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Peer Gyntlocked

  • Erik Levi

Extract

Opera in a prelude and three acts by Werner Egk to his own libretto after Henrik Ibsen ’s dramatic poem; Berlin, Staatsoper, 24 November 1938.

The action takes place in the middle of the 19th century. Peer Gynt (baritone), a good-for-nothing and an outsider, longs for a more fulfilled life. He dreams of becoming emperor of the world, claiming that as far as he is concerned he will behave as he pleases. He disrupts the wedding between Ingrid (soprano) and the fool Mads (tenor) and elopes with the bride. Pursued by the wedding party he escapes to a mountain slope where he encounters an old man who is the King of the Trolls (tenor) and his Red-headed Daughter (soprano). Peer then rejects Ingrid and seduces the Red-headed Daughter whom he follows into the hall of the mountain king. Peer appears before the trolls and requests that he should become their emperor. When he refuses to submit to their tests and denounces them, they in turn swear to seek revenge for his behaviour. Peer disappears to a cottage in the mountains. Solveig (soprano), his lover, follows him, but her entry into the cottage is barred by the Red-headed Daughter. Peer decides that he must leave for ever....

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