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date: 12 December 2019

Agnes von Hohenstaufenlocked

  • Anselm Gerhard

Extract

Grosse historisch-romantische Oper in three acts by Gaspare Spontini to a libretto by Ernst Raupach; Berlin, Königliches Opernhaus, 12 June 1829.

Although banished by Emperor Henry VI (baritone), Heinrich (tenor), son of the Emperor’s Guelph opponent Henry the Lion, is in Mainz incognito in the year 1194 to win his beloved Agnes (soprano), a cousin of the Emperor. He is arrested; however, he not only escapes from prison but also secretly marries Agnes and triumphs over his rival, King Philip of France (baritone). The angry Emperor is finally persuaded by the imperial knights and the intercession of his brother Philip (tenor) and Agnes’s mother Irmengard (soprano) to bow to the triumph of love.

Spontini worked for many years on this, his last opera, which he considered his major work. Only the first act was ready for performance at the scheduled première on 28 May 1827. After extensive revisions of the completed work, which was first performed on ...

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