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Music Text

Libretto by Ernst von Wolzogen (G,E,F,I)

Scoring

Major roles: dramS,heldBar;
minor roles: 2S,M,2A,3T,Bar,4B; men's chorus; children's chorus
3(III=picc).3(III=corA).3.3(III=dbn)-4.3.3.1-timp.perc:tgl/tamb/cast/
tam-t/SD/BD/cyms/glsp-2harp-strings
Incidental music: perc:glsp/2SD-harp-harm-vln.vlc

Abbreviations (PDF)

World Premiere
11/21/1911
Hofoper, Dresden
Conductor: Ernst von Schuch
Company: Dresden Hofoper

Roles

SCHWEIKER VON GUNDELFINGEN, The Bailiff Tenor
ORTOLF SENTLINGER Bass
DIEMUT Dramatic Soprano
ELSBETH, WIGELIS, MARGRET Mezzo/Soprano/Alto
KUNRAD, the alchemist Baritone
JORG POSCHEL, The Innkeeper Bass
HAMERLEIN, the Haberdasher Baritone
KOFEL, the Blacksmith Baritone
KUNZ GILGENSTOCK, the Baker and Brewer Bass
ORTLIEB TULBECK, the Cooper Tenor
URSULA, his wife Contralto
RUGER ASBECK, the Potter Tenor
WALPURG, his wife Soprano
Children children's chorus
Citizens and servants chorus
Time and Place

Munich, Legendary (12th Century), Midsummer Eve

Synopsis

It is Midsummer's Eve and children are collecting wood for the Fire Festival, first from the Mayor's house, then from that of the woodworker Kunrad. The townsfolk are suspicious of Kunrad as there are rumours that he has mysterious dark powers. He willingly breaks up his house to provide wood for the children. Friends of the Mayor's daughter Diemut tease her and Kunrad by describing how she admires his handsome looks. Kunrad invites Diemut to leap with him over the flames at the Fire Festival and kisses her on the lips. The Mayor denounces Kunrad for his overhasty advances and orders Diemut into the house, not before she has hatched a plan of revenge upon Kunrad. He is left alone in the twilight to bemoan the Fire Famine and the need of magic to restore love. Diemut appears on her balcony and invites Kunrad to climb in a basket to be hoisted up, but she leaves it dangling half-way up in order to humiliate him before the townsfolk. He curses their spurning of love by extinguishing all the fires in the town, calling upon the magical powers of his Master Richard in whose house Kunrad resides, and who was driven from the town by the foolish citizens. The fires can only be rekindled by the warmth from the body of a hot-blooded young girl and the townsfolk call on Diemut to surrender to love's demands. In the darkness she willingly draws Kunrad into her chamber and, after a passionate wooing scene, the lights in the houses and on the streets burst into flame amidst general rejoicing.

Moods

Comic, Romantic

Subjects

History, Magic/Mystery, Relationships, Society




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