OPERA SEARCH

Composer List


Title


Genre List


Opera Length



Advanced Search

*Deutsch

Schnittke, Alfred

Gesualdo (1994)

Duration: 100 minutes
Opera in seven scenes, a prologue and epilogue

Libretto by Richard Bletschacher (G)

Scoring
3S,2M,A,3T,3Bar,3B-chorus 3(II=afl,III=picc).3(III=corA).3(II=Ebcl, III=bcl).3(III=dbn)-4.4.3.1- perc(5):timp/marimba/vib/glsp/bells/SD/cyms/bongos/BD/2tam-t- mandolin-gtr-theorbo-harp-cel-hpd-organ-strings This work is represented by Boosey & Hawkes in the UK, British Commonwealth (excluding Canada) and the Republic of Ireland.
Abbreviations (PDF).


Territory
This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the UK, countries of the Commonwealth (excluding Canada) and the Republic of Ireland.



World Premiere
5/26/1995
State Opera, Vienna State Opera
Cesare Lievi, director
Conductor: Mstislav Rostropovich
Company: Wiener Staatsoper

Roles

Don Carlo Gesualdo, prince of VenosaBaritone
Donna Maria Gesualdo, his wifeMezzo Soprano
Don Fabrizio Caraffa, Duke of AndriaTenor
Donna Maddalena Caraffa, his wifeSoprano
Cardinal Alfonso GesualdoBass
Don Giulio GesualdoBaritone
Donna Sveva D'Avalos, Maria's MotherContralto
Donna Maria Caracciolo, Marquesa of VicoSoprano
Don Garzia de Toledo, Viceroy of NaplesTenor
Count of Ruo, Fabrizio's grandfatherBaritone
Silvana Albano, Maria's maidSoprano
A gardener's wife from ChiaiaMezzo Soprano
Pietro Bardotti, Carlo's servantTenor
Ascanio and Francesco, hunters2 Basses
Don Raffaello, a priest and lutenistsilent role
Madrigal singers, musicians, guests, dancers, hunters, monks and servants


Time and Place
The city and kingdom of Naples, between 1586 and 1590


Synopsis

Carlo Gesualdo is Prince of Venosa and a lutenist and composer. His only passions apart from music are hunting and castle-building. At the request of his family, he marries his young cousin, Maria d’Avalos who has been married twice before. Gesualdo shows his beloved castle to his fearful bride. Gesualdo’s family already senses a threat. At a spring celebration given by the Viceroy of Naples, Maria falls passionately in love with Fabrizio Caraffa, the married brother of her first husband. Their doubly adulterous love is discovered by Gesualdo’s uncle and soon noised abroad. Gesualdo hopes to solve the situation, which is personally and politically dangerous, by provoking a hunting accident. The plan fails, as Maria and Fabrizio have been warned of the danger.

Gesualdo composes a madrigal expressive of his grief. At the same time, the lovers write to one another. Fabrizio urges Maria to give him up to save her life, but she replies by recklessly inviting him to meet with her. After pretending to leave on a hunting expedition, Gesualdo hides and waits for Maria to meet her lover. When the pair are trapped, hired murderers appear and Maria and Fabrizio are brutally killed. Maria’s maid, Silvana, manages to save Maria’s baby child.

The cardinal and viceroy interrogate innocent Neapolitan bystanders in order to learn the truth about the murder. The families of Maria and Fabrizio are overcome with grief. Gesualdo, meanwhile, has taken refuge in his beloved castle where he does penance in the castle chapel. His hunting companions, who helped him in the murder, are now required to flog him, while a chorus of monks sings the ‘De profundis’. But Gesualdo is haunted by the sound of the baby’s cries. He begins to imagine that the child resembles Fabrizio and must be the offspring of Maria’s adulterous liaison. In a frenzy, he seizes the baby and swings it to death.


Moods
Dramatic


Subjects
History, Relationships, Literary, Music/Arts





Mailing List

Sign up for news updates and offers via email

SIGN UP
Audio Visual Gallery
Get Adobe Flash player
ONLINE SCORES

Explore our library of over 1000 online scores

VIEW SCORES
FAQ | Contact Us | Links | About Us | Shop Directory | Careers | Terms of use | RSS Index