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Rake's Progress

Photo: Guy Gravett

Glyndebourne 1975, John Cox, dir (David Hockney, designer)

Stravinsky, Igor

The Rake's Progress (1948-51)

Duration: 150 minutes

Opera in three acts


English   Deutsch  

Libretto by W H Auden and Chester Kallman (E,Cz,F,G,I)


Scoring

Major roles: lyrS,dramM,hT,Bar; minor roles: A,T,2B; chorus 2(II=picc).2(II=corA).2.2-2.2.0.0-timp.perc:offstage bell/cuckoo-hpd(or pft)-strings

Abbreviations (PDF)


Territory

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


World Premiere
11/09/1951
Teatro la Fenice, Venice
Carl Ebert, dir / Nicola Benois, prod
Conductor: Igor Stravinsky
Company: Chorus and Orchestra of the Teatro alla Scala, Milan


Roles

TRULOVE Bass
ANNE TRULOVE, his daughter Soprano
TOM RAKEWELL, her sweetheart Tenor
NICK SHADOW Baritone
MOTHER GOOSE, a brothel-keeper Mezzo Soprano
BABA THE TURK, bearded lady Mezzo Soprano
SELLEM, the auctioneer Tenor
KEEPER OF THE MADHOUSE Bass
Whores, roaring boys, servants, citizens, madmen chorus

Time and Place

England, 18th century


Synopsis

In the idyllic countryside, Anne Trulove and Tom Rakewell celebrate their love. Anne’s father has found a job for Tom in the city, but Tom longs for an easier path to money. Nick Shadow appears with news that Tom has inherited a fortune from an unknown uncle. They must leave for London and Tom need only pay Shadow for his services after a year and a day. In the wicked city, Shadow introduces Tom to Mother Goose’s brothel. Back in the country, Anne fears the worst and decides that she must rescue Tom. Meanwhile, Tom, in his new London house, is already bored with ordinary pleasures, so Shadow suggests visiting the amazing bearded woman, Baba the Turk. When Anne arrives at Tom’s house, she is horrified to find him married to the hideous Baba. When Tom tires of Baba as well, Shadow appears with one last new idea… a machine that turns stones into bread. Anne again appears to save Tom, but this time his house is for sale and his property for auction. The bankrupt Tom has disappeared with Shadow. Baba urges Anne to follow him. A year and a day from their first meeting, Shadow brings Tom to a graveyard at night. A terrified Tom discovers he must pay not with money but with his soul. But, as Shadow is about to take hold of him, Tom hears Anne’s voice in the distance and his past love is reawakened. Shadow, defeated, disappears into the ground. Tom survives, but he is now mad and is shut up in Bedlam. Anne comes there to comfort him, but there is little to be done. Her father arrives and persuades her to leave Tom to his fate.


Moods

Comic, Tragic


Subjects

Ethics, History, Literary, Magic/Mystery, Relationships, Society


Recommended Recording

Jerry Hadley, Dawn Upshaw, Samuel Ramey, Grace Bumbry, Steven Cole, Anne Collins, Robert Lloyd, Roderick Earle, Lyon Opera Chorus, Lyon Opera Orchestra, Kent Nagano
Erato 0630127152

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Ian Bostridge, Deborah York, Bryn Terfel, Anne Sofie von Otter, Peter Bronder, Anne Howells, Martin Robson, Julian Clarkson, Monteverdi Choir, London Symphony Orchestra, John Eliot Gardiner
Deutsche Grammophon 4596482

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Rake's Progress


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