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Libretto by Gerhart von Westerman, based on the play by Georg Kaiser (G)

Scoring

S,lyrS,dramS,2T,Bar,B,speaking role;
3(III=picc).2.corA.3(III=bcl).2.dbn-4.3.3.1-timp.perc-harp-pft-cel-strings;
On-stage: pft-perc-vib-db

Abbreviations (PDF)

World Premiere
9/21/1960
Berlin
Company: Ensemble Städtische Oper

Roles

ROSAMUNDE FLORIS Lyric soprano
MR.BENLER Bass
MRS.BENLER Soprano
BRUNO and ERWIN, their sons Tenors
SISTER WANDA Dramatic Soprano
WILLIAM Baritone
PARK KEEPER IN THE BOTANICAL GARDENS Speaking role
PRISON DIRECTOR Speaking role
Time and Place

Palm house, appartment, prison; the present time

Synopsis



The lovers, William and Rosamunde, must part for William is going away to the tropics for ever. Soon after, Rosamunde tries to seduce the young Erwin Benler at a fancy dress ball in order to secure a father for the child that she is expecting from William. Bewildered, Erwin tries to get away from her and falls down a staircase, resulting in his death. Rosamunde tells Erwin's family that she is expecting his child. At this news, Erwin's brother Bruno breaks off his engagement with Wanda to marry Rosamunde so that the family will not be disgraced. When Wanda finds outs the truth of the matter and confronts Rosamunde, she is pushed off a high garden wall and sustains fatal injuries. Bruno learns the truth about Rosamunde's pregnancy from writings that Wanda has left behind. After Rosamunde has unsuccessfully tried to kill him as well, she confesses her guilt.

Moods

Dramatic, Poetic, Tragic

Subjects

Contemporary, Ethics, Literary, Relationships

Recommended Recording
cd_cover



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