Children Stories.ca - Find fairy tale stories, children bedtime stories, online fairy tales and children's fairy tales. Visit Children Stories.caInformational Site Network Informational
Privacy
     Home - All Operas - Opera Stories - Opera History - Opera Physiology

Musical Tragedy

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
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
Nausikaa
Norma
Oberon
Odysseus' Death
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



Odysseus' Return








In three acts with a Prelude by AUGUST BUNGERT.


A musical drama of the highest interest, one which may be considered
equal to Wagner's great Nibelung series, has been created at last.

"Odysseus' Return" is the third of four parts of a cyclus, called the
Odyssey, and its success since its first representation in Dresden on
December 12th 1896 has been so absolute, that one may hope to hear the
other parts before long. It must be admitted here, that this is due
partly to its splendid rendering under Schuch's genial
conductorship, and to the interpreters of the two principal roles in
the drama. Frau Wittich as Penelope is the very incarnation of
womanliness and queenliness, and no singer could be a truer and nobler
Odysseus than Karl Scheidemantel. Whosoever had the advantage of
hearing these two great singers in these roles, must for ever identify
them with the grand characters of ancient Greece.

Bungert is happy in having found a subject so noble and so sympathetic,
and his music does full justice to these sentiments.

The orchestration is simple in character, sometimes of classic naivete,
and though the composer keeps to measures without caesura (destitute of
rythm) which are peculiar to Wagner, he differs from him inasmuch as
the orchestra is always merely the accompaniment of the voice and never
drowns it.

All the characters are most life-like, and they thrill with those never
changing emotions, which are the same to-day as they were a thousand
years ago.

The plot treats of Homer's Odyssey with a poetic licence.

In the Prelude Pallas Athene appears, conveying the impression of a
statue and forthwith producing the right frame of mind in the hearer,
by the original song of thirty measures all in c.--After her
disappearance Penelope's suitors assemble and form a plot to destroy
Telemachus, the queen's son, of whom they are afraid. Hyperion,
Telemachus' intimate friend tries to frustrate their plans, but in
vain. When left alone he reproaches himself bitterly for his
treachery to his friend and decides to warn him. Hyperion too is in
love with the queen, but he is at the same time deeply attached to her
noble son, who at this juncture is seen arriving in a vessel, in which
he is setting out in quest of his father Odysseus.--Hyperion entreats
Telemachus to let him accompany him on this dangerous voyage, but the
latter begs him to remain with his lonely mother and embarks after
taking a tender leave of Hyperion.

Then the scenery changes. The first act takes place in a bay of the
isle of Ithaca, in which Odysseus has landed after many years of
fruitless wandering. He has fallen asleep near a grotto, which is the
abode of nymphs; beside him lie the gifts of the Phaeaces. On the
heights the hut of old Eumaeus, Odysseus' steward is seen. He sits on
a bench beside the aged Laertes, Odysseus' father, awaiting his master.
Shepherds, dancing and frolicking past him laugh and mock at the
faithful servant's belief in Odysseus' return.

By and by Odysseus half awakes from the deep slumber, into which the
gods have thrown him; the whole country seems to be enveloped in mist
and he does not recognize it, although the songs of the peasants fill
him with thoughts of his youth and his home. Dreamily he sinks back on
his couch, while Pallas appears attired in beggar's garb, which she
throws off and is seen clad fantastically in the costume of a royal
shepherdess. She waves her hand, and the mist clears away when
the whole country is seen bathed in moonlight and Odysseus opening his
eyes recognizes mount Neriton and his own beloved island. Blinded with
tears he kisses the sacred soil, and returns thanks to the gods, who
have at last led him back to his home.

Suddenly he hears Eumaeus' voice, and finding the beggar's cloak, which
the goddess has left him, he wraps himself in it, and hides his weapons
and the treasures of the Phaeaces in the grotto. Eumaeus loudly
bewails Penelope's fate, and curses the wicked suitors. At the same
time the sound of oars is heard and Telemachus' vessel passes by,
pursued by the suitors. Eumaeus, too weak to render aid, continues to
wail, when suddenly Odysseus rises up before him saying; "The gods will
conquer." The old man, not recognizing his king continues to accuse
the Fates, and tells the stranger, how badly things have fared since
the king's absence.--"And Penelope, my friend?" asks Odysseus.
"Penelope is faithful," answers the servant. Then "Be it known to you
friend, that Oydsseus will return" quoth the stranger. Struck by a dim
foreboding of the truth Eumaeus promises to lead the stranger into the
queen's palace this very night.

While they converse, Telemachus calls upon Eumaeus for help, and when
the vessels come into sight the prince is seen fighting against his
pursuers. He slays one of them, but their number far exceeds that of
his own followers. Odysseus, who has vainly looked for the boat
which the suitors have stolen, throws his club at them, and springs
into his son's vessel just in time to rescue the lad, whose sword has
been broken, but who continues to fight, nothing daunted. Odysseus
kills some of his foes and pushes their vessel far off, after which
they escape, while the father carries his fainting son on shore. At
this moment Eumaeus recognizes his mighty guest. Telemachus still half
unconscious, calls for another sword. When he at last opens his eyes
he stares in wonder at the mysterious stranger whom he deems a god in
beggar's garb. Eumaeus informs him, that the stranger brings news of
their long lost king, which fills the son's heart with joy. At this
point the low songs of the nymphs are heard, welcoming the hero to
Ithaca while Laertes, slowly descending from the heights, prophesies
Odysseus' return as one in a dream. Odysseus can hardly restrain his
tears at seeing his father looking so old and so woebegone. He meets
him humbly, and all their voices mingle in a chorus of triumph and
welcome, while Odysseus stepping forward, vows that he will annihilate
the suitors.

