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Libretto after the tragedy by Heinrich Heine (E)

Scoring

S,M,3T,3Bar,3B; chorus
large orchestra

Abbreviations (PDF)

World Premiere
25/05/1914
Allgemeiner Deutscher Musikverein Festival, Duisburg
Company: unknown

Roles

MACGREGOR, a Scottish nobleman Baritone
MARIA, his daughter Soprano
GRAF DOUGLAS, her fiance Tenor
WILLIAM RATCLIFF Tenor
LESLEY, his friend Baritone
MARGARETE, Maria's fostermother Mezzo-Soprano
TOM, landlord of a thieves refuge Baritone
WILLIE, his son Spoken role
ROBIN Bass
DICK Bass
BILL Bass
JOHN Spoken role
TADDIE Spoken role
A SERVANT Tenor
Time and Place

The North of Scotland, 1820

Synopsis



At the MacGregor family castle, the daughter of the house, Maria, is to be married to Count Douglas: her father blesses the pair. The pathologically jealous William Ratcliff, however, is preparing to kill Douglas in a duel – his previous victims already include two hapless men betrothed to Maria on earlier occasions. In the event it is Ratcliff who is the more seriously (though not fatally) injured during the encounter. Margarete, Maria's nurse, fills her in on some family history: Ratcliff's father had loved Maria's mother, but was killed by MacGregor himself causing her mother to die thereafter of grief. Meanwhile Ratcliff himself has become ever more crazed and violent: haunted by the vision of the men he has previously murdered, he now attacks and kills Maria, then her father, and lastly himself.

Moods

Dramatic, Poetic, Romantic, Tragic

Subjects

History, Literary, Relationships




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