DAPHNE
Revivals

DAPHNE
Richard Strauss
1864 - 1949
Bucolic tragedy in one act
Libretto by Joseph Gregor
World premiere October 15th 1938, Opera House, Dresden

Sung in german with surtitles
Duration: c. 1 3/4 hrs. without interval

About the Piece

The nymph Daphne has been described throughout centuries of literature as an »aloof virgin«; one so frigid that she would rather ...
The nymph Daphne has been described throughout centuries of literature as an »aloof virgin«; one so frigid that she would rather be transformed into a tree than endure bodily contact.
    Claus Guth’s production, which was awarded a »Faust« prize in 2010, wanted to find the reasons leading up to this drastic decision. How does a young woman cope when the private spheres of her body and soul are not respected but threatened, physically, by strangers, friends and even her own parents? How long does traumatisation last?
    The contrasts between Daphne’s inner world and dionysian sensuousness and brutality are portrayed ingeniously in Richard Strauss’ music. But wounds and conflict are not all that remain: the magical sounds of her leave taking and metamorphosis make Daphne sound almost hopeful. A, late, way of dealing with trauma?

Synopsis

The sun is setting on the day men celebrate the "Feast of the Vine". Daphne stands alone, away from the hustle and bustle. She fin ...
The sun is setting on the day men celebrate the "Feast of the Vine". Daphne stands alone, away from the hustle and bustle. She finds the sounds of nature mystical, the murmur of the spring, the blossom in the protecting trees sublime, "my brothers". Her childhood friend, Leukippos, interrupts her contemplations. He intends to win Daphne for himself and to love her. She refuses him. Servants bring her a robe and jewellery – she rejects them; she finds the annual feast, dedicated to Dionysos, sinister and alien to her nature. At her mother Gaea’s behest, she enters the room.
Apollo appears, in disguise, feeling powerfully drawn to her. She feels as if vague longings within her are being fulfilled and listens, deeply moved, to his words of love. But when he, calling her sister, takes her into his arms and kisses her, she is filled with fear.
The feast commences; the disguised men led by Peneios. Leukippos, who at the servants’ suggestion has disguised himself as a girl, uses the opportunity to close in on Daphne. Apollo steps forward in fury, saying that the feast has been desecrated and the god dishonoured by such an ignominious trick. Thunder is heard. All flee. Apollo takes the young rival, who has now shed his femail attire, to task. Daphne realises that she has been cruly tricked, twice, and demands the truth. The Sun God reveals his true identity and asks Daphne to go with him. She refuses. When Leukippos calls him a liar the furious god raises his weapon and kills him. Daphne, distraught, throws herself over the body her old friend; Apollo begs the gods for forgiveness and asks that he might win Daphne back, not in human form, but transformed into an eternally green laurel tree.
Daphne, trying to hurry away, suddenly stands motionless, as if spellbound. In the shimmering rays of the moon her transformation begins.
Performances

Saturday 22.03.2014 19:30 h

Further performances

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Cast

Conductor
Stefan Blunier
Director
Claus Guth
Set and Costume Designer
Christian Schmidt
Lighting Designer
Olaf Winter
Revival rehearsed by
Tobias Heyder
Chorus Master
Matthias Köhler
Dramaturge
Norbert Abels

Daphne
Maria Bengtsson
Leukippos
Daniel Behle
Gaea
Tanja Ariane Baumgartner
Apollo
Peter Marsh
Peneios
Magnús Baldvinsson
1. Schäfer
Dietrich Volle
2. Schäfer
Michael Porter *
3. Schäfer
Franz Mayer
4. Schäfer
Björn Bürger
1. Magd
Anna Ryberg
2. Magd
Nina Tarandek
The old Daphne
Corinna Schnabel

Chorus and Orchestra
of Oper Frankfurt



* member of the Opera Studio

 
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