The second act opens in Penelope's room.

She sits at her loom, looking out over the far stretching sea and
bewailing her lot. Behind the scene the evoes and drunken cries of the
suitors are heard and with bitter tears she prays to the gods to help
her, and to protect her son, whom she knows to be on the treacherous
waves.--Suddenly Hyperion rushes in and prostrating himself at
her feet offers her a bunch of orange blossoms, and pays homage to her
in sentimental poetic language. Penelope quietly congratulates him on
having escaped from the nets of his paramour Despoina and the lover,
taking this as a favourable sign, breaks out into passionate words, but
is at once checked by the queen. He then reveals to her the shameful
plot of the suitors, and Penelope becomes speechless with horror.
Before she recovers her selfpossession the suitors rush into the
apartment, insolently reminding her of her promise to choose one of
them, as soon as the garment, which she has been weaving for so many
years for Laertes shall be completed, and wildly upbraiding her with
undoing her work during the night Penelope tries to hold them in check,
but they only grow more shameless, and at last Antinous tries to
embrace her. Quick as thought she draws her dagger, and when it is
wrenched from her she snatches his own sword and directs it against
him. But Eurymachus, another suitor comes forward, and attacking
Hyperion, pierces him with his sword, then turns to the queen, swearing
to kill Telemachus as well, should she not yield to their demands. The
queen wavers, when renewed acclamations are heard, and Telemachus
enters with Eumaeus and Odysseus, the latter still wearing his
disguise. The mother rushes forward to embrace her son, but he is
seized by the suitors who peremptorily require the queen's oath. "Save
thy son o queen", says the stranger, and Penelope at last swears
to give her hand to him who shall be victorious in the contest held on
Apollo's festival on the following day. Thereupon the suitors promise
to protect Telemachus and retire leaving mother and son together.

Not until then does Telemachus recognize in the prostrate form his
friend Hyperion, who dying tells him, that he has betrayed his friend
and loved his mother. Terrified though he is the tender-hearted youth
forgives him and entreats his mother to do the same. But the queen
stands as one turned to stone not heeding the stranger, who likewise
bids her say a word to the man, who is dying for her, and who is now in
his last moments raving of his unholy love. Telemachus at last seizes
his friend's hand and closes his dim eyes with a kiss, while the queen,
with a last despairing cry for Odysseus sinks back senseless and is
carried away by her son and her nurse Eurycleia.--Left alone, Odysseus
remains a prey to doubt and jealousy.--When Penelope recovering hears
the news of her lost husband, Odysseus promises her the speedy return
of the latter, answering her excited questions with: "I know him as I
know myself." The queen fears he will be too late, and when the
stranger insinuates to her that the king will perhaps kill the suitors
whom he has discovered in the queen's apartments and cunningly asks,
wether she wants their protection, her long pent up rage against her
pursuers finds vent in a terrible cry for vengeance and for the
annihilation of all her enemies, and falling on her knees before the
beggar she beseeches him to hasten Odysseus' return. The latter, being
at last sure of his wife's faithfullness, reassures her and tells her
to confide in the gods.

The third act opens with Apollo's festival. The statue of the god is
carried before the people, adorned with roses and ivy. The suitors
banquet in the palace, while the true master sits aloof on the steps of
the temple and is mocked at by the crowd, however remains quiet, only
invoking the god to direct his fate.--Trumpets announce the arrival of
the queen, who is loudly hailed by the crowd. She carries her
husband's own bow, and promises to marry whomsoever shall succeed in
bending it, and in shooting the arrow through a series of twelve
rings.--Telemachus is the first to try his luck, hoping to redeem his
beloved mother. But alas, his strength fails him, and he has to hand
the bow on to the suitors, who so goad and taunt him, that the boy
draws his sword. But they are stronger, Telemachus stumbles and the
beggar catches him in his arms, and unfolds his mantle to protect him
whispering: "Telemachus my son, I am thy father." The youth sinks on
his knees, but Odysseus enjoins silence upon him and warns him to be
ready for battle.

Meanwhile the boy is derided by the crowd, and the queen bitterly
disappointed turns to the beggar whispering: "Thy words old man were
false!" But Odysseus replies: "The gods will prove victorious",
and kisses the queen's hand so fervently, that she stares at him as one
in a trance, until he, recovering himself, kisses it again in due
humility. Her eyes once more grow dim, and she leaves the grounds in
dull despair. During this time the bow has passed from hand to hand,
but none can bend it, and the augur Theoclymenus, who hears Jupiter's
thunder and sees the ravens fly over the temple prophesies their
destruction.

Eurymachus at last proposes to throw the bow into the fire, when the
beggar advances and asks leave to try his strength at bending it,
which, though indignantly refused by the suitors, is immediately
granted by Telemachus, who owns the bow. Odysseus bends it and shoots
through all the rings.

During this scene Pallas appears in the air, holding her shield aloft.
Horror seizes the wooers, when they recognize the mighty arm, which
alone can bend the bow, and Odysseus, flinging his cloak from him and
standing erect in his shining armour, slays his enemies aided by his
son and those of his servants who have remained true to him and to
their queen. The latter, walking slowly over the peristyle all at once
sees Odysseus and recognizes her lord, who folds her to his heart.
When the palace is cleared of the dead, the people press in to hail
their king and Athene appears once more, holding her shield over the
happy crowd and blessing the faithful spouse.





Next: Bearskin

Previous: The Evangelimann



Add to del.icio.us Add to Reddit Add to Digg Add to Del.icio.us Add to Google Add to Twitter Add to Stumble Upon
Add to Informational Site Network
Report
Privacy
SHAREADD TO EBOOK


Viewed 1343