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DIE NACHTIGALL UND DIE ROSE. Kammeroper in einem
Akt nach einem Märchen von Oscar Wilde

Composer: Müller-Wieland, Jan
Lyricists: Neves, Hannelore
Playing time: 75:00
Opus/Year: (1996)
Genre: Chamber opera
Instrumentation: Schl (3 Gongs, 3 Tam-t [hoch/tief/mittel], Marimba, Vibr), Cel/Klav, 2 Vl, Va, Vc, Kb (Fünfsaiter)
Premiere performance: 20.12.1996 / D

Content:

A student is passionately in love with a young girl. She promises to dance with him at the Prince’s ball if he brings her a red rose. In his entire garden, however, there is not a single red rose to be found. Deeply saddened by this, the young man begins to cry. The nightingale sitting in the oak tree, however, is moved by the student’s unhappy love and believes that she recognises in him the ideal lover. She decides to look for a red rose for him. In the first bouquet of roses she finds only white petals, in the second only yellow ones, and in the third, which would normally have red roses, only dried-out buds. The rose bouquet explains to her that there is only one way to get a red rose: the nightingale must sing for the bouquet the whole night through, at the same time pressing one of his thorns so tightly against her breast that a red rose can be created out of the blood of her heart. The nightingale is prepared to make this sacrifice for love, which will cost her life. The following night, she passionately sings her sweet song and colours with her heart’s blood a splendid rose. The next day shining petals are displayed on the bouquet but the nightingale is lying in the grass, dead. Overjoyed at having at last found a red rose, the student hurries to his beloved. In the meantime, another suitor has presented her with expensive gifts and she rejects the rose. The student furiously throws away the rose twig into the gutter, where the petals wither, unnoticed. Disappointed in love, he now returns to dedicate himself completely to his studies.

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