Ethel Smyth’s last large-scale work, written in 1930 by the then 72-year-old composer who was increasingly afflicted and depressed by her worsening deafness, was The Prison – a ‘symphony’ for soprano and bass-baritone soloists, chorus and orchestra.
Mozart and Salieri, an opera in one act consisting of two scenes.
Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908), composer. Libretto derived from Alexander Puskhin’s play of the same name.
First performance: 7 December 1898 in Moscow.
Boris Godunov, an opera in four acts with prologue
Modest Mussorgsky, composer. Libretto by the composer, based on Alexander Pushkin’s drama Boris Godunov and Nikolai Karamazin’s History of the Russian Empire
First performance: 8 February 1874 at the Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg
La Gioconda, dramma lirico in four acts.
Music composed by Amilcare Ponchielli (1834–1886). Libretto by Arrigo Boito (under the pseudonym Tobia Gorrio), based upon Victor Hugo’s Angelo, Tyrant of Padua (1835).
Don Carlo, an opera in four acts. Music composed by Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901). Libretto by Joseph MÈry and Camille Du Locle after Friedrich von Schiller’s dramatic poem Don Carlos, Infant von Spanien. Revised version in four acts (French text revised by Du Locle, Italian translation by Achille de LauziËres and Angelo Zanardini).
Un ballo in maschera, a melodramma in three acts.
Music composed by Giuseppe Verdi. Libretto by Antonio Somma, based upon the work of EugËne Scribe Gustave III ou Le bal masquÈ (1833)
The most notable of all PÈricholes of Offenbach’s sentimental operetta is surely the legendary Hortense Schneider who created the role back in 1868 at Paris’ ThÈ‚tre des VarietÈs. Alas there is no digital record.
John Eliot Gardiner’s Schumann series with the London Symphony Orchestra, demonstrate the how Schumann’s Lieder and piano music influenced his approach to symphonic form and his interests in music drama.
Passion! Pain! Poetry! (but hold the irony . . .)
Brilliant Emmerich Kálmán’s Ein Herbstmanöver from the Stadttheater, Giessen in 2018, conducted by Michael Hofstetter now on Oehms Classics, in a performing version by Balázs Kovalik.