Schubert - Brüning
Die Bürgschaft (1816/2012-14)
New version by Paula Fünfeck (libretto) and Anna-Sophie Brüning (musical arrangement)
Libretto by Paula Fünfeck (G)
S,T,2Bar,B; minor roles; speaking roles; mixed chorus; children's chorus; 18.104.22.168-22.214.171.124-timp.perc:cym/tgl/BD-strings
This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.
World premiere of version
Paula Fünfeck, director
Conductor: Anna Sophie Brüning
Company: Landesjugendorchester Baden-Württemberg, Musikschule Möckmühl
|DIONYSIOS II., King of Kreek-Kikilia||Bass|
|2 Aunts||Soprano, Mezzo-Soprano|
|2 Bodyguards||Tenor, Bass|
|4 Robbers||2 Tenors (optional: two children’s voices), 2 Basses|
|The bridegroom’s mother, Sophia (Bride), The bridegroom’s relatives, The bridegrooms supporters, News presenter, Correspondent (voiceover), Interviewe||Speaking roles (some may be doubled by others)|
Kreek-Kilikia is ruled by Dionysios II. His regime brutally suppresses demonstrations for democracy and freedom of speech and the press and thousands have already fallen victim to the public unrest.
Since his bride Evangelia was murdered, Damon has lived the secluded life of a hermit. When her father Philostratos visits him, he exerts great effort to persuade Damon to assassinate the dictator. He dresses Damon in women’s clothes so he can manage to get close to Dionysios. The assassination is thwarted, however, and Damon is to be executed immediately. He asks for a three-day postponement in order to help his sister get married, for the groom would never agree to marry her in the family were ‘dishonoured’ by capital punishment. Dionysios accepts Damon’s offer to leave his friend Kostas as a hostage. In case Damon doesn’t return in time, Kostas is to die in his place. Full of trust in his friend, Kostas submits himself to the dictator – resolute despite the protests of his wife Anna, who is due to give birth any minute.
At first everything seems to be going according to plan: the wedding takes place and nobody suspects anything when Damon leaves in a hurry. The return journey, however, turns out to be much more difficult than expected since a violent storm has put the country in a state of emergency. After swimming across river rapids, Damon loses consciousness and is abducted by robbers. When he awakes, he manages to send the robbers packing, but is running out of time. Kostas begins to prepare a farewell note to Anna in his prison.
The crowd’s protests against the dictator are rising. Philostratos tries to persuade Anna, whose desperation has brought her near insanity, to attempt a suicide mission during her husband’s execution and kill Dionysios as well.
Damon returns at the very last minute, ready to die. What would happen, though, if… Anna and Kostas’ unborn children were to intervene and disempower the dictator, if they were to bring Philostratos to defuse their mother’s suicide vest… Then perhaps the forces of good would win out and freedom and hope would prevail.