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Ginastera, Alberto: Bomarzo op. 34 (1966-67) 160'
Opera in two acts and fifteen scenes

Music Text


Libretto by Manuel Mujica Láinez (S,E,G)


S,M,A,AorT,T,Bar,B,child speakers,mime,dancer; chorus 2(II=picc).2(II=corA).2(II=Ebcl,bcl).2(II=dbn)- xyl/bells/3crot/3susp.cym/bongos/laiiro/5cowbells/tamb/ 2thin metal sheets/small wood windchimes; glsp/3tgl/3tam-t/5tom-t/ wood wind chimes; bells/8small susp.cym/3low Chinese gongs/2SD(one without snare)/TD/BD/5wdbl/tamb/large wood wind chimes/ratchet/hyoshigi- hpd-pft(=cel)-mand-harp-strings(principal viola=viola d'amore, principal cello=viola da gamba)

Abbreviations (PDF)


This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.

For full details on this stagework, including synopsis and roles, please visit our Opera section.

World Premiere

Lisner Auditorium, Washington, DC
Tito Capobianco, director / Opera Society of Washington / Julius Rudel

Press Quotes

“Near Viterbo, Duke Piero Francesco Orsini, himself physically deformed, built a garden of monstrous statues that inspired Mujica Láines to create his monumental novel Bomarzo, from which he crafted an opera libretto for the greatest Argentine composer…  Alberto Ginastera composed a powerful opera with an aesthetic of stark expressionism that is highly expressive, with moments of huge and rich sonic substance…"
El Mundo

“Bomarzo is a retrospective account before the death of the duke, who believes he has drunk a potion for immortality. In these moments the action visits key episodes that forged his life, marginalised by his deformity but also pursued by his own demons… The duke sits, locked in his labyrinth, twinned with the Minotaur, and sings in a search for answers… There are elements of Edvard Munch and also of Franz Kafka, with those unclassifiable monsters that prowl the stage. Bomarzo is an elixir of sounds and pictures that scream and scratch at a perennial human trait: solitude.”
La Nación

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