their country and is
now greeted with acclamations of joy by his warriors. Despoina, queen
of Thesprotia, and once Penelope's attendant has been made prisoner and
is to be put to death, but Telemachos, Odysseus' son fascinated by her
beauty, intercedes for her. Odysseus resolves to let the oracle of
Dodona decide her fate and Despoina is led back to the tent, but
manages on the way to whisper to Telemachos, that she will expect him
during the night.

Left alone, she intoxicates the guard by means of a sleeping-draught,
and so Telemachos enters the tent unobserved. At first she beguiles
him with a great show of tenderness. When he asks her from whence she
comes, she tells him, that she never knew father nor mother, but that
her nurse revealed to her that she is the daughter of Poseidon and of
Persephone. After her nurse's death she became a priestess in
Poseidon's temple, where she had seen Hyperion, with whom she had
fallen in love, and whom she had followed to Ithaka. There her
lover having fallen under the spell of Penelope's beauty like all the
others, and having met with an untimely death, Despoina had sworn
vengeance on the whole house of Odysseus and to this end had married
the barbarian king of Thesprotia. At this Telemachos turns
shudderingly away from this mysterious woman and she makes use of the
opportunity to take up his sword, with which she secretly and swiftly
stabs the guard, sleeping heavily outside the tent. Then she tries
again to gain ascendency over Telemachos, by assuring him of her love,
but though full of pity for the unhappy and beautiful woman he turns
from her and flies. A short time afterwards Odysseus enters to visit
his captive, she also tries her arts on him but in vain, Odysseus
hearing the shouts of his soldiers, leaves her, and all set out for
Dodona.

The next scene shows the grove of Dodona with Jupiter's temple, bearing
the inscription: Know thyself.

The priests sacrifice to the god singing: "Zeus (Jupiter) is, Zeus was,
Zeus will be." Odysseus brings costly offerings and the three
Peleiades appear, warning Odysseus not to slay Despoina, as vengeance
belongs to Zeus alone but in vain Odysseus insists that she must die.
Then the prophetesses grow wilder in their threats and the priests in
dark words predict to Odysseus an untimely death through his own son;
the sky becomes dark, the sacred spring bubbles and steams. Odysseus
goaded to madness by Telemachos' entreaties for the life of
Despoina the worst foe of his house, draws his sword upon his son. The
latter throws away his weapons and offers his bare breast to his
beloved father's stroke while the priests cry: "Woe to thee Odysseus!"
Then the unhappy father coming to his senses seizes Despoina and drags
her away, while the water quakes from the earth and the Peleiades tear
their hair in wild despair.--

The prelude to the second act takes place in the grotto of the nymphs
at Ithaka, where Telegonos has landed with his companions after a hard
fight with the inhabitants of the island. Resting beside a spring he
sees the reflection of his own image in it, and he begins to dream
about his father and to long for his mother. This song, and the whole
scene, with the water fairies emerging from the waves to look at the
young hero remind very much of the scene between Siegfried and the
Rhine-daughters.--The curtain falls and the first scene of the second
act opens with the triumphant return of Odysseus to his palace.

He has conquered all his enemies and is joyously greeted by his people.
Eumaeos however meets him with the bad news that during his master's
absence a new enemy had appeared and had ravaged the country.--

Odysseus vows that he will drive the enemy off. He turns lovingly to
his faithful Queen and assures her that he will now lay down the sword
for the spade and will labour to insure peace and happiness to all
those countries that are now his own. He is however not without
forebodings of evil remembering the prophesy: "When once thou
exchangest the sword for the spade, then will the close of thy day be
near."

Despoina's entrance interrupts this happy meeting. The she-devil dares
to attack even Penelope's virtue, she goads Odysseus to fury, so that
he is about to stab her. But when she tears open her dress, mockingly
presenting her bosom to his sword, he turns from her ordering the
guards to take her away and to put her to death on the following
morning.

The next scene again shows Telegonos sleeping. Despoina awakes him.
She has escaped from prison and, disguised as a young warrior has
hastened hither to warn Telegonos. He receives her warnings with
laughter for fear is unknown to him. When he calls his lions she
faints with fright. Trying to revive her he opens her coat of mail and
takes off her helmet and thus perceives that she is a woman. At this
discovery his heart is suddenly inflamed with love for Despoina who is
also madly in love with Telegonos. A passionnate love scene follows,
ending by Telegonos telling her, that he is searching for his father
Odysseus. She offers to show him the way, and armed with a sword she
places herself with Telegonos at the head of his soldiers.--

In the third act Odysseus appears alone, stunned and terrified by his
enemy's striking resemblance to Kirke. Wearied to death he lies down
on a mossy bank and falls asleep. In his dream the three Fates
appear before him; they have woven the web of his life which is
approaching its end; Klotho lowers the distaff, Lachesis breaks the
thread and the balance in Atropos' hand sinks. Odysseus awakening
finds himself face to face with Telemachos, who once more throws
himself in his father's arms, having thrown down his sword, and proving
his love and faith in every way. Odysseus, at last persuaded of his
affection returns his embrace. Hearing that Despoina is leading the
enemy to battle he bids Telemachos to take her captive alive or dead,
on which the son hastens away at once. Odysseus about to join his
warriors is hindered by Telegonos, who attacks him. The unhappy father
only defends himself feebly, quite unable to slay the radiant young
hero. Suddenly the news reaches him, that the enemy headed by Despoina
is gaining ground. Telegonos hearing her shouts is about to join her
when Odysseus bars his way with those words: "Dos't know with whom thou
fightest? I am Odysseus."--Alas, Telegonos cannot believe that this
old and evidently decrepit man should be the famous hero; he reviles
him, pressing him hard. When his companions' shouts of victory reach
his ears he throws down his lance, and attacks Odysseus with his
sword.--This is observed by Despoina, who has come up unobserved and
picking up Telegonos' lance she with it stabs Odysseus in the back.

The hero falls, and Telegonos full of joy is about to embrace Despoina,
when she pushes him back and pointing to the dying man says:
"There lies thy father! Odysseus behold thy son!" Telegonos staggers
back but as he is forced to recognize the awful truth he rushes upon
the murderess with his drawn sword. Despoina however is too quick for
him and stabs herself with her own dagger.--

In deep sorrow Telegonos kneels beside his father who embraces him
tenderly. Thus they are found by Penelope and Telemachos. Only now
does Odysseus confess the truth about his love for Kirke to his
faithful wife, whom he had wanted to save from pain by withholding the
knowledge of his infidelity. After a touching farewell Odysseus joins
the hands of the two brothers and blessing his family and his people he
dies erect, like the hero he has always been.





Next: Tosca

Previous: Manon



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