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Music Text

Libretto by the composer after Hugo von Hofmannsthal (G)

Scoring

3S,lyrS,M,2A,2T,Bar,5B,child's voice; small male chorus;
2.picc.2.2.2.dbn-3.2.3.0-timp.perc-harp-pft-accordion-harmonium-strings

Abbreviations (PDF)

World Premiere
8/20/1961
Salzburg
Paul Hager, director
Conductor: Heinz Wallberg
Company: Salzburg Festival

Roles

ELIS FRÖBORN Baritone
PEHRSON DAHLSJÖ Bass
ANNA, his daughter Lyric Soprano
THE GRANDMOTHER Contralto
THE MOUNTAIN QUEEN Mezzo Soprano
OLD TORBERN Tenor
THE BOY AGMAHD silent role
MRS JENSEN Contralto
ILSEBILL Soprano
REGINE Soprano
KATHRINE Soprano
PETER, KLAUS and PORTUGIESER, Seamen Basses
THE OLD FISHERMAN Bass
HIS WIFE Contralto
HIS SON Tenor
THE CHILD child's voice
Wedding guests, miners
Time and Place

A solitary fishing village and the mountains of Falun in the 19th century

Synopsis



After the death of his father for which he feels partly responsible, the sailor Elis Fröborn abandons sea life. When, on his return home, he finds his mother dead, too, deep melancholy and weariness of life overcomes him. Elis feels drawn into the lap of the earth by mysterious powers. Old Torbern, a mystical figure between surface and underworld, shows him the realm of the mountain queen which Elis, however, is only allowed to enter when he has abandoned all signs of humanity. Elis becomes a miner at Falun where he lives in the house of the mine owner Dahlsjö and his daughter Anna. Anna falls in love with the strangely reserved guest who brings new life into the run-down firm. But when Dahlsjö hints to Elis that he would like to have him as his son-in-law, he flees from his feelings and hurries into the pit, breaking down in front of a mysterious door. Once again Elis tries to resist the pull, but on the day of his wedding with Anna the coldness towards life and people has seized him so strongly that the call of the mountain queen draws him forever to the deep.

Moods

Dramatic, Poetic

Subjects

Magic/Mystery, Relationships




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