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Music Text

Libretto by Emil Gerhauser after Friedrich Hebbel (G)


dramS,A,dramT,charBar,2B; chorus;

Abbreviations (PDF)

World Premiere
Hofoper, Dresden
Company: Dresden Hofoper


TEUT, his son Dramatic Tenor
VELLEDA, the queen Contralto
THEODA, a young girl Dramatic Soprano
WOLF, the king's brother in arms Bass
HIRAM from Carthage Character Baritone
Inhabitants of Thule: at first as fishermen and warriors with women and children, then also as peasants and priests of the Moloch
Time and Place

Thule after the destruction of Carthage


After the destruction of Carthage by the Romans, Hiram, a priest of the Phoenician god Moloch, flees overseas and arrives on the Nordic island of Thule. There he finds a primitive people without any religion that is governed by the king of the island, his wife Velleda and their son Teut. Hiram erects a collossal statue of Moloch and, with Teut’s help, converts a large number of islanders to his belief. With his knowledge of cultivation of the soil, he brings prosperity and cultural progress to the people. When the king stands up against Hiram with a couple of retainers, his own son defeats him in a fight and expels him into exile. Hiram is able to continue his work unhindered, which in truth aims at mobilizing the inhabitants of Thule against the Roman empire. At the climax of his power, Hiram gives himself away, exposing his alleged untouchability as pure illusion. His power breaks down like a house of cards. The idol is destroyed.




Mythology, Politics, Religion, Society

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