New Productions

DIE SIZILIANISCHE VESPER
(The Sicilian Vespers)

Giuseppe Verdi
1813 - 1901

Opera in five acts ı Libretto by Eugène Scribe & Charles Duveyrier after the libretto Le Duc d’Albe (1839)
World premiere June 13th 1855, Opéra, Salle de la rue Le Peletier, Paris

First performances ever in Frankfurt of the French edition
Sung in French with German surtitles
Duration: c. 3 hrs, incl. one interval

About the work

Giuseppe Verdi received a commission from Paris soon after the triumphant world premiere of Rigoletto in Venice: the Théât ...
Giuseppe Verdi received a commission from Paris soon after the triumphant world premiere of Rigoletto in Venice: the Théâtre Impérial de L’Opéra wanted an opera with a libretto by Eugène Scribe. The subject matter, extraordinarily un-French-friendly, was Les vêpres siciliennes, about an historical rebellion begun by the Sicilians against their French rulers in Palermo on Easter Monday March 30th 1282 at the time of evening vespers. A completely facticious story links true, political events with a sad love story and a father/son conflict.
    Hélène, mourning her brother, the Duke of Austria, who was murdered by the French, is asked to sing a song to amuse the drunks on the main square of Palermo. She uses the opportunity to call for resistence against the occupying forces. Henri, a Sicilian patriot, who has just been released from prison, seeks her out. He has no idea that his deadly enemy Guy de Montfort, under whose leadership the French conquered Sicily, is his father.
&nsp;&nsp;&nsp;&nsp;As in Simon Boccanegra and La Traviata the love between father and child vies with the love between man and woman. It culminates in tragedy because the outcome is controlled by the masses, who want revenge and not peace...

Synopsis

Palermo: Hélène is forced to sing for the French occupying forces, who murdered her brother. Her song is an incitement to her coun ...
Palermo: Hélène is forced to sing for the French occupying forces, who murdered her brother. Her song is an incitement to her countrymen to rise up against the enemy. The arrival of the governor, Montfort, prevents a fight breaking out. Henri, a young Sicilian,almost comes to blows with Montfort. He is forbidden from seeing his beloved Hélène again. Procida returns to Sicily from exile determined to get rid of the French, whatever it takes. Henri and Hélène are brought to him. Henri promises to revenge his lover's brother's murder. Montfort has received a letter from a woman he abandoned years ago, imploring him to take care of their son, Henri. Henri, who has come to kill Montfort, is horrified by the news and torn between his fellow conspirators and the enemy. A party begins, Hélène and Procida mingle among the guests. Henri prevents his friends from killing his father. They look upon him with hatred. Henri visits Hélène in prison. His betrayal disgusts her. Henri explains that he had to intervene because Montfort is his father. He now sides with the conspirators again and tells Hélèn that he will die at her side. Both reaffirm their love. Procida cannot forgive him. Montfort tells Henri that he will pardon his friends if he addresses him as »mon père«. Although Hélène begs him not to, he calls out the words to prevent her being executed. Montfort, as good as his word, orders that preparations be made for Hélène and Henri's wedding, to take place at the time of vespers. Procida tells Hélène that the sound of wedding bells shall be the signal for the Sicilian uprising to begin. Not daring to betray this knowledge, she immediately calls off the wedding. Henri, hurt, goes to his father, who commands that the wedding take place, the bells ring out, the massacre begins.
Performances

Thursday 27.06.2013 19:00 h

Further performances

Opera House
Subscription: series 12

Pre-booking and Pricing

Cast

Conductor
Pablo Heras-Casado
Director
Jens-Daniel Herzog
Stage and Costume Designer
Mathis Neidhardt
Lighting Designer
Olaf Winter
Dramaturge
Norbert Abels
Chorus Master
Matthias Köhler

Guy de Montfort
Quinn Kelsey
Sire de Béthune
Kihwan Sim
Graf von Vaudemont
Jonathan Beyer
Henri, ein junger Sizilianer
Alfred Kim
Jean Procida, Arzt aus Sizilien
Raymond Aceto
Herzogin Hélène
Elza van den Heever
Ninetta, ihr Kindermädchen
Nina Tarandek
Danieli
Hans-Jürgen Lazar
Mainfroid
Michael McCown
Thibault
Simon Bode
Robert
Iurii Samoilov *

Chorus and Orchestra of Oper Frankfurt


* Member of the Opera Studio

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