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Music Text

Libretto by Ulrich von Oertzen, based on Homer's Odyssey (transl. Joh. H. Voß) (G,E)

Scoring

Major roles: S,T,Bar,Bbar; minor roles: lyrS,M,dramA,2A,2T,buffoB; mixed chorus; 3.1.4.2-0.0.0.0-timp.perc:vib/dr/lyra-2pft-strings

Abbreviations (PDF)

Roles

ODYSSEUS Baritone
PENELOPE Soprano
TELEMACH Tenor
PHEMIOS Bass-Baritone
EURYKLEIA Alto
CALYPSO Dramatic Soprano
ALKINOOS Buffo Bass
ARETE Alto
NAUSIKAA Lyric Soprano
HERMES Tenor
ATHENE Mezzo-Soprano
A Courtier Tenor
Suitors, Courtiers, etc. Chorus (SATB)
Time and Place

Ancient Greece

Synopsis

Many years have passed since Ithaca’s king, Odysseus, has disappeared. A prophet, Phemios, comes to the palace in Ithaca and reveals the truth about their king. He declares that Odysseus still lives and is planning death and destruction to punish the suitors who have taken over the palace. Meanwhile, Odysseus is being held captive on an island by the nymph Calypso, who is possessed by love for him. In order to be released and to return home, Odysseus must face Poseidon’s wrath. Having survived the god’s deadly storms, he arrives at the court of the Phaeacian king, Alkinoos who grants him a ship and promises safe passage to Ithaca. Upon his return to Ithaca’s shores the goddess Athena appears before him and proclaims that Odysseus must bear one last hardship. As completion of the prophecy, Odysseus brings death and destruction upon the suitors. His wife, Penelope, tricks him to reveal his true identity and the family is happily re-united.

Moods

Dramatic

Subjects

History, Literary, Mythology




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