Alessandro Stradella





In three acts by FLOTOW.



Text after the French by W. FRIEDRICH.





Flotow, who composed this little opera when at Paris in the year 1844,

that is long before his Martha, had the satisfaction of scoring a great

success on the evening of its first representation in Hamburg. The

pleasant impression then made by its agreeable and lovely melodies has

not faded the less that, after hearing many of our stormy and exciting

modern operas, one often and ardently longs for the restful charm

and guileless pleasure of a piece like this.



The libretto is interesting and touching, without being

over-sensational.



Stradella, the celebrated Venetian singer has fallen in love with

Leonore, ward of a rich Venetian citizen named Bassi. She returns his

love, but is strictly guarded by her uncle, who wants to marry her

himself. Stradella succeeds in deceiving Bassi and aided by his friend

carries her off during the Carnival. In the second act we find the

lovers in a little village near Rome, where a priest unites them for

ever and gives them his benediction.



But Malvolio, a bandit, has sought them by Bassi's orders, and

discovers their refuge. Entering the villa, where he finds open doors

but no people, he meets with another bandit, in whom he recognizes his

friend Barbarino, also sent as it turns out on the same errand.



They decide to do the business together, that is to say: to kill

Stradella, and to carry his wife back to her guardian. Under the mask

of pilgrims going to a sacred festival, they find a kindly shelter in

Stradella's house and are won by the latter's fine voice, as well as by

the charm of his noble behaviour, so that they wholly abandon their

evil purpose.



But in the third act Bassi appears, and not finding his order executed,

offers such a large sum of gold to the banditti, that they at length

promise to stab Stradella during his next singing performance. While

they lie-in-wait for him, Stradella sings the hymn of the Holy

Virgin's clemency towards sinners so touchingly, that his pursuers cast

their swords away and sink on their knees, joining in the refrain.

Full of astonishment Stradella learns of the danger in which he had

been, but in the end he willingly pardons not only the banditti but

also his wife's uncle, who, won over like the ruffians by the power of

Stradella's song, humbly asks for the Singer's friendship, which is

granted to him.



The people lead their favorite in triumph to the festival, which he

helps to glorify with his wondrous voice.





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