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English Deutsch

Libretto by the composer in collaboration with Christian Rateuke and Hartmann Schmige; English version by Loren Driscoll (G,E)

Scoring

S,colS,M,A,7T,4Bar,4B,non-singing role,actor; 1(=picc).1.2(II=bcl).1-1.2.2.0-timp.perc(2)-harp-pft-accordion-strings-tapes

Abbreviations (PDF)

World Premiere
06/09/1979
Deutsche Oper, Berlin
Winfried Bauernfeind, director
Conductor: Caspar Richter
Company: Ensemble Deutsche Oper Berlin

Roles

The ship’s crew I: E. J. SMITH, captain of the Titanic Baritone
1st officer WILLIAM M. MURDOCH Tenor
2nd officer CHARLES H. LIGHTOLLER Tenor
Radio operator PHILLIPS Baritone
Radio operator BRIDE Tenor
The ship´s crew II: 1st STOKER Tenor
2nd STOKER Baritone
3rd STOKER Bass
LOOKOUT MAN Tenor
STEWARD AT THE BALL Baritone
PORTER IN THE PRELUDE Bass
(if necessary these can be doubled with the stokers)
First Class: SIR BRUCE ISMAY, president of the White-Star-Line Tenor
COLONEL JOHN JACOB ASTOR Tenor
LADY MADELEINE ASTOR Coloratura Soprano
MR. ISIDOR STRAUSS Bass
MRS. STRAUSS Mezzo Soprano
MR. GUGGENHEIM Bass
MRS. MOLLY (CRAZY MOLLY) Soprano
MRS. MOLLY'S LADY'S-MAID Contralto
MRS. MOLLY'S CHILD non singing role
FRANK HOLLOWAY, society reporter Actor
Time and Place

On board the Titanic, April 1912

Synopsis

The "Titanic" theme is one of those lightweight myths that lend themselves well to reworking and two aspects in particular appealed to me: for one, the cargo of Western culture that was gathered on this steamship, and second, the insane belief in technology and progress — headlines like "a good journey on safe routes into our glorious future" or "safety and responsibility" run through the whole opera right up to the solemn and horrifying apotheosis... What is new about this endeavour is that, to my knowledge, this is the first opera with audience participation. From time to time, there have been stage plays that have done this. However, here the audience is obviously and logically involved in the action from the beginning, which is facilitated by the model of the ship... After the ceremony naming the ship, everyone goes into the opera. Naturally, only those are admitted who are either first-class passengers and members of the ensemble or the people who have bought tickets. Passers-by on the street who just happen to have witnessed the prologue are not allowed to embark. But for those who are allowed onto the ship, the following applies: they are all in the same boat, but not as equals.
Wilhelm Dieter Siebert

Moods

Comic, Dramatic

Subjects

Contemporary, Ethics, History, Politics, Relationships, Society




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