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Libretto by the composer, after Shakespeare in the translation by August Wilhelm von Schlegel (G)

Scoring

T,buffoT,3Bar,2B,3sprechstimme-mixed chorus 1.picc.1.1.ssax.asax.tsax.2barsax.1.dbn-4.2.btpt.3.1.2ttuba-timp.perc-pft-4vlc.4db-several tapes

Abbreviations (PDF)

World Premiere
20/09/1959
Essen
Conductor: Gustav König
Company: Ensemble Theater Essen

Roles

CAESAR Baritone
MARC ANTON Baritone
PUBLIUS and POPILIUS LENA, senators Sprechgesang, Speaking role
Conspirators against Caesar: BRUTUS, CASSIUS, CASCA, DECIUS and METELLUS CIMBER Baritone, Buffo Tenor, Bass, Speaking role, Speaking role
A FORTUNE-TELLER Bass
CINNA, a poet Tenor
People of Rome
Time and Place

Rome in March 44 B.C.

Synopsis

Metellus Cimber asks for mercy for his brother who has been sent into exile by Caesar. Caesar wants to make an example of him and stands firm. Some friends of Cimber, who are carefully planning a conspiracy against Caesar, join the petition for mercy. When Caesar remains merciless even towards Brutus, the conspirators attack the emperor and stab him to death. Brutus tries to justify the deed to the people of Rome. The tyrant had to be done away with not because he did not love Caesar but because he loved Rome more. Marc Anton, a retainer of Caesar, goes up to the speaker’s desk. With rhetorical feats (‘Brutus is a respectable man’) he manages to turn the public sentiment round and to incite the crowd against the conspirators. The assassination, which was supposed to bring liberation, inevitably ends up in catastrophe. Chaos and anarchy befall Rome.

Moods

Dramatic, Tragic

Subjects

Literary, Politics, Relationships, Society




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