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date: 22 September 2020

Geisterinsel, Die (‘The Island of the Spirits’)locked

  • Thomas Bauman

Extract

(‘The Island of the Spirits’)

Libretto in three acts by Friedrich Wilhelm Gotter and Friedrich Hildebrand von Einsiedel after William Shakespeare’s The Tempest. It was first set by Friedrich Fleischmann (1796, Regensburg).

Nine years after arriving on the island and subduing the witch Sycorax, Prospero faces a night of trials: Sycorax will return to join forces with her brutish son Caliban, and Prospero will be powerless to protect his daughter Miranda. A storm gathers; at its height a ship appears in distress and vanishes beneath the waves. After the storm clears Prospero comes upon one of its survivors, young Fernando, who falls instantly in love with Miranda. Elsewhere, several of Fernando’s companions encounter Caliban, who enlists them in a plot to kill Prospero. Caliban discovers the lovers, but Prospero’s magic protects them from his fury. As night falls Prospero sets Fernando and Miranda counting corals. A deep sleep overtakes him. Sycorax emerges from the ground, but the benign spirit Maja thwarts her attempt on Prospero and pitches her into a flaming ravine. After Prospero awakes, Caliban and his crew mount their assault, but Ariel foils them. Caliban throws himself into the sea. A ship lands, bringing the news that the people of Milan want Prospero to return as their ruler. He bids farewell to his familiar spirits, then breaks his magic staff....

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