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Libretto by Rudolph Lothar after the Catalan play "Terra Baixa" by Angel Guimerá (G)

Scoring

3S,M,A,2T,Bar,3B; chorus 3(III=picc).3(III=corA).3(II,III=bcl).3(III=dbn)-4.3.3.1-timp.perc-2harps-strings onstage: cl-bells

Abbreviations (PDF)

World Premiere
15/11/1903
Neues Deutsches Theater, Prague
Company: State Opera

Roles

SEBASTIANO, a rich land owner Heldenbaritone
TOMMASO, village elder 90 years old Bass
MORUCCIO, miller´s boy and Sebastiano's servant Character Bass
MARTA, Sebastiano's servant Dramatic Soprano
PEPA, Sebastiano's servant Lyric Soprano
ANTONIA, Sebastiano's servant Mezzo Soprano
ROSALIA, Sebastiano's servant Alto
NURI, Sebastiano's servant Soprano
PEDRO, shepherd Heldentenor
NANDO, shepherd Lyric Tenor
A VOICE Bass
The priest
Peasants
Time and Place

in the mountains and in the valleys of the Catalan Pyrenees at the end of the 19th century

Synopsis

Pedro is a shepherd who tends his flock of sheep high up in the mountains. He is very content leading this secluded life and if only he had a wife, his happiness would be complete. The powerful landowner, Sebastiano, offers him a mill down in the valley and, in addition, the hand of the lovely Marta in marriage. When Pedro comes down to the lowlands, the villagers mock him. However, Pedro only discovers the reason for this after the wedding: when she was still very young, Marta, an orphan, was sold by her unscrupulous stepfather to Sebastiano, whose mistress she has been for some years, against her will. Her marriage to Pedro is designed to silence the rumours about this liaison as Sebastiano, who is in debt, hopes to marry a rich woman but does not intend to give up Marta completely. At first, Marta believes that Pedro has been bought but soon realises the sincerity of his feelings. When Sebastiano's marriage plans fall through, he tries to take Marta back by force but is killed by Pedro in single combat. Together, the two lovers leave the lowlands for the high mountains.

Moods

Dramatic, Romantic, Tragic

Subjects

Relationships, Society

Recommended Recording

Gasteen/Botha/Struckmann/Vienna Radio Symphony/de Billy
Oehms Classics OC 312
"Tiefland in Starbesetzung" – Die Presse
"Einer der großen Hits der Operngeschichte kehrt endlich wieder" – Kronenzeitung
"Packend, aufregend und sehr nuanciert. Eine grandiose Leistung" – Der Kurier

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Tiefland


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