Libretto by Joseph Gregor (G,E,F)
Major roles: dramcolS,lyrT,heldT,B
minor roles: 2S,A,T,Bar,2B; chorus; ballet
Boosey & Hawkes
This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes
for all countries except Germany, Italy, Portugal, Danzig, and the former territories of the USSR.
Sächsisches Staatstheater Opernhaus, Dresden
Conductor: Karl Böhm
Company: Dresden State Opera
|PENEIOS, a fisherman
|GAEA, his wife
|DAPHNE, their daughter
|LEUKIPPOS, a shepherd
Time and Place
Near Peneios' Hut, Antiquity
Shepherds are preparing for the feast of Dionysus, under instructions from Daphne's fisher-folk parents Peneios and Gaea. Daphne praises the natural world as opposed to the clumsy ways of men. The shepherd Leukippos, her childhood playmate, tries to embrace her lovingly, but she rejects both him and the coming festivities. She refuses to wear the specially-prepared clothes and runs off. Her maids persuade Leukippos to wear the clothes instead. Apollo arrives disguised as a cow-herd and is passionately drawn to Daphne, though she will not totally surrender to him. The festivities begin and the disguised Leukippos offers Daphne the libation cup arousing the jealousy of Apollo, who causes the sky to thunder. The sheep are escaping and must be rounded up again, leaving Apollo, Leukippos and Daphne alone. Leukippos reveals his true identity and demands Apollo does the same, abusing the god. With his bow, Apollo shoots Leukippos dead. Daphne reacts passionately, at last coming to terms with her Dionysiac side and acknowedging responsibility for this tragedy. Apollo begs forgiveness, asking to love her in the ennobled form of a laurel tree. He vanishes, she tries to follow, but is rooted to the ground as her transformation begins, until finally her silvery disembodied voice is heard above the shimmering leaves.