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Photo: Bayerische Staatsoper / Anne Kirchbach
Bayerische Staatsoper 1980, Giancarlo del Monaco, dir

Strauss, Richard

Feuersnot (1901)

(Fire Famine)
Duration: 70 minutes
Opera in one act

Libretto by Ernst von Wolzogen (G,E,F,I)

Major roles: dramS,heldBar; minor roles: 2S,M,2A,3T,Bar,4B; men's chorus; children's chorus 3(III=picc).3(III=corA).3.3(III=dbn)- tam-t/SD/BD/cyms/glsp-2harp-strings Incidental music: perc:glsp/2SD-harp-harm-vln.vlc.
Abbreviations (PDF).

This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for all countries except Germany, Italy, Portugal, Danzig, and the former territories of the USSR.

World Premiere
Hofoper, Dresden
Conductor: Ernst von Schuch
Company: Dresden Hofoper


DIEMUTDramatic Soprano
KUNRAD, the alchemistBaritone
JORG POSCHEL, The InnkeeperBass
HAMERLEIN, the HaberdasherBaritone
KOFEL, the BlacksmithBaritone
KUNZ GILGENSTOCK, the Baker and BrewerBass
ORTLIEB TULBECK, the CooperTenor
URSULA, his wifeContralto
RUGER ASBECK, the PotterTenor
WALPURG, his wifeSoprano
Childrenchildren's chorus
Citizens and servantschorus

Time and Place
Munich, Legendary (12th Century), Midsummer Eve

It is Midsummer's Eve and children are collecting wood for the Fire Festival, first from the Mayor's house, then from that of the woodworker Kunrad. The townsfolk are suspicious of Kunrad as there are rumours that he has mysterious dark powers. He willingly breaks up his house to provide wood for the children. Friends of the Mayor's daughter Diemut tease her and Kunrad by describing how she admires his handsome looks. Kunrad invites Diemut to leap with him over the flames at the Fire Festival and kisses her on the lips. The Mayor denounces Kunrad for his overhasty advances and orders Diemut into the house, not before she has hatched a plan of revenge upon Kunrad. He is left alone in the twilight to bemoan the Fire Famine and the need of magic to restore love. Diemut appears on her balcony and invites Kunrad to climb in a basket to be hoisted up, but she leaves it dangling half-way up in order to humiliate him before the townsfolk. He curses their spurning of love by extinguishing all the fires in the town, calling upon the magical powers of his Master Richard in whose house Kunrad resides, and who was driven from the town by the foolish citizens. The fires can only be rekindled by the warmth from the body of a hot-blooded young girl and the townsfolk call on Diemut to surrender to love's demands. In the darkness she willingly draws Kunrad into her chamber and, after a passionate wooing scene, the lights in the houses and on the streets burst into flame amidst general rejoicing.

Comic, Romantic

History, Magic/Mystery, Relationships, Society

Recommended Recording
Maud Cunitz, Marcel Cordes, Max Proebstl, Antonia Fahberg, Irmgard Barth, Liselotte Nölser, Karl Ostertag, Georg Wieter, Karl Hoppe, Kieth Engen, Rudolf Wünzer, Paul Kuen, Ina Gerhein, Walther Carnuth, Gerda Sommerschuh, Bavarian State Opera Chorus, Bavarian State Opera Orchestra, Rudolf Kempe
Orfeo C423962I

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Feuersnot(Vocal Score) (German)> Details
Feuersnot Op50(Vocal Score) (German)> Details
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