An operatic thriller
Libretto by Christoph Klimke, based on the novel by Cornelia Funke (G)
2S,CT,3T,2Bar,B; actors; mixed chorus; childrens chorus(opt); 2(I=afl).picc.2(II=corA).2(I=asax,II=bcl).1.dbn-2.2.2.btrbn.0-timp.perc(4)-harp-pft(=cel,elec.kbd)-synth/sampler-strings(10.8.6.4.3, min.18.104.22.168.2)-tape; on-stage(opt):elec.gtr.
This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.
Erik Petersen, director
Conductor: Stephan Zilias
Company: Junge Opern Rhein-Ruhr / Beethoven Orchester Bonn
|ZELDA||Young dramatic Soprano|
|STOURTON||Countertenor (or Bass)|
|ELA||Lyric Soprano (solo from chorus)|
|John's Mother||Lyric Soprano (solo from chorus)|
|Mrs. POPPLEWELL||Alto (solo from chorus)|
|Mr. POPPLEWELL||Baritone (solo from chorus)|
|Mr. RIFKIN, teacher||Character Bass|
|Four Ghosts||Baritone / Bass (soli from chorus)|
|Chorus of Toads||3 Actors|
Jon’s father has long been dead. His mother has married another man, who Jon doesn’t get on with; thus he decides to go to a boarding school. He shares a room with Stu and Angus, and also gets to know Ella. Suddenly, in the history class, Lord Stourtan, a dead knight with a silk noose, appears. He pursues Jon and tries to kill him. Only Jon can see the knight, which is why everybody thinks he is crazy – everybody except for Ella. She offers to help him and takes him to her grandmother Zelda, who soon finds out the true reason for the dead knight’s behaviour. Stourton has been seeking revenge against the male descendants of the Hartgills since 1557, when he was hanged on a silk noose for the murder of his caretaker, William Hartgill – and Jon’s mother is a born Hartgill! Ella takes Jon to the grave of Knight Longspee in the cathedral; he is the only one who can help Jon. At the next attack, Jon calls up Knight Longspee, who stabs Stourton and makes the ghosts disappear. Now it is Longspee who asks Jon for help: upon his death, his heart was swapped so that his wife has the wrong heart with her in her grave. Jon promises to find Longspee’s real heart. Ella and John begin to argue: Jon doesn’t want Ella to help him as Longspee has only asked Jon himself for help. Ella tells him she does not know anything about hearts. Jon recognizes his feelings for Ella and asks her for forgiveness.