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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
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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



The Alpine King And The Misanthrope








In three acts by LEO BLECH.

Text by RICHARD BATKA.


The young composer, who is already conductor of the orchestra of the
German Opera in Prague made his debut last year in a small one-act
opera, called "That was I"--, the music of which is pretty and shows
remarkable talent. There is however enormous progress to be observed
in "The Alpine King". Blech, although following in Wagner's footsteps,
has a style of his own. His modulations are bold, often daring; his
dissonances are frequent but they are fully compensated for by the most
charming folk-songs. He has the courage to introduce melodies freely,
in this respect he is one among a thousand. In his modern style of
orchestration too he shows himself to be full of resource, while
more especially in those passages, where the spirit-world comes into
play, there is a display of tone-effects of great beauty, which are
perhaps too elaborate for the simple subject, but the Cottage scene,
and the simple Tirolean-songs of the peasants are all the more graceful
by contrast; one of the most charming songs in the Polka-air in f:
"Fair are Roses and Jessamine".

Batka, the writer of the libretto, has taken his subject from Raimund's
beautiful folk-story of the same name. He has done it with skill but
not without some weak passages.

The scene opens in a Tirolean mountain district. Marthe, Rappelkopf's
daughter, and her servant Lieschen, while making a nosegay of wild
flowers, are waiting for Marthe's lover Hans, a poor musician, who
after having been rejected by his sweetheart's father has absented
himself for some time, in order to make himself perfect in his art by
studying under the great masters in Italy. Lieschen is much afraid of
the Alpine King on whose ground they are sitting, and of whom the
legend says, that he turns young girls into old women, if they dare to
look at him. Marthe has more sense, she is sure that the lord of these
grand mountains must be good and just. While the girls are busy wilh
their garlands, Hans comes up the steep path and is joyously greeted by
his fiancee. He has become a man and is full of hope that he will now
be able to satisfy Herr Rappelkopf, but Marthe sadly tells him,
how morbid and misanthropic her father has become, so that she does not
even dare to mention her lover's name. Suddenly a shot is heard and a
bird falls dead at their feet. Turning to look at the unwelcome
intruder they find themselves face to face with a strange old man; who,
when they ask him who he is, replies quickly: "I am the King of the
Alps". Dreadfully frightened Lieschen and Marthe look at each other in
consternation, but finding that their sweet young faces are unchanged,
they take courage, and kneeling before the majestic traveller they
implore his help and blessing, which the latter willingly promises.

The second scene takes place in Rappelkopf's house. Lieschen comes to
look for the man servant Habakuk, who is very much in love with her.
She treats him rather scornfully, being averse to his peculiar style of
love-making, and the French phrases with which he adorns his speeches
and which she does not understand. He takes the greatest pride in the
fact that he has lived for two years in Paris, and he continually
refers to that glorious time. Rappelkopf taking his servants by
surprise pours forth a volley of abuse upon them; he is interrupted by
the appearance of his daughter and Hans, whom he receives just as
badly. In vain his wife Sabine implores him to listen to reason; in
his wrath he abuses her too, so that she leaves him broken-hearted,
sighing, that she would rather see him dead than in such a state of
mind. Shortly after Habakuk comes forward with a kitchen-knife,
with which he is going to cut chiccory in the garden. Rappelkopf no
sooner perceives the knife that his wits take leave of him altogether;
and he actually believes that Habakuk has been sent by his wife to
murder him. Making for one door he meets Hans and Marthe, turning to
another he sees Habakuk, and at last trying to escape by the garden
door his wife stops him, but he pushes her aside, and with frantic
vociferations he rushes away.

The second act opens in front of a cottage in the Alpine regions; Veit
the joiner is busy at his bench singing all the while and rejoicing in
the prospect of the coming Festival. His wife Katherine is busy
washing and his daughter is sitting at her wheel spinning and singing,
while his son is playing about merrily. At last the joiner throws down
his plane disregarding the remonstrances of his wife, who still goes on
with her washing and complains bitterly of her light hearted and lazy
family. Thus they are found by Rappelkopf, whose fancy is at once
struck by position of the solitary little cottage. He desires to buy
it and offers three hundred thalers for it on condition that he shall
enter in immediate possession. The astonished workman consents to this
bargain without more ado, too happy at this unexpected piece of good
luck to think of anything else. Rappelkopf gruffly orders the whole
family to pack off instantly. Father and children prepare to depart
laughing and singing, but Katherine takes leave of her humble home with
bitter tears.



