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*Deutsch

Dessau, Paul

Puntila (1957-59/65)

Duration: 165 minutes
Opera in 13 scenes and an epilogue

Adapted by Peter Palitzsch and Manfred Wekwerth from the play 'Mr Puntila and his Man Matti' by Bertolt Brecht (G)

Scoring
4S,2M,2A,9T,5B,4speaking roles,2non-singing roles; chorus; 3(III=picc).3(III=corA).3.Ebcl.bcl.3(III=dbn)-3.2.3.1-timp.perc-harp-cel-pft-accordion-strings; On-stage:picc.2Ebcl-2tpt.2trbn.tuba-accordion-perc.
Abbreviations (PDF).


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



World Premiere
11/15/1966
Staatsoper, Berlin
Company: Berlin Staatsoper

Roles

JOHANNES PUNTILA, farmerBass
MATTI ALTONEN, his chauffeur Baritone
FREDRICK, a lawyer Tenor
Three drunks Sprechgesang
THE TIRED WAITER (speaking role) Speaking role
A SERVANTSpeaking role
EMMA the smuggler Alto
THE PHARMACIST GIRLMezzo soprano
LISU, the cow girlSoprano
SANDRA, the telephonist Soprano
FIRST FARMERBass
FIRST LABOURERTenor
MERCHANTTenor
BIBELIUS, a farmer Tenor
SECOND LABOURERBass
THIRD LABOURERBass
SECOND FARMERBass
THIRD FARMER Tenor
FOURTH LABOURERBass
THE WRETCHTenor
A HUNCHBACKNon-singing role
THE SERVING-GIRLNon-singing role
A LABOURERTenor
A BUTCHERSpeaking role
FINA, the serving-girl Mezzo soprano
LAINA, the cook Alto
A LABOURERSpeaking role
EVA, PUNTILA'S daughter Soprano
ANOTER LABOURERSpeaking role
EINO, an attaché Tenor
THE PROVOSTTenor
THE FEMALE PROVOSTSoprano
Foresters, Puntila's domestic servants


Time and Place
Finland in the first half of the 20th century


Synopsis

Puntila is the master of an estate and a large forest. Puntila is a good master when he is drunk (which is mostly the case), and unbearable when he is sober (a state that he himself describes as an illness). Puntila cannot decide whether to sell his forest to get his daughter Eva a dowry, or to sell himself to the rich widow Klinkmann. When he pays a surprise visit to the widow very late one night, he makes certain discoveries that convince him he'd better sell his forest. Puntila proposes to four ladies who are early risers and invites them to Eva's engagement party on his estate. The sale of the forest comes to nought. Puntila suggests to Eva that she marry his new chauffeur, Matti, instead of Eino, an attaché, for this would be cheaper. When he is sober again, Puntila regrets his suggestion but Eva has already been in the sauna with Matti. Eino turns a blind eye to this – the dowry is more important. Puntila chases away his four brides-to-be, who have arrived for the engagement party. He also throws out the attaché, where-upon Eva refuses to go to the party. Puntila disinherits his daughter and swears never to touch drink again. To make certain that he won't go back to his old ways, he gets rid of all the remaining bottles by drinking them. Matti hands in his notice and concludes: "You´re not the worst man I´ve met – when you're drunk, you're almost human."


Moods
Comic, Tragic


Subjects
Relationships, Politics, Society


Recommended Recording
Reiner Süß / Kurt Rehm / Hannerose Katterfeld / Annelies Burmeister / Henno Garduhn / Horst Hiestermann / Heinz Reeh / Chor der Deutschen Staatsoper Berlin / Staatskapelle Berlin / Paul Dessau
Berlin Classics 0021842BC


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