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*Deutsch

Photo: Carol Rosegg
New York City Opera 1997, Joanne Akalaitis, dir

Einem, Gottfried von

Der Besuch der alten Dame (1968-70)

(The Visit of the Old Lady)
Duration: 130 minutes
Opera in three acts

Libretto by Friedrich Dürrenmatt; English version by Norman Tucker (G,E,F,I)

Scoring
Major roles: M,heldT,Bar; minor roles: 2S,lyrS,M,8T,3Bar,3BBar,2B,speaker,mime; chorus; 2.picc.2.2.2-4.3.3.1-timp.perc:tamb/cyms/SD/TD/BD/tam-t/gong/tgl-gtr-strings; On-stage: 2bells,station bell,firebell.
Abbreviations (PDF).


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



World Premiere
5/23/1971
Staatsoper, Wien
Otto Schenk, director
Conductor: Horst Stein
Company: Wiener Staatsoper

Roles

CLAIRE ZACHANASSIAN, multi-millionairessMezzo-Soprano
HER HUSBAND VIIActor
HER HUSBAND IXTenor
THE BUTLERCharacter Tenor
TOBY, ROBY, chewing chewing-gumActors
KOBY, LOBY, blindTenors
ALFRED ILLHigh Baritone
HIS WIFELyric Soprano
HIS DAUGHTERMezzo-Soprano
HIS SONTenor
THE MAYORHeldentenor
THE PREACHER Bass-Baritone
THE TEACHERBaritone
THE DOCTORBaritone
THE POLICEWOMANBass-Baritone
FIRST WOMANSoprano
SECOND WOMANSoprano
HOFBAUER, citizenTenor
HELMESBERGER, citizenBaritone
STATION MASTERBass-Baritone
TRAIN DRIVERBass
CONDUCTORTenor
REPORTERSpoken role
CAMERAMANBass
A VOICETenor
Citizens of Güllen


Time and Place
Güllen, a small town in Central Europe, The Present


Synopsis

At the station of the dilapidated small German town of Güllen, the local officials anxiously await the arrival of one of their townsfolk who left Güllen 45 years earlier and is now returning as one of the richest individuals on earth – Claire Zachanassian. The locals are counting on her money and on the persuasiveness of her former boyfriend, Alfred Ill, now a local storekeeper, married with children, who is likely to be the next mayor. When Zachanassian turns up, she is a debilitated old woman with a mangled arm and leg from various accidents, a large entourage and a very good memory. In particular, she remembers how as Clara Wäscher she was Ill's sweetheart, and was dumped by him when pregnant for a girl from a better-off family. She ended up as a prostitute in Hamburg, where she met the first of a string of wealthy husbands (she is now on No.7). She wants revenge. She offers the townspeople a deal – she will give them a thousand million if they kill Alfred Ill. Horrified, the townspeople refuse. By the beginning of the second act, however, the customers in his shop are buying his more expensive merchandise on credit. Some are wearing expensive shoes. Even his son has bought a motor-car. Alfred reads the runes and tries to escape, but the townspeople won't let him leave. Eventually a meeting is called of all the people in the local theatre, and Zachanassian's offer is accepted. Alfred's fellow citizens kill him, and Claire, accepting the body, hands over a cheque. The citizens of Güllen dance.


Moods
Comic, Dramatic


Subjects
Contemporary, Ethics, Relationships, Society, Literary






Items on Sale

Besuch der Alten Dame Op35Libretto (English)> Details
Besuch der Alten Dame Op35Study Score - Hawkes Pocket Score 882> Details
Besuch der Alten Dame Op35(Vocal Score) (English, German)> Details
Besuch der Alten Dame Op35(Vocal Score) (German)> Details
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