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  • Elizabeth Forbes


Opera in three acts by emmanuel Chabrier to a libretto by Catulle Mendès; Brussels, Théâtre de la Monnaie, 10 April 1886.

Armel (tenor), chief of a settlement on the coast of Britain in Saxon times, and the other men set off to fish. Gwendoline (soprano), Armel’s daughter, and the women sing as they spin. Cries are heard as the Saxons rush in pursued by Danish pirates. Harald (baritone), the Danish leader, threatens to kill Armel, but Gwendoline runs between them to save her father. Harald is struck by her beauty. Dismissing everyone else, he tries to express his love for her. When the Danish warriors return they find their bloodthirsty leader seated at the spinning-wheel. This scene, written in Chabrier’s most delicate style, is the finest in the score, much of which is over-inflated....

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