Show Summary Details

Page of

Printed from Grove Music Online. Grove is a registered trademark. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy).

date: 19 November 2019

Vanessalocked

  • Barbara B. Heyman

Extract

Opera in four acts, op.32, by Samuel Barber to a libretto by Gian Carlo Menotti ; New York, Metropolitan Opera, 15 January 1958.

Inspired by Isak Dinesen’s Seven Gothic Tales, Vanessa is set in a country manor in an unnamed ‘northern country about 1905’. The story unfolds about two women, Vanessa (soprano), ‘a lady of great beauty’, and her beautiful young niece, Erika (mezzo-soprano). Vanessa has for 20 years awaited the return of her only love, Anatol. In a sombre gothic dreamscape, in which chandeliers are dimmed and mirrors draped against the reflection of Vanessa’s advancing age, the wizened Baroness (contralto), Vanessa’s mother, condemns her daughter’s withdrawal from life through her silence. Another Anatol (tenor), the errant lover’s fatally charming son, a bounder and opportunist, enters the manor. Vanessa, mistaking the young man for his father, passionately inquires if he still loves her; she is devastated upon realizing the visitor is not her lover. Erika entreats the impostor to leave, but he refuses....

You do not currently have access to this article

Login

Please login to access the full content.

Subscribe

Please subscribe to access the full content.