Piramo e Tisbe
- Sven Hansell
Intermezzo tragico in two acts by Johann Adolf Hasse to a libretto by Marco Coltellini after Ovid’s Metamorphoses, iv; Vienna, unidentified country estate, autumn 1768 (revised version, Vienna, Laxenburg Palace theatre, September 1770).
Promised to each other since childhood, two young lovers of Babylon learn that their marriage is forbidden by the woman’s father (tenor), who, having been insulted by public opinion generated by a dispute between their families, orders his daughter to marry another man. The lovers decide to flee. That night the young woman, Tisbe [Thisbe] (soprano), anxiously awaits her lover Piramo [Pyramus] (soprano) for their tryst in nearby woods. Frightened by a bloodied lion, Thisbe drops her veil and runs. The lion calmly drinks from a spring but leaves blood on the ground and the veil before departing. When Pyramus subsequently arrives, he imagines his beloved brutalized by a beast and stabs himself. Returning and finding Pyramus dying, Thisbe also stabs herself. Finally, as dawn is breaking, Thisbe’s father arrives. Blaming himself for his daughter’s death, he too stabs himself....