12 October 2013, 6.00 pm - 10.30 pm
Bartók Béla National Concert Hall
R. Strauss: The Silent Woman - A comic opera in three acts, op. 80
Sir Morosus: Rúni Brattaberg
The housekeeper: Mária Temesi
Schneidebart, the barber: Dietrich Henschel
Henry Morosus: Bernhard Berchtold
Aminta, his wife: Iride Martinez
Isotta: Polina Pasztircsák
Carlotta: Zsófia Kálnay
Morbio: Lajos Geiger
Vanuzzi: Tamás Szüle
Farfallo: Krisztián Cser
Director: Ferenc Anger
Sets: Éva Szendrényi
Costumes: Gergely Zöldy Z.
Music collaborator: László Bartal, Dóra Bizják
Director's Assistant and Master of Stagecraft: Gabor Sylvie
Featuring: National Philharmonic Orchestra and Hungarian National Choir (choirmaster: Mátyás Antal)
Conductor: Zoltán Kocsis
Following its earlier production of Daphne, the Hungarian National Philharmonic presents another of Richard Strauss‘s works for the musical stage. The Silent Woman only rarely features on opera schedules worldwide, but it was performed by the Dresden Semperoper to great success in Budapest in 1977, with Theo Adam in the role of Sir Morosus. This is the first time it will be heard in a Hungarian production.
After the death of Strauss‘s brilliant librettist Hugo von Hofmannsthal, the libretto for the composer’s 11th opera was written by Stefan Zweig after a play by Ben Jonson. “The best libretto for a comic opera since The Marriage of Figaro,” is how Strauss himself acknowledged the work of the librettist, insisting that the name of Zweig, shunned because of his Jewish origins, should appear in the programme and posters for the 1935 première in Dresden. The work was duly banned after its second performance, while Strauss was compelled to resign from his post as president of the Reichsmusikkammer, the Nazi state institute for music.
The story tells of the retired admiral Sir Morosus, who is tricked into marriage by his barber, his disowned nephew (and hopeful heir) and the latter’s wife Aminta. They concoct a scheme to falsely marry the admiral to Aminta, who feigns a quiet temperament but who is revealed after the “wedding” to be a genuine shrew. After the marriage is revealed to Morosus as merely a sham, the relieved admiral makes peace with his nephew and accepts his disinherited heir back into the fold. The first line of the monologue that closes the work – “How beautiful music is, especially when it is over!” – is the composer’s wink to the audience, for Strauss knew very well that composing no longer came to him as effortlessly as it once had.
Tickets for this performance are currently available for purchase as part of the Ferencsik season ticket.
Presented by: Hungarian National Philharmonic, Palace of Arts
Prices: 2100, 2900, 3600, 4300, 5200 Ft