When Rappelkopf finds himself alone he is quite delighted by the
complete solitude and grandeur of the surrounding mountains and
glaciers, but soon darkness comes over the scene and with it uneasiness
and fear take possession of the lonely man. At last he can stand the
loneliness no longer and on his cry for help, Astragalus the Alpine

King appears frightening him almost to death. Astragalus however
merely advises him to return to his family, whom he left in sorrow and
anxiety. But Rappelkopf's hatred of mankind knows no bounds; he
remains deaf to the good king's remonstrances. At last the latter
determines to make Rappelkopf see his behaviour in its true light. To
this end he promises to metamorphose the misanthrope into the exact
likeness of his own brother in law, in which form he is to return home
on the following morning in order to test the real feelings of his wife
and daughter.

Astragalus makes him swear that he will not persist in his obstinacy
should he find out his error, and Rappelkopf consents, making the king
promise in his turn to destroy all the inhabitants of the place, should
his hate for them be justified. Both take solemn oaths, after which
Astragalus touches Rappelkopf's forehead, making him fall asleep while
a sweet chorus of fairies lulls the unhappy man into sweet slumber.

The third act opens in Rappelkopf's house. Marthe and Lieschen are
waiting for the return of the neighbours who have gone in search of the
lost father. Marthe is in great anxiety, she has almost ceased
to hope for the Alpine King's help. Suddenly the stage-coach arrives
bringing Sabine's brother, whom his sister had summoned in her despair.
It is Rappelkopf himself in the likeness of uncle Joseph. He is
greeted with enthusiasm, but remarking his wife's sad looks, he
observes that she ought to be glad to be rid of the maniac who has
treated her so badly. Sabine however stands up for her husband,
affirming that she loves him as much as ever, though a strange
alienation of mind has sadly changed him. Rappelkopf does not believe
her; he asks why she should suppose such a thing. Sabine relates the
scene with Habakuk, who, having been sent by her into the garden with a
kitchen-knife to cut some vegetables, was regarded as a murderer by her
insane husband, who had fled at once. This explanation moves
Rappelkopf deeply, and when Marthe begs him earnestly to assure her
father when he sees him of her deep filial love, and to speak in favour
of Hans without whom she cannot live, he kisses her tenderly and then
begs to be left alone for a short time. They all leave him, but almost
immediately afterwards Rappelkopf hears a great uproar, which Habakuk
explains by announcing the return of his master, who seems to be in a
more frantic state than ever.

Astragalus now enters transformed into the appearance of Rappelkopf.
He pushes Hans before him overwhelming him with a volley of abuse. The
real Rappelkopf, coming forward to greet his brother-in-law, is
received no better. When Rappelkopf mentions Sabine, Astragalus speaks
of her exactly in the same way as Rappelkopf had formerly done, calling
her a murderess, a dragon etc.; in fact he behaves in such a manner
that Rappelkopf begins to be afraid of his own (Rappelkopf's) image.
Astragalus having shut himself up in his own room now rings violently;
both servants rush forward at his call, but neither of them dares to
enter the tyrant's apartment. Rappelkopf, already heartily ashamed of
himself now asks the servants what their opinion is about their master
and receives the instant reply, that he is a madman, of whom everybody
is afraid.--They confess their attachment to each other, and entreat
the supposed uncle Joseph to try to bring their master back to reason,
and to put in a good word for them about their wedding. The uncle
promises everything, and having got a knife from Habakuk he goes into
the garden to cut some roses for Sabine. Habakuk and his sweet-heart
are left alone and exchange a few words, but they timidly separate when
Astragalus enters. However he takes no notice of them, but looking out
of the window he perceives Rappelkopf, returning from the garden with
the knife and a bunch of roses. Rappelkopf no sooner sees his double,
than he tries to slink off unobserved, but Astragalus detains him and
pointing to the knife in his hand abuses him in the very language which
Rappelkopf had formerly used, calling him murderer, robber, monster
and--man.



The poor misanthrope screams for help and the whole family rushing in
Astragalus turns his wrath upon them, cursing them one and all. This
is too much for Rappelkopf. "Enough of the play" he cries, "I was a
madman and a sinner, not he, but I am Rappelkopf, and I freely confess
that my hatred towards mankind in general and especially against my own
dear family was as wicked as it was unfounded!" At these word a peal
of thunder is heard and the room becomes dark. When the light returns,
Astragalus has vanished and Rappelkopf stands before his family in his
own form. Deeply moved, he begs pardon of every one, he embraces his
faithful wife and daughter and unites the two pairs of lovers, Martha
and Hans--Lieschen and Habakuk.





Next: Manon

Previous: Hoffmann's Tales



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