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Photo: Majer-Finkes
Gelsenkirchen 2004 (premiere of OEK version), Immo Karaman dir.

Offenbach - Keck

Les Brigands (OEK critical edition) (1869/78)

(Die Banditen / The Bandits)
Duration: 150 minutes
Opéra-bouffe in three acts

Libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy; original German version by Ernst Dohm; new German version by Stefan Troßbach; new English version by W.S. Gilbert, revised by Richard Duployen (F,G,E)

Scoring
8S,S(M),2M,7T,buffoT,2T(Bar),2Bar,BBar; 2 speakers; chorus; 2(II=picc).1.2.1-2.2.1.0-timp.perc-strings; Viennese orchestration: 2(II=picc).2.2.2-4.2.3.0-timp.perc-strings.
Abbreviations (PDF).


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



World Premiere
12/10/1869
Théâtre des Variétés, Paris
Company: unknown



World premiere of version
7/11/2004
Kleines Haus, Gelsenkirchen
Immo Karaman, director
Conductor: Cosima Sophia Osthoff
Company: Ensemble Musiktheater im Revier

Roles

FALSACAPPA, robber-chiefTenor
FIORELLA, his daughterSoprano
FRAGOLETTO, a young tenantSoprano or light Mezzo Soprano
PIETRO, Falsacappa's confidantTenor
robber lieutenants: CARMAGNOLATenor or high Baritone
DOMINOTenor or high Baritone
BARBAVANOBaritone or Bass Baritone
peasant girls, later robber brides: FIAMETTASoprano
ZERLINASoprano
BIANCAMezzo Soprano
CICINELLAMezzo Soprano
DUKE OF MANTUA (The Prince)Tenor
ANTONIO, his treasurerBuffo Tenor (Falsettist)
THE CAPTAIN of the troups of MantuaBaritone
PRINCESS OF GRANADASoprano
ADOLPHE OF VALLADOLID, her pageTenor
COUNT OF GLORIA-CASSIS, her chamberlainTenor
BARON OF CAMPO-TASSOTenor
StewardBaritone
DUCHESSSoprano
MARQUISESoprano
PIPO, landlordTenor
PIPA, his wifeSoprano
PIPETTA, their daughterSoprano
A heraldspeaking role
An officialspeaking role
Robbers, soldiers, peasant women, kitchen staff, royal household of Mantua, Spanish retinue


Time and Place
Wild mountainous area; a rural inn; a palace. In earlier times


Synopsis
Everybody steals according to their position in society.
Antonio

The chief of a band of robbers, Falsacappa, is under pressure to succeed. His last coup was a long time ago and his gang is beginning to get bored. Suddenly an interesting opportunity comes their way: a messenger from Granada who bears information about the forthcoming wedding of the Princess of Granada and the Duke of Mantua. As a result of the marriage the duke is supposed to pay back an old debt worth millions. The messenger has been ordered to bring a portrait of the princess to the duke, but Falsacappa secretly swaps this with one of his daughter Fiorella, and releases the messenger. The delegation from Granada is taken by surprise at the border. Dressed in the costumes of the Spaniards, and with Fiorella as the princess, the robbers enter Mantua. Although the fraud succeeds, Falsacappa's plan fails. There is no treasure. Mantua's treasurer Antonio, who is the cleverer robber, has long since misappropriated the millions owed by the duke. With the arrival of the real Spaniards who have managed to free themselves, the scam is revealed. The robbers are consoled by the duke's offer that they enter the civil service and exchange their robber's clothes for police uniforms.


Moods
Comic, Poetic


Subjects
Relationships, Politics, Society





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