OPERA SEARCH

Composer List


Title


Genre List


Opera Length



Advanced Search

*Deutsch

Offenbach - Korngold

La Belle Hélène (Reinhardt/Korngold version) (1864)

(Die schöne Helena)
Duration: 150 minutes
Opéra-bouffe in three acts

Libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy; new German version by Max Reinhardt, Egon Friedell and Hanns Sassmann with music arranged by Erich Wolfgang Korngold (G)

Scoring
colS,M,A(T),2T,buffoT,Bar,buffoB; chorus; ballet; 2.1.2.1-2.2.3.0-timp.perc-harp-strings.
Abbreviations (PDF).


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



World premiere of version
6/15/1931
Berlin
Company: unknown

Roles

PARISTenor
MENELAUSBuffo Tenor
HELENAColoratura Soprano
AGAMEMNONBaritone
ORESTESCharacter Contralto or Tenor
PYLADESMezzo Soprano
CALCHASBuffo Bass
ACHILLES and othersTenor
Guards, slaves, people, maids


Time and Place
Sparta and Nauplia before the Trojan war


Synopsis
Prince Paris, having given the first prize of a beauty contest on Mount Ida to the goddess Venus ahead of Juno and Minerva, has been promised the most beautiful woman of Greece as a reward from Venus. This news has made its way to Troy where Helena, the wife of King Menelaus, is convinced that this woman must be no-one other than herself. Shortly afterwards, Paris appears in Troy, dressed as a shepherd, and asks the high priest Calchas for help in conquering the city. Paris wins at a ceremonial (though ananchronistic) guessing game, at which numerous classical heroes are gathered, and reveals his identity. Helena expresses her delight with daring coloratura. Calchas makes the thunder machine rumble and declares that Jupiter wishes the instant departure of the king to Crete. Menelaus has evil forebodings, but may not resist the will of the highest god. Paris is free to do what he wants. Now, however, as all obstructions have been removed, Helena appears cold and rejects Paris at night. Soon she repents what she has done and wishes for the fulfilment of her longings, at least in a dream. When that finally comes true, in a very real way, Menelaus returns and enters the marital bedchamber. This time Paris has to withdraw. Helena reproaches her husband for acting against the explicit will of the goddess Venus, and Menelaus begins to wonder whether she may be right. He sends for a priest of Venus from the island of Cythera who is supposed to investigate the case. But the priest, who takes Helena to his ship and abducts her "on behalf of the goddess", is none other than the cunning Paris. The Trojan war can begin, just as described in the schoolbooks…


Moods
Comic, Poetic, Romantic


Subjects
History, Mythology, Relationships, Religion, Politics, Society






Items on Sale

schoene Helena, Buffo-Oper,Neugestaltung,KA.(Vocal Score) (German)> Details
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