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*Deutsch

d'Albert, Eugen

Die toten Augen (1912-13)

(The Dead Eyes)
Duration: 110 minutes
Stage poem in one act with prologue and epilogue

Libretto by Hanns Heinz Ewers after Marc Henry (G)

Scoring
7S,M,A,3T,2Bar,B; chorus 3(III=picc).3(III=corA).3(III=bcl).3-4.5.3.1-timp.perc-2harps-cel-strings .
Abbreviations (PDF).


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



World Premiere
3/5/1916
Hofoper, Dresden
Company: Unknown

Roles

THE SHEPHERD Tenor
THE REAPERBaritone
THE SHEPHERD-BOYSoprano
ARCESIUS, Special envoy of the Roman Senate in Jerusalem Heldenbaritone
MYRTOCLE, his wife, from Corinth Dramatic Soprano
AURELIUS GALBA, Roman captain, friend of Arcesius Heldentenor
ARSINOE, Myrtocle´s slave, from the Greek islands Soprano
MARY MAGDALENEDramatic Contralto
KTESIPHAR, Egyptian faith-healerBuffo Tenor
Jewish women: REBECCALyric Soprano
RUTHMezzo Soprano
ESTHER and SARAHColoratura Sopranos
A SICK WOMANSoprano
FOUR JEWSTenors / Baritones
AN OLD JEWLyric Bass
A shepherdBass
Arcesius' male and female slaves
Jewish crowd
Reapers


Time and Place
Jerusalem in Roman times


Synopsis

Myrtocle, wife of the Roman envoy, Arcesius, is blind. She loves her ugly husband passionately, believing him to be more handsome than even the god Eros himself. Arcesius does not disillusion her for he is afraid that she would not love him if she knew of his ugliness. When Jesus of Nazareth comes to the town and everyone talks about the miracles that he performs, Myrtocle is taken to him and her sight is restored. Returning home, she meets the handsome captain, Aurelius Galba, Arcesius' friend, whom she takes to be her husband. Aurelius reciprocates her kisses and embraces but Arcesius, from a hiding place, has witnessed the misunderstanding and he kills Aurelius in a fit of mad jealousy. Myrtocle is horrified when she learns from her maid that it is not the dead man who is her husband but the misshapen murderer, who had seemed to her like a wild animal. To save their love, Myrtocle decides to sacrifice the light of her eyes that she has just regained. She lets the sun's rays blind her and allows Arcesius to believe that she never saw him.


Moods
Dramatic, Poetic, Romantic, Tragic


Subjects
Ethics, Magic/Mystery, Relationships, Religion


Recommended Recording
Lothar Odinius / Olaf Bär / Dresden Philharmonic Choir / Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra / Ralf Weikert
CPO 9996922

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toten AugenLibretto> Details
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