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Yun, Isang

Die Witwe des Schmetterlings (1968)

(Butterfly Widow)
Duration: 60 minutes
Opera in three scenes (one act). Can be performed as a double-bill with 'Der Traum des Liu-Tung' under the title 'Träume' (Dreams).

Libretto by Harald Kunz after a Chinese novel of the 16th century; English version by Robert Gay (G,E)

Scoring
S,M,T,2Bar,B; chorus off-stage; 2(II=picc,afl).2(II=corA).1(=bcl).1(=dbn)-2.1.1.1-timp.perc(5)-harp-strings.
Abbreviations (PDF).


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



World Premiere
2/23/1969
Opernhaus, Nuremburg
Wolfgang Weber , director
Conductor: Hans Gierster
Company: Oper Nürnberg

Roles

LAO-TSE Tenor
TSCHUANG-TSEBaritone
MRS. TIÄN, his wife Mezzo Soprano
YOUNG WIDOWSoprano
PRINCE FUHigh Baritone
THE PRINCE'S SERVANTBass
Visitors at the cemetery, spirits


Synopsis

The Taoist, Tschuang-tse, desires to attain the last stage of wisdom and cast off all earthly shackles. For this, it is necessary to get rid of his wife. He manages this through macabre cunning and trickery, a Taoistic Gianni Schicchi, a buffo who gives up the world. Here, it is already apparent that Tao and Mao are irreconcilably far apart and that Yun is concerned with the ancient Eastern philosophy of gently smiling quietism. This philosophical musical comedy – at times, solemnly subtle; at others, spine-chillingly grotesque – was written at a time and under circumstances that put the author's tranquility to a severe test: in a prison for people awaiting trial in Seoul, during1967-68. Yun not only rose above the external circumstances but also above the claims to power of orthodox methods of composition... There are symphonic interludes which are of such a suggestive force that one might say that the one-act operas are the best things that Yun has composed... ringing and tinkling systems of thought, allegories for full orchestra.
Karl Schumann


Moods
Comic, Poetic


Subjects
Magic/Mystery, Relationships, Religion, Society






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Butterfly Widow (Die Witwe des Schmetterlings)(Vocal Score) (German, English)> Details
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