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Dessau, Paul

Puntila (1957-59/65)

Duration: 165 minutes

Opera in 13 scenes and an epilogue


English   Deutsch  

Adapted by Peter Palitzsch and Manfred Wekwerth from the play 'Mr Puntila and his Man Matti' by Bertolt Brecht (G)


Scoring

4S,2M,2A,9T,5B,4speaking roles,2non-singing roles; chorus; 3(III=picc).3(III=corA).3.Ebcl.bcl.3(III=dbn)-3.2.3.1-timp.perc-harp-cel-pft-accordion-strings; On-stage:picc.2Ebcl-2tpt.2trbn.tuba-accordion-perc

Abbreviations (PDF)


Territory

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


World Premiere
15/11/1966
Staatsoper, Berlin
Company: Berlin Staatsoper


Roles

JOHANNES PUNTILA, farmer Bass
MATTI ALTONEN, his chauffeur Baritone
FREDRICK, a lawyer Tenor
Three drunks Sprechgesang
THE TIRED WAITER (speaking role) Speaking role
A SERVANT Speaking role
EMMA the smuggler Alto
THE PHARMACIST GIRL Mezzo soprano
LISU, the cow girl Soprano
SANDRA, the telephonist Soprano
FIRST FARMER Bass
FIRST LABOURER Tenor
MERCHANT Tenor
BIBELIUS, a farmer Tenor
SECOND LABOURER Bass
THIRD LABOURER Bass
SECOND FARMER Bass
THIRD FARMER Tenor
FOURTH LABOURER Bass
THE WRETCH Tenor
A HUNCHBACK Non-singing role
THE SERVING-GIRL Non-singing role
A LABOURER Tenor
A BUTCHER Speaking role
FINA, the serving-girl Mezzo soprano
LAINA, the cook Alto
A LABOURER Speaking role
EVA, PUNTILA'S daughter Soprano
ANOTER LABOURER Speaking role
EINO, an attaché Tenor
THE PROVOST Tenor
THE FEMALE PROVOST Soprano
Foresters, Puntila's domestic servants

Time and Place

Finland in the first half of the 20th century


Synopsis

Puntila is the master of an estate and a large forest. Puntila is a good master when he is drunk (which is mostly the case), and unbearable when he is sober (a state that he himself describes as an illness). Puntila cannot decide whether to sell his forest to get his daughter Eva a dowry, or to sell himself to the rich widow Klinkmann. When he pays a surprise visit to the widow very late one night, he makes certain discoveries that convince him he'd better sell his forest. Puntila proposes to four ladies who are early risers and invites them to Eva's engagement party on his estate. The sale of the forest comes to nought. Puntila suggests to Eva that she marry his new chauffeur, Matti, instead of Eino, an attaché, for this would be cheaper. When he is sober again, Puntila regrets his suggestion but Eva has already been in the sauna with Matti. Eino turns a blind eye to this – the dowry is more important. Puntila chases away his four brides-to-be, who have arrived for the engagement party. He also throws out the attaché, where-upon Eva refuses to go to the party. Puntila disinherits his daughter and swears never to touch drink again. To make certain that he won't go back to his old ways, he gets rid of all the remaining bottles by drinking them. Matti hands in his notice and concludes: "You´re not the worst man I´ve met – when you're drunk, you're almost human."


Moods

Comic, Tragic


Subjects

Politics, Relationships, Society


Recommended Recording

Reiner Süß / Kurt Rehm / Hannerose Katterfeld / Annelies Burmeister / Henno Garduhn / Horst Hiestermann / Heinz Reeh / Chor der Deutschen Staatsoper Berlin / Staatskapelle Berlin / Paul Dessau
Berlin Classics 0021842BC


Puntila


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