Love's Battle


In two acts.

Music and Text by ERIK MEYER-HELMUND.

This young composer, whose first opera was brought on the stage in

Dresden in the spring of 1892, has been known for several years to the

musical world by his most charming and effective songs. That he has

talent, even genius is a fact which this opera again demonstrates, but

the "mak
ng" is somewhat too easy not to say negligent, and it reminds

us of Mascagni, whose laurels are an inducement to all our young

genius' to "go and do likewise". Even the plot with its Corsican

scenery has a strong resemblance to Cavalleria Rusticana. Its brevity,

both acts last but fifty minutes, is a decided advantage, for the

easy-flowing melodies, which come quite naturally to the composer

cannot fail to attract the public, without being able to tire

them.--One of the most delightful, a really exquisite piece of music is

the duet between Giulietta and Giovanni.

The text, which is likewise written by the musician himself, has a very

simple plot.--

Pietro, a sailor returns from a long voyage, only to find his promised

bride Maritana the wife of another.--

After having waited three years for his return, she fell into dire

distress, which was still augmented by the report, that Pietro's ship

"Elena" had been wrecked and her lover drowned. An innkeeper Arrigo

came to her aid, and not only rescued her from misery, but also adopted

her child, the offspring of Maritana's love for Pietro, after which she

promised him her hand in gratitude.

Not long after their marriage the "Elena" returns with Pietro, who

never doubts his sweetheart's constancy. Great is his dismay, when he

hears from Arrigo and his father, that Maritana is lost to him. Pietro

endeavours to persuade Maritana to fly with him, but the young wife,

although conscious of her affections for him, denies that she ever

loved him.

The second act begins with the wedding festival of Giovanni and

Giulietta, Arrigo's niece. After the charming love-duet above

mentioned, Pietro once more offers his love to Maritana, but in vain.

In the midst of the turmoil of frolic, in which Pietro seems one of the

wildest and gayest, Arrigo takes him aside, whispering: "There is no

room here for both of us, unless you leave Maritana in peace. Quit

this place; there are more girls in the world to suit you."--Pietro

promises, and in his passion he at once turns to the bride Giulietta,

whom he embraces.--Of course her bridegroom Giovanni is not

willing to put up with this piece of folly; a violent quarrel ensues,

in which the men rush upon Pietro with daggers drawn.

Maritana, willing to sacrifice herself in a quarrel, for which she

feels herself alone responsible, rushes between the combatants. Then

Pietro, fully awake to her love, but seeing that she is lost to him,

quickly ascends a rock and calling out "O Sea eternal, I am thine,

farewell Maritana, we shall meet in Heaven" he precipitates himself

into the waves, while Maritana falls back in a faint.