New Productions

EDGAR in concert
Giacomo Puccini
1858 - 1924
Drama lirico
Libretto by Ferdinando Fontana after Louis Charles Alfred de Musset’s play La Coupe et les lèvres from Un spectacle dans un fauteuil (1832)
World premiere (3 acts): 18th July 1905, Teatro de la Opera, Buenos Aires
Sung in Italian with German surtitles
Concert performances
Duration: c. 2 hrs. with one interval

About the piece

The world premiere of Edgar took place at La Scala Milan in 1889, four years after Puccini’s first successful opera, Le Villi. Reviews were luke warm so Puccini made a revised version, the first of four. The influence of Bizet’s Carmen is unmistakable: Edgar can choose between two women. He is enthralled by the exotic sensuality of the happy-go-lucky Tigrana, but cannot tear himself away from gentle Fidelia and her constant love. Frank, also fascinated by Tigrana’s charms, challenges Edgar to a duel and is wounded. Running away with Tigrana seemed like paradise on earth to Edgar, but she soon grew tired of him so he joined the army. Similarities to Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure appear in act 3 when Edgar, who has been officially declared missing in combat and is disguised as a monk, decides to put both women’s love to the test. He tempts Tigrana with jewels into denouncing the man everyone believes to be dead. Fidelia, who steadfastly believes in Edgar’s innocence, is delighted when he finally reveals his true identity, but is stabbed to death by Tigrana.
    Puccini’s predilection for female characters who, despite everything, cling on with pride to their love for a dubious hero undoubtedly shaped the role of Fidelia. Casting femme fatale Tigrana as a mezzo-soprano reinforces her similarity to Carmen; it is also the only major role Puccini ever wrote for a mezzo-soprano.

Sunday 16.02.2014 19:00 h

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